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Family Promise

Kathy Perry, Reverend Brette Sanford ,Greg Rydman and Kim Ciklin

Kathy Perry, Reverend Brette Sanford ,Greg Rydman and Kim Ciklin


Family Promise National Founder Honors Local Chapter

Photo: Ruth Cincotta

 National Founder and President of Family Promise, Karen Olson honored local founders and major donors of Family Promise of North/Central Palm Beach County at a breakfast recently, held at Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, West Palm Beach.



Family Promise is a national network of 167 interfaith affiliates, representing 5,000 congregations of all faiths and 135,000 volunteers working on behalf of families in transition. More than 150,000 individuals are served nationally. Olson addressed the challenges ahead for the organization, and the need for a collective commitment to the Family Promise name.



“Today, as I stand here, looking at each one of you,” said Olson, “I am in awe of what has already been accomplished. It is no wonder that I have faith we can move mountains.”



She graciously recognized local founders Kathy Perry, Greg Rydman, Marsha Perkins, Kim Ciklin, The Reverend James Cook and Reverend Brette Sanford, and major donors including Mae Cathey, in memory of her husband Frank Wolf Cathey; and Tracy Lowrey Lenehan, in memory of her mother, Marianne B. Lowrey.



Locally, Family Promise North/Central Palm Beach County serves this community’s homeless children and their families. According to Family Promise executive director, Rhonda Clinton, families now make up 40 percent of Palm Beach County’s homeless population, and that there are more than 2,000 reported homeless children in the Palm Beach County School District.



“On any given night,” continued Clinton, “nearly 2,000 homeless children in Palm Beach County may have nowhere to sleep. Other programs in our community are not able to meet the increasing demand for services. Many of these families are sleeping in local parks or living in their cars. People come to Family Promise because there is nowhere else to go. Family Promise is closing the door to homelessness and opening the door for families.”



The agency takes referrals from local social service agencies to help families secure housing, employment and other services they may require. On a rotating basis, a unique network of interfaith congregations provide overnight lodging, meals and fellowship for three to five families from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. A network van then transports families to the Family Promise Day Center – which offers a mailing address for its families and a homelike atmosphere where they can conduct their employment and housing searches and care for their pre-school aged children. School aged children are transported to Palm Beach County schools from the Day Center.



To become a Family Promise volunteer, or to support the agency’s efforts to assist the homeless in Palm Beach County, visit or call 561.318.8864.

Joyce Brooks

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