OCEANPORT, NJ (October 14, 2019) — On Saturday, September 28th, youth from more than 15
New Jersey elementary, high schools, colleges, and universities descended upon the grounds of Fort
Monmouth to raise funds and awareness of family homelessness at Family Promise of Monmouth County’s
Tenth Annual Cardboard Box City sleep-out event. Attendees included Howell High School, Rumson
Fair-Haven, Marine Academy of Science and Technology , North Star Academy, Brick Township High
School, Red Bank Catholic, Monmouth Regional High School, Ocean Township High School, Monmouth
University and Stockton University.
“ This is a fantastic and uplifting event that will directly improve people’s lives. Family Promise of
Monmouth County assists those who need it most. This event is a testament to the incredible difficulties
people face every day and Family Promise’s commitment to partnering with families and other agencies
to eliminate those barriers,” Oceanport Mayor Jay Coffey said during the event.
This year’s participants not only exceeded its $25,000 fundraising goal but they also took part in a newly
developed service-learning project entitled The Monmouth County FAMILY HOMELESSNESS
CHALLENGE . The project included simulated life-skills activities based on real case scenarios in which
families struggle to become financially stable. Adult volunteers manned different stations, representing
many of the agencies that our families have to encounter when experiencing homelessness such as;
Monmouth County Social Services, the Division of Motor Vehicles, Child Care Resources, Vital Statistics,
Family Promise and others.
“We intentionally designed the activities to empower youth to think critically about budgeting,
education/employment, service delivery, complex barriers and ultimately—survival. It was affirming to
1 see youth from different schools, backgrounds, and communities work together to overcome barriers
[especially] from the perspective of a family experiencing homelessness” said Christine Love, Executive
Director, and visionary for the project.
Participants heard first-hand testimony from a family that was hopeless and on the brink of despair before
coming to Family Promise of Monmouth County. Aniyah W. and her fiance Nicolas P. captivated the
audience with their story of resilience, the importance of healthy decision-making and the value of
education, family and community supports.
Rumson Fair Haven student and Youth Advisory Council member, Brooke Bosonac stated, “We were
moved by Nick and Aniyah’s speech. After reflecting on the event, my friends and I began to brainstorm
how we can continue to engage young people to help end homelessness. ” In fact, youth from Howell High
School were so moved that they have initiated a Howell HS Family Promise Student Club. Youth from
across the County are joining this growing movement to end child & family homelessness in their respective
New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal (D-11) walked the grounds of Cardboard Box City, speaking
one-on-one with parents, youth and volunteers. “Family Promise of Monmouth County does absolutely
outstanding work to support local families in need of housing and to help them get back on their feet,”
Gopal said. “Events like the Cardboard Box City Sleep-Out not only raise essential funds that go toward
services for families in need, they also raise awareness of the challenges of homelessness and the harsh
realities that people without housing face every day. I’m proud to support Family Promise of Monmouth
County, and look forward to seeing the good that they continue to accomplish in the future. “
ABOUT FAMILY PROMISE OF MONMOUTH COUNTY
The mission of Family Promise of Monmouth County is to provide food, clothing, shelter and
comprehensive services to homeless children & families in Monmouth County in cooperation with a
network of interfaith congregations while advocating innovative solutions to end chronic homelessness. For
More Information about Family Promise of Monmouth County please visit www.familypromisemc.org .
Photo credits: Lamar Carter / Survivor By Design Media / survivorbydesign.portfoliobox.net