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A community response for homeless families Part 1 FP NNCC


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Title: A community response for homeless families Part 1 FP NNCC

A community response for
homeless families Part 1
Family Promise
  • Interfaith Hospitality Network
  • Just Neighbors
  • Family Mentoring
  • Interfaith Advocacy Program
  • Community Initiatives

Interfaith Hospitality Network
  • National Program
  • Summit, New Jersey
  • I25,000 Volunteers
  • 4,800 Congregations
  • Over 150 Networks
  • 40 States
  • Point of Light Award from the President

Our Mission
  • Helping homeless families regain their
  • Providing congregations mission opportunities.
  • Creating initiatives that serve community needs.
  • Volunteer opportunities for people of all ages.
  • Advocating for the homeless.

The Interfaith Hospitality Network
  • Helping homeless families regain their

The IHN program accomplishes this by
  • Mobilization and cooperation of community
    resources to provide shelter, meals and
    assistance through use of
  • Congregational facilities for overnight
  • Caring volunteers to staff the congregations and
    offer their hospitality to families in need.
  • Existing facility for day center.
  • Social service agencies for screening and
  • A Network Director for case management, family
    advocacy, liaison to agencies, etc.

The host congregation helps by providing
  • Hospitality.
  • Safe, homelike accommodations.
  • Healthy, home-cooked meals.
  • Friendly support.
  • A place where guests can maintain their dignity.

The Interfaith Hospitality Network
  • Three Guiding Principles for operating a
    successful network
  • ? Flexibility
  • ? Communication
  • ? Teamwork!

The Networks Guests
  • The Network Director provides an overview of
    the guests that volunteers will meet in their
    congregations. Each Network takes
  • 3-5 families at a time (up to 14 people).
  • No single men.
  • No persons with an active substance abuse
    problem, serious untreated mental illness, or
    risk of domestic violence.
  • All have criminal background checks completed
    before entering the network.

The Networks Guests
  • Guests are
  • Single mothers with children.
  • Single expectant mother.
  • Two-parent families.
  • Single fathers with children.
  • Employed but cannot afford a home on the wages
    they earn, or unemployed.

The Networks Guests
  • The reasons for homelessness vary from family
    to family. The root cause is the lack of
    affordable housing that meets the needs of low-in
    come people.

The Networks Guests
  • Precipitating causes may include
  • Loss of job.
  • Divorce/separation.
  • Family violence.
  • Major illness.
  • Other family problems.

The Network Components
  • Day Center
  • Network Director
  • Transportation
  • Overnight Accommodations
  • Support from Volunteers

Day Center
  • Where is it?
  • Address 2104 St. James Church Road, Wilmington,
    DE 19808  
  • Phone 302-998-2222
  • Email info_at_familypromisede.org
  •  How is it staffed?
  • Director, Office Volunteers
  • What services are provided?
  • Laundry, showers, telephone, address, computer,
    case management

Network Director
  • Manager of the Network.
  • The one to call with questions.
  • Liaison to social service agencies.
  • Case manager for Network families.
  • Employed by the Networks Board of Trustees.
  • Tamikah Gowans Tgowans_at_familypromisede.org

  • 15 passenger Network van
  • Guests cars
  • Public transportation

Host Congregations
  • Who are they?
  • Grace Lutheran
  • St. Marks UMC
  • Westminster Presbyterian
  • Hockessin Baptist
  • St. Philips Lutheran
  • Hockessin UMC
  • White Clay Creek Presbyterian
  • St. James Mill Creek Episcopal
  • Limestone Presbyterian
  • Good Shepherd Lutheran
  • Aldersgate UMC
  • Congregation 12
  • Congregation 13
  • How many?
  • Need 13 for full rotation

The Congregations Accommodations
  • Hospitality Areas
  • Kitchen (cooking and serving areas)
  • Dining Area
  • Lounge Area
  • Sleeping Areas
  • Storage Areas (for linens, kitchen staples, etc.)
  • Any other area
  • Playroom?
  • Study or quiet area?

