Good Shepherd Church ... Interfaith Hospitality Network
(507) 289-1748 559 20 St SW, Rochester, MN 55902
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Nine churches formed the Rochester area chapter of the national Interfaith Hospitality Network in January 2001. This year volunteers from fifteen host churches and twenty-one buddy churches participate. For the first two years, Good Shepherd Church was a buddy with a host church, Redeemer Lutheran. Following completion of our expansion, we became a host church in January, 2003.
Good Shepherd serves as a host church to provide temporary shelter and meals to homeless families (at least one child and one parent). We use our building for overnight shelter and provide meals for up to 14 people for one week at a time, four times a year. Two buddy churches, Evangel Methodist and Church of the Savior, partner with us to provide staff for a host week. At the day center, social workers assisted by volunteers help the families in finding housing, getting the children enrolled in school, applying for jobs, and other services.
Families receive supper, lodging, and breakfast at the church; then go during the day to the Day Center for housing search, job searchskill development, etc.
Orientation sessions are provided for volunteers about once a month.
Volunteer roles include:
Interfaith Hospitality Network is one of four programs of Family Promise whose goal is to mobilize communities to help low-income families achieve sustainable independence. IHN chapters are active in over eighty cities in the US and it is working. 70% of the families who participate in IHN programs have found permanent homes and become active members of the community.
The local Day Center is at 811 7 Street NW, across from Cooke Park. Joanne Markee is director of Greater Rochester Interfaith Hospitality Network (GRIHN). Because of the success of GRIHN, Family Promise has appointed Joanne an IHN Associate for Opening Training. She will continue as Director of GRIHN, while conducting about 6 trainings a year in communities about to launch an IHN program.
Contact Joann Holt-Angerman, Phyllis Hammes (Evangel Methodist), or Kris Wittenberg (Church of the Savior) to volunteer.
In the first two years after becoming a host church, 70 IHN guests (20 families) stayed in our church for up to a week at a time.
Last modified: November 16, 2010.