Homeless families, individuals, and children can receive help from Family Promise, formerly known as the Interfaith Hospitality Network, or IHN. Hundreds of congregations, affiliates, and churches are part of the nationwide network. There are also many volunteers that part with the church to coordinate the Family Promise programs.
The non-profit charity organization and its members offer various services to clients, including case management, shelter, assistance in securing permanent low income housing, job programs, and more. The resources from Family Promise can provide short term help while the homeless individual works with a case manager on a long term solution.
There are hundreds of local congregations that work with the non-profit, and they provide coverage to almost all 50 states and most major cities. The services offered by each site will vary based on funding levels, the number of volunteers, and other factors. Not matter what is offered, they each are focused on reversing homelessness in their local communities. In fact, Family Promise housing programs assist tens of thousands of women and children each year.
The local IHNs can provide short term shelter, free hot meals, and basic needs such as clothing. Most of this is available at a local church or other faith based congregation. The locations will also coordinate housing and job placement support to homeless family members. Staff also offer advice for at-risk families to prevent them from being evicted or becoming homeless in the first place. Some examples of what may be offered is below.
Staff from the local center will counsel families or individuals to help them identify their needs. After this occurs, the next step will be for the person to develop goals as well as a comprehensive service plan with their case manager or a volunteer at the charity.
Some other examples of assistance programs that may be offered by the churches include the following. Volunteers or staff provide transportation, case management, referrals and other supportive services to families as they work toward achieving goals of permanent housing as well as self-sufficiency. Anyone staying in the congregation will also be served a hot meal by volunteers.
As part of this process, the client will receive access to case management. This will include many different things, such as advocacy, classes on budgeting, help with parenting skills (if applicable), and of course attention to their employment needs. Clients will need to attend weekly workshops and they are taught to advocate for themselves, their families and their children.
Family Promise congregations also offer assistance in securing low income apartments or housing in the region where the family lives. The case managers will offer referrals to any local charities, churches, or government programs that can help make that happen. For example, some states offer government grants to pay a security deposit or first month rent as part of rapid rehousing programs. There are other assistance programs available for low income families that IHN may be aware of. Your case manager can help you apply for these types of resources, if applicable to your situation.
There are many other vital social services offered by Family Promise. While as noted, it can vary by location, they may have programs that offer help with obtaining medical care or health insurance, enrolling in school, day care for your child or counseling. Centers and shelters may offer vouchers for prescription medications or coordinate dental cleanings for the homeless. Volunteers at local churches often provide free meals, supplies, clothing and grocery gift cards.
Other resources from the charity may include free hot meals twice a day and sack lunches when needed as well as free personal hygiene items such as shampoo, diapers, and more. There is also transportation provided in many cases to local work sites, school, and child care centers. As noted, a key focus is on offering assistance with job searches and training if necessary.
In general, the Interfaith Hospitality Network primary goals are to assist families in increasing their income and to help them secure stable, permanent housing. Almost all locations will require the individual to be aggressively seeking employment or be enrolled in job training. If someone needs a job, but lacks transportation, then some charities will offer other free gasoline vouchers or a volunteer will drive a client to the job site or interview.
Much more can be arranged by the churches as well as volunteers. The services noted above will make a big difference in the lives of families or homeless individuals who are desperately in need.
The aid and support is offered as a last resort. In general Family Promise serves families who do not qualify for state or federal government funded rent or housing assistance. This will then make their services a critical program in the community and INH will act as a safety net for families that are homeless. The program will accept individuals regardless of religion, faith or family structure. The different congregation go a long way towards helping families remain intact.
There are always new locations and churches being added to the network. The phone numbers may often change as well, but in general the cities covered include the following. To learn about a Family Promise program in your town or county, dial the local United Way 211 service and ask for referrals to it. If it is not available in your city, or if not qualified, then locate additional low income assistance programs.
California - Note, an affiliate may be available in Los Angeles as well.
San Fernando Valley
San Gabriel Valley
The demand for homeless prevention from IHN (Family Promise) in Florida is extensive. Solutions range from shelter to job programs.
North Central Palm Beach County
Santa Rosa County
South Palm Beach
St. Tammany Parish
North Shore Boston
Northland Kansas City
New Jersey - This is the state with the most local affiliates.
North Carolina - The leading Family Promise affiliated churches are below.
Dozens of congregations are part of the Family Promise network of churches in this state. The support is for the disadvantaged in Pennsylvania.
N.E. and N.W. Philadelphia
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