The Congregations Accommodations
  • Facility Issues
  • Security, night lock-up
  • Emergency exits
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Laundry
  • Telephone use
  • Housekeeping chores
  • Kitchen use
  • Other

Most congregations do not have laundry
facilities. The guests do their laundry at the
Day Center. Congregations will launder bedding,
etc. between host weeks. If they do, set
policies for use.
Support Congregations
  • Who are they?
  • St. John the Beloved Roman Catholic Church
  • St. Stephens Lutheran
  • Trinity Community Church
  • What do they do?
  • Support a host congregation
  • Work at the Day Center
  • Drive the Van
  • Whatever else is needed!

The Network Committee
  • Meets regularly (quarterly?) to share information
    and discuss concerns.
  • Works on Network-wide problem or needs.
  • Helps to foster community and hospitality from
    congregation to congregation.
  • Congregational Coordinator is Kymm.Hockman_at_familyp
  • But Tamikah runs the show!

Partnering Agencies
  • Who are they?
  • DHR, FEMA, MHA, CSS, Churches, Food Banks, 211
    Connect, Pregnancy Centers, MPS
  • What services do they provide?
  • Referrals, Financial assistance, Section VIII
  • Clothing, Parenting/Budgeting classes
  • Transportation, Furniture, Jobs, Child care

Workshop - Budgeting
See Handout
  • 15 minutes
  • Visit the Guest Room

A community response for
homeless families Part 2 At the Host
The Network Director outlines the recommended
hosting shifts
  • Evening (530 830 PM), 2 volunteers.
  • Meal prepared and ready to serve between 600 and
    630 pm.
  • Overnight (830 pm 700 am), 2 volunteers (one
    male, one female).
  • Breakfast (if different from overnight, 6 730
    am), 1 2 volunteers.
  • Morning times will depend on when children need
    to catch their busses. Times will be communicated
    and should only change when a new family is added
    or completes the program.

Staffing The Network Roles and Responsibilities
Primary Coordinator(s)
  • Manager of congregations program.
  • Available to volunteers to answer questions,
    discuss concerns.
  • Involved in planning and implementation of
    orientation program, for congregations volunteer
  • Greets the guest(s) on Sunday.
  • The person to call in an emergency or with a
  • Determines scheduling needs, along with assistant
  • Serves on Network Committee.

Assistant Coordinators
  • Host Coordinator
  • Makes schedule, ensures that shifts are covered.
  • Serves as alternate to Primary Coordinator on
    Network Committee
  • Meal Coordinator
  • 1. Schedules volunteers to prepare dinners.
  • 2. Ensures that meals are nutritious, balanced
    and not duplicated during the week.
  • Supply Coordinator
  • 1. In charge of keeping supplies and staples
  • Activities Coordinator
  • 1. Plans special activities for children and
  • 2. Ensures that there is an adequate supply of
  • Donations Coordinator
  • 1. Coordinates donations to guest families
    (clothing, furniture, household goods, financial
  • Transportation Coordinator Van Drivers

Volunteer Hosts
  • The Primary Coordinator discusses the role and
    responsibilities of volunteer hosts.

Key Points About Volunteers
  • What makes Family Promise (FP) different from
    shelters and other services for the homeless is
  • FP is staffed almost exclusively by volunteers.
  • FP volunteers offer their own congregations as
    places where homeless families receive respite
    from their struggle to attain self sufficiency.
  • Volunteers put the hospitality in Interfaith
    Hospitality Networks by providing kindness,
    acceptance, and warmth.
  • Volunteers can develop relationships with guests
    that help them in their efforts to solve their
    problems and regain independence.

What Volunteers Do in the Network
  • Serve as hosts Welcome guests, answer
    questions, assist with guests day-to-day needs,
    play with children, help with homework, share a
    meal, etc.
  • Prepare meals These volunteers may be the
    evening hosts on the night they bring dinner, or
    they may choose to drop off the meal they have
    prepared at home for the evening volunteers to
  • Serve as Coordinators (as described above).

The Role of Volunteers
  • The role of volunteers is to create a homelike
    atmosphere where guests can receive what they
    need most rest, rejuvenation, hope, respect,
    self-esteem, confidence boosting, a sense of
    control in their lives.
  • The Network should be a place where guests are
    free from personal questions or comments that
    undermine their confidence or increase their
    burden or guilt.

