In Episode 67 of the Charity Charge Show, Stephen talks with Claas Ehlers, CEO of Family Promise, whose mission is to help families experiencing homelessness and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response. Claas and Stephen talk about how homeless prevention and diversion make fiscal sense, how anyone can use their special skills as a volunteer, and Family Promise's transition from their founder as CEO to Claas in 2016.
A graduate of New York University, Claas worked in video production, publishing, business development, and advertising while also teaching English as an adjunct professor at two local community colleges. From his work with low-income students, he saw first-hand the struggle of families to change their economic circumstances.
In 2002, he was able to align his passion for social justice with his career, joining Family Promise to lead a project to diversify the faith groups involved in its programs. In January of 2016 became the second president in the organization’s 28-year history. Outside of work, Claas’s interests include running, hiking, the New York Mets, music, and cooking. He lives in Mountainside, NJ with his wife, Ellen Pluta, a professor at Stern School of Business at NYU and has three children: Arabella, Luke, and Colette.
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