Interfaith Hospitality Network
The Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) is a proven and effective way for religious communities to offer shelter, meals and assistance to homeless families. The program uses existing community resources: churches and synagogues for overnight lodging, congregations for volunteers, social service agencies for screening and referrals and existing facilities for day programs. Each Network Congregation furnishes overnight lodging and meals for three to five families on a periodic basis.
Our parish presently serves as the Day Center (called the Flynn Center) for the Interfaith Hospitality Network. Guests in the network stay for one week at a time at one of eight rotating area congregations. During the day they come to Flynn Center to do laundry, shower, seek employment and/or permanent lodging, and interview with Social Service Agencies that can further assist them. The Day Shelter is open seven days a week. In this regard, our Parish is a major supporter of IHN. In the past our Parish has additionally served the agency through preparing meals for local hosting communities.
IHN Service Opportunity
We support other Host Congregations in the following ways:
The following are ways in which you can assist us with this huge endeavor:
- Meal Preparation/ Serving Meals: Volunteers can assist us by preparing and/or serving a meal. Volunteers are also encouraged to partake in the meals with the IHN residents. This can be a powerful experience for a family to participate in direct service and fellowship as a community of sharing. A meal can also be prepared by a group of people such as a Girl or Boy Scout Troop or several families joining together.
- Overnight Shift Coverage: Two volunteers will be needed each night of the Hosting week to sleep in the Host Congregation Site. Each family that is hosted will be given their own room to sleep. The volunteer will be required to sleep in the common room. The shift would begin at approximately 9:30 pm and end at 7:00 am.
- Activities shift for children and families: Volunteers are needed to plan and implement activities during some of the down time for the families we are Hosting. Some ideas include board games, crafts, outdoor sports, movie night etcetera. The shift would begin at 7:00 pm and end at 10:00 pm.
The Social Ministry Office often receives requests to involve families and children in outreach projects: programs that will teach our children, firsthand, our calling to put the needs of others before our own needs; programs that help us to live our faith by putting our love into action. This is a perfect opportunity to cook and serve for a population of people (adults and children) who do not possess some of life’s basic needs – food and shelter. Please prayerfully consider this invitation to serve – remarkable things will happen. People’s circumstance will be improved, lives will be transformed and it all begins with you!
Thanks to your ongoing service to the Lord through the myriad of other Social Ministry Programs we know that this feat can be accomplished in and through you. It is but another way for volunteers to become directly involved with this ministry in a ‘hands on’ manner. By serving this agency we will be serving Jesus Himself as He has said “What you do for the least of these, you do for me.” – Matthew 25:40
"I have chosen to volunteer with Interfaith Hospitality Network. This ministry provides needs for homeless families. More and more families are facing financial crisis and struggling to make ends meet. All religions are welcomed into a safe environment where they are provided with food, shelter counseling and transportation. Our parish has volunteered to assist with meal service." - Doreen Cooper
"I think I began learning long ago that those who are happiest are those who do the most for others."
Booker T. Washington
For more information contact:
Director of Social Ministry
(908) 725-1112 x1126
"The priest asked, 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'"
Martin Luther King