Other Things Volunteers Can Do
  • The exciting thing about the Network program,
    is that once volunteers get involved with
    homeless families on a personal basis, they often
    wish to do more. Volunteers, in conjunction with
    Coordinators and the Network Director, may get
    involved in some of the following ways
  • Act as advocates for individual guests by
    assisting them in their search for housing,
    employment and/or training.
  • Work on behalf of homeless people in general
    (i.e., legislatively, working with low-income
    housing groups, etc.).
  • Assist the Network with other ongoing needs such
    as fundraising, public relations, newsletters,

Characteristics of Volunteers Are
  • An open and caring attitude is the most
    important attribute of a good volunteer.
    Volunteers can be a helping force in a guests
    life if they approach the job with respect and
    compassion for their guests.

Policies and Procedures
  • General
  • Family behavior
  • Housekeeping
  • Dismissal

Host Staffing
  • Minimum of two, maximum of four hosts on duty
    (more than four hosts is too many and becomes

Safe Sanctuaries
  • This is not a requirement of FP, but most UMC
    churches practice this and it is good general
  • Volunteer Background Checks (go to United
    Methodist Church Web site and poke around LOTS
    of info.)
  • Two adult rule 2 non-related adults or one with
    an open door and floater walking around.
  • Open doors or windows in doors Keep doors open
    when hosts and guests are together.
  • No need for volunteers in the guest rooms, unless
  • Knock before entering a closed guest room door.

Procedures for Network Guests
  • Guests sign a set of guidelines upon entering the
    Network. (Will be forwarded when final)
  • Volunteers should be familiar with guidelines.
  • Guidelines should be posted.
  • These guidelines are the key ground rules guests
    can be asked to leave the program if they do not
    abide by them.
  • If a guest disregards a guideline report to
    Coordinator and/or Network Director as soon as

  • Communication link between volunteers,
    Coordinators, the Network Director and other
  • Record only factual information, not opinions.
  • Do record an impression of an activity if it will
    be helpful for other volunteers, i.e., children
    really enjoyed making cookies with volunteer.
  • Logbook MUST be kept in secure place it may
    contain confidential information and should never
    be accessible to guests or other individuals
    using the congregations facility.
  • After the host week, the Primary Coordinator
    shares pertinent information in the logbook with
    the Primary Coordinator at the next host
  • The log book is NOT a sign-in/sign-out book.
    Guests should either let hosts know their
    whereabouts or sign-in/sign-out on a sheet of
    paper that is not part of the logbook.

Guestbook Plus
  • Local and optional
  • Welcome notes from Pastor and congregation
  • Rules for local church
  • Map of local church
  • Any area resources (library with computers?)
  • Blank pages for guests to write in
  • Welcome bags for individuals (optional)
  • Folder with rules map for each family

Meal Preparation
  • The Meal Coordinator addresses the following
  • Organizes volunteers to provide healthy,
    nutritionally-balanced meals.
  • Food for the evening meal is usually prepared in
    the volunteers homes and brought to the
    congregation for serving.
  • Evening hosts dine with guests (evening hosts may
    or may not have been the volunteers who prepared
    the meal). Meat and potatoes types of meals
    generally work best avoid fancy cooking and
    one-dish kinds of casseroles/meals.

Meal Preparation, contd
  • Bag lunches are prepared by the guests during the
    evening (the Meal and Supply Coordinators may
    work jointly to ensure that lunch meats, cheese,
    peanut butter and jelly, bread, fruit, juice
    boxes, etc. remain stocked during host week).
  • Breakfasts are relatively simple, usually
    uncooked (i.e., cereal, toast, muffins, frozen
    waffles, coffee/tea, juice, milk).
  • Weekend food may be more elaborate (such as
    pancakes or eggs for breakfast) or more casual
    (such as a hot dog and hamburger cookout for
    dinner), etc.

Meal Preparation, contd
  • If you have cooks who can accommodate special
    requests, Coordinators may wish to ask their
    guests early in the week what meal they would
    particularly enjoy and try to accommodate their

  • Encourage guests to share in housekeeping duties
    (most guests will want to help.)

Recreational Events and Activities
  • Games and activities may be organized for
    children on a regular basis but should be kept
    simple, especially during the week.
  • Activities Coordinator (if applicable) organizes
    weekend trips, etc.

Weekend Activities
  • Note Beginning in May, Host Congregations will
    be responsible to cover weekend days at the Day
    Center after their host week.
  • Might take the opportunity to plan an outing or
    movie day or something.

