What is Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) of Greater Cincinnati?
Our Emergency Shelter program currently mobilizes over 1,000 volunteers at 90 congregations. Twenty-seven “host” congregations (two per week) provide shelter sites and meals, and 63 “support” congregations work with the host congregations to provide volunteers, meals and supplies. This combination of a host and its supporting congregations is called a “network.” Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati currently runs two networks each week, allowing us to serve up to 8 families a week (32 individuals; two-thirds of whom are children). The guests arrive at the host congregation by bus between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and have a hot meal with the congregation volunteers, followed by activities (homework, crafts, games, television) and relaxation before bedtime. In the morning after breakfast, families pick up bag lunches and board the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati bus for the Day Center. Host Congregations are area churches and synagogues that provide three meals a day, private sleeping space, and volunteers to create a “home away from home” for the families. Support Congregations assist the Host Congregations by providing donated meals and volunteers.
The Day Center is the families’ “home base” for taking care of personal needs and working with our Shelter Case Manager. Together, they create a case plan to find stable housing and employment The case plan increases their likelihood of successful housing retention because it includes: Special attention to children’s health and education through our partnerships with the University of Cincinnati Colleges of Medicine and Nursing and Cincinnati Public Schools’ Project Connect; Capacity- building classes in budgeting, parenting, and life skills: and Connections to a variety of social service agencies providing assistance.
Cherry Grove UMC is a “support” congregation for Anderson Hills UMC.
We host and provide dinner on Thursday nights during Anderson Hills host weeks. Members can participate by providing part of the meal or hosting the evening meal.