The Interfaith Hospitality Network
Short-term Temporary Shelter
Safe, comfortable sleeping rooms are provided to Family Promise guest families for a week at a time at the physical facilities of one of the member congregations of our Interfaith Hospitality Network. Volunteer members of the hosting congregation, with their support congregation partners, provide three meals and evening hospitality to the families while they are at the facilities of the hosting congregation. Family Promise staff provides training for volunteers, organizational support, and monitors the interaction between guest families and hosting congregation volunteers.
IHN Day House
Family Promise rents a Victorian house near the city center which serves as both staff offices and a Family Day House for our guest families. Since Family Promise provides shelter to families with children who are in homeless situations, we wanted our Day House to be as close to a home-like environment as possible and not “industrial” looking or feeling. The building is on the bus line which is convenient to the offices of most social service agencies and three of the city's major parks. The Family Day House provides a space for guest families to shower/bathe, wash laundry, prepare formula and food for infants, and prepare snacks for the older children for when they return from school, and to receive mail and phone calls. In the children's enrichment center there is a library and computers are available for the children to use for school work and relaxation. Also, there is an outdoor play space for the younger children and a basketball hoop for the older children. The Day House is a place where families can play or just relax together.
Volunteer Service Program
The mission of the Volunteer Service Program is to assure that IHN guest families experience hospitality provided by volunteers while they reside in safe and comfortable space to search for employment, recreate, share meals and sleep.
Insuring that the hosting facility is safe and the volunteers have been trained to respond to emergency situations in a calm and confident manner.
Each congregation has sufficient number of trained volunteers for their hosting week to set up family bedrooms, prepare meals, welcome and host families during their week stay and provide after dinner activities.
Training volunteers to be sensitive to the families' situations and stresses and assure that they are prepared to be understanding, compassionate and patient as they interact with them.
Assuring that each congregation implements its weekly hosting plan with energy and goodwill, and is prepared to deal with unexpected surprises as they become known.
Assuring that the Family Day House and grounds are maintained to a level where everything operates efficiently and the building is comfortable and welcoming for guest families.
Our Case Management services stress the long-term importance for our guest families to build a healthy network of relationships within the community which can provide the resources and resiliencey needed avoid a return to homelessness in the future.
To increase the ability of guest parents to make appropriate decisions in managing their personal finances.
Help parents create or improve their resume, prepare for employment interviews, and acquire appropriate apparel and personal appearance to meet prospective employers.
The family services manager provides simple and practical techniques to help parents to reduce their stress and improve communication with their children. Practical tools and techniques that help adults achieve respectful, healthy relationships with their children are discussed.
The family services manager assists guest families in obtaining affordable housing and educates them on ways to prevent a return to homelessness. Through the budgeting section of the Financial Literacy program, shelter expenses in addition to the rent, are discussed and families are encouraged to get and evaluate complete cost information from potential landlords.
Family Promise of Colorado Springs is well known and respected within the Colorado Springs/El Paso County community. As a result, we receive many phone calls or drop-in contacts for various types of assistance. For those who require assistance that we do not provide every effort is made to connect them to the agency that is most appropriate to providing the requested assistance. It is not unusual for Family Promise to receive scores of phone calls and dozens of drop-in contacts each month.
Take Home Technology
When a family enters the IHN program they are given exclusive use of a desktop or laptop computer with Internet access at the Family Day House (donated by many local businesses and organizations). The computer provides them the ability to create resumes, complete online employment applications, research employment opportunities and affordable housing, plus keep in touch with friends and relatives through their email account. A group of volunteer mentors have been trained to provide parents with the education they need to get the most from their time at their computer. Upon successful completion of the IHN program the family is encouraged to take the computer with them to their new home. This allows them to keep all of the documents they have created while in the program and maintain their electronic associations. Their children will also be able to use the computer for school work, research projects and enjoyment.