  • Donations of furniture, household goods and
    clothes (unless of immediate need) should be held
    until family is settled in permanent housing.
  • Donations Coordinator (if applicable) organizes
    donations and ensures that some families are not
    favored over others with material gifts.
  • Any financials gifts to guests should be
    coordinated with the Network Director to ensure
    that they are wisely directed.
  • All Donations should be made to the Network,
    which will then give it to the targeted guest
    this is the only way to secure a legal tax

Medications and Medical Needs
  • All medications MUST be stored securely each
    family gets a personal, child-proof lock box for
    their medications.
  • Clearly labeled lock boxes may be stored in the
    refrigerator for those medications requiring
  • Do not recommend medicines give guests their
    options and let them make their own decisions.
  • An on-call physician/nurse should be available at
    all times number should be listed on emergency
    form, near phone(s).

Medical Emergencies
  • The Coordinator gives volunteers the
    information to fill in on the Emergency
    Procedures form in their manuals and states where
    the form will be posted in the congregation.
  • Emergency Procedures form MUST be posted by all
  • Follow steps listed on Emergency Procedures form.

Parenting Issues
  • There are a number of issues related to
    parenting. The two main issues are
  • The right (and responsibility) of guests to
    parent their own children and
  • In rare circumstances, the need for volunteers to
    protect a child if his/her safety is endangered.

Parenting Issues
  • Volunteers should not intervene or contradict
    a guests instructions to his or her children.
    The parents right to parent must be respected.

  • Parents are responsible for their children.
  • Always ask permission before giving things to
    children or engaging them in an activity.
  • If a parent is having trouble, offer to assist.
  • If child abuse or neglect is observed or
    suspected, volunteer MUST immediately contact
    Network Director or the person on call for
    guidance and appropriate referral. If child is
    in immediate danger of being hurt, volunteers
    should first call the police.

Conduct and Discipline
  • Everyone is expected to behave in a courteous and
    respectful manner.
  • Immediately report any behavior of an abusive
    nature to the Coordinator and Network Director.

Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs
  • No smoking is permitted in the building. There
    should be a designated smoking area outside.
  • Alcohol and drugs are strictly prohibited.
  • Volunteers should NOT confront guests who are
    under the influence. They should notify the
    Coordinator and Network Director as soon as

Spiritual Nurturing
  • Volunteers may be tempted to share religious
    beliefs with guests. However, it is
    inappropriate, unless the guest specifically
  • Inviting guests to attend services is fine, but
    do not push.
  • Provide transportation as necessary if guests are
    interested in attending services.

  • Do not discuss any information about guests with

Bringing Children to Volunteer at the Network
  • The IHN brochure, Mommy, why dont they have a
    home? offers suggestions and guidelines to
    volunteers who would like their children to
    accompany them during their volunteer shifts.
  • Volunteers should receive a copy of the brochure
    with their handout.

  • Think about childrens participation before
    bringing them to the Network. Determine what they
    will do while they are there (play with guests
    children, help with clean-up, etc.) so that they
    have a role and are not just standing around.
  • Parents should
  • 1. Prepare children beforehand by providing age
    appropriate information about the program and
  • 2. Follow up by giving children the time and
    attention they may need to discuss their Network

Policies and Procedures Summary
  • The Key Points are
  • Use your best judgment.
  • Use common sense.
  • Discuss things with other volunteers on duty.
  • Call Coordinator for guidance.
  • Call Network Director.

The Hospitality Code
  • Its nice to hear your name.
  • Labeling people creates invisible barriers.
  • Personal questions can be tough to answer.
  • Never assume that a guest cant hear you.
  • Everyone can use a little privacy.
  • Sometimes we need to spend time alone.
  • We all have bad days.
  • We understand and care for our children.
  • Parents need a break.
  • Adult guests should be treated like adults.

Wish List Create your own
  • TV , VCR, DVD
  • Baby bath tub
  • Area rug
  • Book Case
  • Love seat
  • Floor Lamps
  • Changing Table
  • Computer
  • Portable Crib

Final Checklist
  • Gather as a church team and discuss your notes.
  • What remains to be done before hosting?
  • Create checklist with task and responsible person
    and timing.

Thank You for Coming! Drive Safely!
FP NNCC Training Schedule (Draft 1)
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