IHN – It Takes a Village
Posted on November 4, 2019 | Posted by Mary Stoneback
Family Promise, or as most of the congregation knows it as IHN, is a program that helps homeless families in Colorado Springs. Usually four families will stay at churches for at least one week. They then have a stable environment for the night where food and fellowship are given to them. The cost of housing in the past few years has been rising which makes it more difficult for families to be able to afford housing.
40% of the homeless in Colorado Springs are families with children. Staying at shelters in not always an option for families and if they do take families, they are separated by gender for sleeping. Family Promise allows families to stay together, as it should be.
During the day the children go to school and the parents go to their jobs or to the Day House which is run by Family Promise. They are given resources to help them find a job and sustainable housing for them and their children.
It takes over 100 individual volunteers when the families of Family Promise stay at Ascension for 2 weeks. Here are the positions that need to be filled every day and what they entail.
Item Drop Off-There is a list of food staples that they will need during the week. Such as milk and juices, items to make lunches for the day, and other food that is available for them when needed throughout their stay
Breakfast-Bringing in muffins, breakfast sandwiches, Pop Tarts, etc. Foods that can be ‘Grab and Go’ are the best.
Supper-Someone, or families, will sign up to make a main dish, then others will bring sides, and finally someone for dessert. They drop the food off in the kitchen for that nights supper.
Supper Servers-At least 2 people will come and serve the food and eat with the families.
Evening Hosts-After they are done with supper, 2 evening hosts will come and socialize with the families and play with the children for an hour or 2 before bedtime.
Overnight Hosts-A male and a female stay overnight, just in case a situation occurs during the night that they need assistance with.
Ascension’s continued outpouring of support and time donated, Family Promise is able to help families live a sustainable life
In the past year Family Promise, including Ascension and other congregations, have done amazing things
- 100 individuals which includes 64 children have been helped
- Over 17,700 meals have been provided and served
- Nearly 80% of families in the program have moved onto stable housing
Thank you to Ascension for embracing these programs for the many years. We hope that in the future Ascension’s congregation continues their enthusiastic support for Family Promise and their amazing mission. Helping these families get back on their feet not only helps them but it also helps our entire community.
Ruth Albrent-Runnells, Ascension Lutheran Church IHN Volunteer Coordinator