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How It Works

The IHN program provides an ideal solution for family homelessness because it is easily replicable but also flexible enough to address the needs of each community.  Family Promise provides extensive support during the creation of the program and a wide-range of ongoing services to Affiliates currently in operation.

There are five key components in each IHN.

1. Hosts
Hosting rotates weekly among the 10 to 13 host congregations in a Network. In turn, each host congregation provides lodging, three meals daily, and hospitality.

2. Day Center
Guests use a local day center from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, where the IHN director, a professional social worker, provides case management services. There, guests pursue employment, tend pre-school children, shower, and do laundry. The day center provides guests with a mailing address and a base for housing and employment searches. Many guests are employed during the day, and older children attend school.

3. VolunteersAn IHN volunteer reads to guest children.
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.

  • Cooking and serving meals
  • Playing with children and helping them with homework
  • Staying overnight with guest families
  • Providing specialized services, like resume writing or financial counseling
  • Just being there for children and their families, showing them compassion and respect, and sharing a sense of community

4. Social Service Agencies
Local social service agencies refer families to the Network. The agencies may also help guests find housing, jobs, and benefits.

5. Transportation
An IHN van transports guests to and from the day center.