Interfaith Hospitality Network
Working with a partnership of congregations
IHN within a community helps families who are facing homelessness. The program mobilizes community resources: houses of worship for lodging, congregations for volunteers, social service agencies for assessment and referrals, and existing facilities for day programs. This strategy enables networks to help homeless families achieve lasting independence at a third of the cost of traditional shelters.
St. Mary's hosts families four times a year, providing lodging, dinner and hospitality for our IHN guests.Volunteers are the heart of the program. They can share their time and talents in many ways, usually just for a few hours every three months. Volunteers are asked to assist with cooking and serving dinners, playing with children and helping them with homework, staying overnight with guest families and just being there for children and their families, showing them compassion and respect, and sharing a sense of community.
IHN guests will arrive at St. Mary's on November 3.
Interested in volunteering to help make these families' stay a little more comfortable? Brief job descriptions are listed below.
Meal Provider (7 nights)
- Bring a ready-to-serve dinner to St. Mary’s Parish Hall before families arrive each night by 6:00 p.m.
- Bring enough food to share with the families and all volunteers who will be staying for dinner
- Help serve dinner & socialize with families during & after dinner if possible
The following church groups regularly provide dinner for 1 night each cycle:
- St. Paul's Lutheran Church
- Zion Baptist
- St. George's Episcopal
- Ardmore Presbyterian
Dinner Host (1-2 needed per night)
- Arrive at Parish Hall around 6:00 p.m. to share dinner with families, converse, socialize & help with children
- Help with babysitting between 7:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. if needed while mothers attend classes or counseling sessions being conducted on site
Overnight Host (1-2 people per night) (St. Mary’s covers 5 nights per cycle)
- Arrive by 8 p.m. and get an update from a volunteer on premises (there must always be a volunteer on site when families are present)
- Introduce yourself to families
- Lock Parish Hall door around 9:00 p.m. for the night
- May leave in the morning after the families have been picked up for the day
- Before leaving turn off all lights & fans and leave Parish Hall door unlocked for the day. On Sunday morning, help coordinator put away mattresses & bag laundry.