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.
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.
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 resiliency needed avoid a return to homelessness in the future. We 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.
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.
This includes ensuring 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.