Many churches and religious organizations work with Interfaith Hospitality Network to help people who are less fortunate or don’t have a home. There are many programs available to help those in need, such as emergency shelter, permanent housing, and more. The company provides a variety of services to help clients.
The Essex County charities and IHN work together to provide emergency housing to families and individuals in need throughout the year. The agency will not have a designated shelter site, but different local families will be housed at different churches or synagogues each week. Each site has a private bedroom, hospitality room, and other areas where guests can relax, socialize, do homework, or watch television.
The Interfaith Hospitality Network van service is available to families during the day to help them with transportation needs. The IHN Family Resource Center provides services and resources to help families become self-sufficient. Families can meet with case managers to create achievable goals and plans.
This process helps with finding housing and employment. This means that day care can help not just the children, but also the parents of those children, including single mothers. This can be a huge benefit for families who might not otherwise be able to afford quality child care. There are opportunities to learn budget management, credit counseling, and other topics like parenting and nutrition through workshops and job training. The Center also provides access to laptops, washers and dryers, phones, and showers. There are also financial aid options available to clients, such as help with security deposits or public benefits like section 8.
The food program at the shelter is run entirely by volunteers. This includes cooking and serving meals to guests, as well as packing up a lunch to go for those who are leaving for the day. The Interface Hospitality Network Emergency Shelter Program relies on the support of many local faith-based groups to provide shelter and assistance to those in need. Some of the participating faith-based groups include Bloomfield Presbyterian on the Green, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, B’nai Israel, Elmwood West – Elmwood United Presbyterian Church, Mount Hermon Baptist Church, Saint Philomena’s Church, and B’nai Keshet, among others.
There are around 20 other churches in Essex County that also have shelters. Some examples of these churches include Calvary Baptist Church, Morrow Memorial Methodist, Church of St. Andrew and Holy Communion, and Union Congregational.
At the IHN Family Resource Center, all guests who are accepted into the shelter program may be able to get free phone and Internet access. This will also give them the opportunity to take classes to improve their skills, such as GED courses, and work towards becoming more independent.
The Interfaith Hospitality Network Permanent Housing Program, which is also known as Home for Good, exists to help clients and single parents find permanent housing. Other organizations are involved in helping to address and resolve the underlying causes of homelessness.
A strategic partnership between the state and federal government has provided funds to place select families in IHN-run apartments. A case manager will work with a family to help them achieve their goal of independence. The client and case manager will work together to improve money management skills, knowledge of wellness and nutrition, and other skills.
The After-School Program is a program that is held at the Resource Center. This service is provided free of charge to children who live in shelters or in permanent housing, such as apartments. The main goal of this program is to help reduce the negative effects of homelessness on children, while also relieving the parents’ financial burden.
The program provides enrichment activities, academic classes and education on healthy living. Teachers from Montclair High School offer free tutoring to help students improve their proficiency in language arts, social studies, science, math, and history.
While the main focus of Interfaith Hospitality Network is providing housing, they also want their clients to be stable. The address for finding information on programs or local churches is 46 Park St., Montclair, New Jersey 07042. To reach a customer service representative, please call 973-746-1400.