The Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens and Clarke County goal is to reach out to the low income and help those who are living at a poverty level. Staff from the local churches want to help the client find alternatives to living at a poverty level. The goal is to help them become self-sufficient and graduate from poverty. During this time frame there may be emergency assistance for food, utilities, medications, shelter, rent, and gently used clothing.
Applicants to the Athens-Clarke County agency come from all backgrounds. Many are living on a fixed income. They may be disabled, elderly, or living on Social Security or a pension. Others are under-employed or unemployed or homeless.
Many churches also help, such as Central Presbyterian, Oconee Street United Methodist Church, First United Methodist, First United, and dozens of others. As long as Interfaith Hospitality Network has resources to assist the vulnerable, the non-profit will do their best to help with basic needs.
Interfaith Hospitality Network Emergency Shelter also provides case management and an assessment to clients. It not only provides short term accommodations, but while participating in the program, families as well as children or single moms receive thorough assessment and crisis intervention. Assistance also includes:
-Free food or a couple hot meals per day.
-Bus tokens for a job interview or medical appointment.
-Personal hygiene items as well as laundry facilities.
-Interfaith sponsored job training, counseling and computer training opportunities.
-Information on government and non-profit sponsored programs, including free child care, section 8 applications, legal aid, and health care.
There are many services arranged. The shelter offers several nights (when not filled) of temporary housing. Referrals are often needed by the agency as well.
Other programs are provided by IHN of Athens as well. Clients can have their medical needs met by local clinics, or enroll into transportation services. Also, shelter guests can use the showers or phones for job interview calls, and access free personal hygiene items.
The Interfaith Hospitality Network Soup Kitchen helps hundreds of struggling families and individuals per year. Clients are the unemployed, low income, homeless, and those who are just facing a one time crisis. Dedicated teams of volunteers from the agency as well as nearby churches and charities work there to support the clients of the kitchen. The goal is to offer healthy meals and food, as noted below.
The location is open most days of the year. There may be breakfast, lunches, dinners, or hot holiday meals as well. Anyone can stop by the location, and there are no qualifications required and also no questions are asked. All meals are served to the needy with respect.
In the fall, Interfaith Hospitality Network of Clarke County-Athens offers low-income families and those living at the shelter with children and seniors a little Holiday Help by providing them with free gifts, meals and clothing. There are many generous donors that adopt families or individuals, and purchase items from a wish list provided by the family. Then, over a period of time during December, the charity will help pass out the present to the needy in Athens.
Interfaith Hospitality Network Counseling Center has offered individuals to caring and skilled advice. All counseling and other information given out occurs in a safe and confidential environment. Dedicated staff members and volunteers from local churches in Athens Georgia offer low-income clients one on one, dynamic, holistic, strength focused counseling. Examples of what is covered includes Couples, Family, Adults and Youth, Individual Counseling Sessions, Traditional and Christian.
There may be a minimal cost for this. However the agency accepts most health insurance. For those clients without any form of proper health insurance, a sliding scale fee is established to accommodate all individuals who desire these supportive counseling services.
Interfaith Hospitality Network advises residents who are "unbanked and under-banked". IHN has information on local banks, credit unions, government agencies, various service organizations, businesses and that can help people access mainstream financial institutions.
This can break a cycle of payday loans in Athens Georgia and other barriers. Many who are under-banked typically rely on expensive check-cashing services for their financial needs. This is money being spent on fees would otherwise be available for other purposes, such as rent, food, or saving for the future.
The charity is based at 393 W Hancock Avenue # 1, Athens, GA 30601. However local churches may also have referrals, and the intake number is (706) 425-1881.
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