Bound Brook Presbyterian Church is a member of the FISH Hospitality network. FISH serves temporarily homeless families in Somerset, Middlesex and Union counties. Once accepted in the FISH program, guest families are housed in a different church each week. The church has the responsibility to provide an evening meal in addition to a friendly and safe place for guests to stay. As a host church, we need about 40 volunteer to host and feed guests during the week they stay at BBPC. We normally host families four weeks a year.
The FISH program is restricted to no more than 14 guests at one time. We house families in the ‘cave’ and use dividers to set up semi-private sleeping areas. As hosts, our volunteers prepare and join our guests for the evening meal and socialize with the families throughout the evening. Several hosts sleep over each night and in the morning, guests head off to school or work.
The program uses churches like BBPC to spare guests normal living expenses as they save money and plan to find permanent housing. Most families stay in the program for several months and accumulate the resources and information required to live on their own. FISH is very successful at counseling families and supporting them as they get an opportunity for a fresh start.
The coordinators for the Hospitality program here at Bound Brook Presbyterian are: Diane Padula, Dave DePierro and Mark Huddell. We attend FISH coordinator meetings quarterly and work with other area churches to arrange to pick up and move guest belongings during hosting weeks. We also sign up and provide information for the volunteers that participate during our hosting weeks. Speak with any one of us for more information and we can team you up with some experienced volunteers to introduce you to the hosting process the next time guests come to BBPC.