Length of stay depends
on each family’s situation. Typically, families are able to get back on their
feet within three to six months. As long as they are making progress on their
goals and abiding by the rules of the program, families stay as long as needed
to achieve sustained independence.
Everyone who is
employed is at work during the day. And anyone who is not employed is at the Day
Center, working on finding employment. During weekends, families spend time
together and do fun things.
Families are referred to our program from a number of agencies including
– local shelters, public assistance offices, school homeless liaisons, the Red
Cross, local congregations, the police department, and the Salvation Army. Others
find us through Internet search or by visiting our website.
Moving every week isn't ideal, but most families say that the homelike setting and the support of volunteers more than compensate for the moving. While host congregations change every week or two, the day center remains the same, providing continuity and a home base for families as they look for housing and jobs. The day center also provides a permanent address that families can use in their housing and job searches.
If a family is
homeless, federal law (the McKinney–Vento
Homeless Assistance Act of 1987) requires that the school provide transportation for the kids to
and from school, regardless of the location of their shelter. We work with the
school system to ensure that all children attend school. Children go to the
school they have been attending or to the school nearest the day center.
Yes. Adults and children can volunteer. Simply contact your congregation
coordinator to sign up.
Our affiliate is funded through donations from churches, individuals,
businesses and grants from private corporations. All donations to our affiliate
are tax deductible.
No. The Network director works with the school system to ensure that all children attend school. The day center is the permanent address of the Network. Children go to the school they have been attending or to the school nearest the day center.
Arrangements are made locally with the school system.
In 1987, Congress passed the McKinney Act, legislation that requires all states and school districts to provide for the education of homeless youth. Each state has developed a plan to implement the Act. Most of the state plans are flexible and allow children to attend the school they last attended or the school closest to the shelter (day center).
An Interfaith Hospitality Network has these advantages:
- A Network can be developed quickly.
- A Network is cost-effective because it utilizes existing community resources.
- A Network program doesn't institutionalize shelter as a solution to homelessness.
- In Networks, about 80 percent of the guest families find permanent housing, often with volunteers' help.
- For congregations, the Network is a vital outreach ministry within the walls of the members' own church or synagogue.
- A Network is a catalyst for other community initiatives. 1VÏany active Networks go on to create new programs in areas such as parenting and mentoring, transitional housing, and housing renovation.