Weekly Feature

2010-08-26 / Local News

Family Promise of WNY hires new executive director

West Seneca congregations join mission to end homelessness

Family Promise of WNY has announced the hiring of Jim Tamol, of Buffalo, as its new executive director, effective immediately.

After nearly shutting down in 2008 due to a financial crisis, Family Promise has spent two years reorganizing and garnering new and renewed commitments from individuals, community organizations and local congregations, particularly from the West Seneca area.

“We are extremely excited for this next step in the rebirth and expansion of Family Promise,” said Molly Anthony, president of the Family Promise of WNY Board of Trustees. “Our reorganization committee has spent the better of two years working towards this point. We are blessed with a strong commitment from our regional and national organization and now, in Jim, we are confident that we have the professional leadership needed for success.”

Family Promise of WNY, formerly Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Buffalo, is a nonprofit organization that serves transitionally or episodically homeless families throughout Western New York.

When a family loses its home, they are in crisis, and Family Promise responds to the call to keep homeless families together as a unit. This is done through such services as host sites and a Day Center, which also serves as the organization’s headquarters, located near Cazenovia Park on the border of South Buffalo and West Seneca.

Committed host congregations — each provides lodging for families in need — for 2010-11 include Akron First United Methodist, Clarence United Methodist, Crossroads Lutheran, Grace Lutheran, Infant of Prague, Orchard Park Presbyterian, St. Christopher, SS. Columba-Brigid, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran (of West Seneca), St. Matthias Episcopal and Unitarian Universalist. Host sites shelter up to three families in their buildings for one week at a time, four times per year.

Support congregations, which provide meals and hospitality for families in need, include Temple Beth Zion, Blessed Trinity Parish, Trinity Episcopal, Nativity of Our Lord, St. John Vianney and University Presbyterian.

In May, eight members of the Seneca Square Key Bank branch in West Seneca volunteered their services — part of Key Bank’s 20th annual “Neighbors Make the Difference Day” — for various in-house tasks to clean up the Family Promise Day Center.

The Day Center serves as a midpoint between host congregation sites, ultimately serving as a safe haven and resource where children can catch the school bus and families can receive mail, do laundry, shower and receive linkage to services such as finding permanent housing and employment opportunities.

For more information on Family Promise of WNY, visit online at www.fpwny.org.

e-mail: kmcdowell@beenews.com

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