THE HOMELESS HOSPITALITY NETWORK
IHOC’s flagship program is the Homeless Hospitality Network which serves up to twelve men in an innovative, intensive, thirty week program. The Homeless Hospitality Network runs from November until May, during which time homeless men, are housed with various member congregations. The congregations serve as hosts for two week periods, providing meals, a warm, secure place to sleep, and fellowship. During the first ten weeks, the men gain valuable lessons by attending life skills classes on money management, job seeking, and developing interpersonal relationships while also working with nonprofit organizations such as the Goodwill Industries. Following the required training, the men begin an intensive job search. Once they obtain a job, the men must deposit 80 percent of their salaries into an IHOC managed account to be held for them until they secure permanent housing. Throughout the entire program the men participate in intensive drug and alcohol counseling and are expected to attend a minimum of two Narcotics Anonymous and/or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week. In addition to all these rehabilitative programs the congregations also make a strong effort to engage the clients during their spare time and keep them active with various recreational activities.
JOHN DAMBLY HOUSE
As part of its continuous, hands-on efforts to engage its past and present clients IHOC also operates a transitional housing program. Through the generosity of The Chapel of the Annunciation Episcopal Church (one of our many participating congregations), IHOC has the use of a house in Lawnside, NJ. The house is available to house up to five graduates of the Homeless Hospitality Network for a term of up to one year. These men must be willing to continue in a structured program which includes mandatory curfews, counseling and continuous employment. In exchange for living at the house the men are asked to pay a minimal guest fee which allows them to save the money they need to take the next step towards complete independence.
Pack-A-Sack is a program which delivers school supplies primarily to Camden children living in homeless shelters (some of the supplies go to other impoverished Camden children who, while not homeless, are still extremely needy). Participating in Pack-A-Sack is a great way to directly help less fortunate children. Supporting the program is easy. All you have to do is purchase a child size backpack and fill it with back-to-school items such as pens, pencils, rulers, folders and binders. Many of the children Pack-A-Sack targets are also in need of socks and underwear. Including these items along with the other school supplies is extremely helpful. Pack-A-Sack is held annually towards the beginning of each school year. You can check our website in July or August of each year to see where you can drop off items for the program.
Adopt-A-Box is another annual IHOC program. The purpose of Adopt-A-Box is to collect and distribute basic personal care items to men, women and children who are currently staying in shelters or using day centers. Like Pack-A-Sack, Adopt-A-Box is easy to participate in and is a great way to help those in need. All you need to do is take a shoe box and fill it with basic items such as: toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, baby shampoo, deodorant, underwear, shaving cream, hand lotions, razors, wash clothes, and socks. Once you have filled your shoebox or shoeboxes, mark each one “Man”, “Woman”, or “Child” based on the items you placed in it. IHOC typically runs this program in March, around which time you can check our website to find out where the drop off locations will be.