Scott Roger, 38 carried out the first set of offences on the morning April 17 last year, when he arrived at the home of a former colleague, armed with a knife, and approached the man as he was leaving his home to go to work, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
"The defendant said: 'where's my dog?' The complainant said he didn't know and the defendant punched him to the chest and pulled a knife out," prosecutor Jessica Southcote-Want, told the court.
She added: "The defendant started threatening the man's mother and sister and said: 'Give me some money or I'll kill you all'."
After Roger, of Fir Vale Road, Fir Vale, was seen to pick up a brick, the man's mother threw a £20 note out the window at Roger in a bid to make him leave the premises, the court heard.
Police arrived on the scene a short time later, at which point Roger attempted to flee the scene. Officers chased, and eventually arrested, him.
In a victim impact statement read out in court, the victim's mother described how she 'felt scared he was going to come back and kill me'.
While on bail for the first set of offences, Roger went on to terrorise a second family on October 11 last year.
The court was told that Roger believed a male member of the family owed him money for drugs, and after threatening two of the man's sisters outside a nearby parade of shops he went to the family home and entered through an unlocked door.
The father of the man alleged to owe Roger money for drugs was in the living room of the property when Roger burst in.
Ms Southcote-Want added: "He describes seeing the defendant holding a petrol can in one hand, and a lighter in the other. He raised both his hands, and as the defendant walked towards him, afraid that the defendant was going to throw petrol on him, he punched him, causing the defendant to drop the can. Members of the family tried to remove him, and this is when he assaulted the man's wife by punching her in the arm and punched his daughter to her body. He then left the address, and was subsequently arrested."
Roger pleaded guilty to affray, possession of an offensive weapon and three counts of assault by beating at an earlier hearing.
Assumpta O'Rourke, defending, told the court that Roger had 'genuine remorse' for his actions, and during the eight months spent on remand he had engaged well with mental health services and was now committed to putting his addiction to drink and drugs behind him.
Judge Sarah Wright told Roger that two families had been 'terrified' of him during the course of the two incidents, and said she initially intended to pass an 18-month immediate custodial sentence.
But after hearing of the progress Roger had made during his time in prison, Judge Wright said she no longer felt this was the best course of action because the time he had spent on remand counted towards his prison sentence and meant he was likely to be released in around a month with 'little or no support' for his addiction and mental health issues.
Judge Wright sentenced Roger to an 18-month community order, one condition of which is a drug rehabilitation requirement.
She also granted a restraining order, which prevents Roger from contacting a number of of the complainants in the case for a period of five-years.