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February 14, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 14, 2011

The Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network is a model organizations both in terms of service and advocacy.

I teach a class on housing policy and I make sure that the director always has a spot on my syllabus so she can give her insights into poverty, homelessness and contemporary
housing policy.

They are worthy of many many awards.

Sincerely,

Anne Shlay
Professor of Sociology
Temple University

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am a member of Germantown Jewish Centre which works to house the Network residents on a two week shift. I have volunteered and met with clients.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

End homelessness so that the organization could spend its time and resources on promoting other issues associated with affordable housing.

February 14, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
February 14, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

This shelter is truly like a home. The staff go above and beyond. I was homeless and didn't manage money well. NPIHN gave me a sense of security and stability. The budgeting class they provided helped me tremendously. I still use the worksheets to this day. Eight years later, I am now a homeowner.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was homeless.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Wouldn't make any changes. As long as they continue to have staff and volunteers with hearts of compassion, they will continue to save people from homelessness.

February 14, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 14, 2011

NPIHN does a remarkable job of helping people overcome the shame and stigma of experiencing homelessness. And they help people be able to talk about their experience to others in such a way that they really understand.

One experience really sticks in my mind. When the housing market first
crashed, we were working together to talk with Senator Specter about the need for housing to be included in the stimulus package to jump start Low Income Housing Tax Credit and to provide homelessness assistance. A young woman joined our delegation. She was so lovely and well-dressed, articulate and able to talk about her experience. She had become homeless when she went back to school so she could improve opportunities for her son.

The Senator's staff really understood from her experience that there are people who are working hard and playing by the rules and still can't afford a place to live. That was NPIHN.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen the results. I have met the families going through the program and seen their lives change.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give it more money to serve more people and help them get permanent homes.

February 13, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 13, 2011

We all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and that is what NPIHN does. I had known about and supported the organization prior to volunteering. However when I spent time with the families, I was able to understand more fully the need for and direct impact of what NPIHN offerred and accomplished. I felt grateful to be able to offer some respite for the parents in the form of relaxation and yoga. I know the adults in the program have many requirements to be in this program, along with the challenges they face in their lives. They were so appreciative to come to a class that was solely for their self care and to de-stress. I know that this and other classes and support NPIHN gives to the families makes a lasting difference in their lives as they get a fresh start.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in a volunteer capacity.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

From feedback the participants gave me at the time, it seemed that they did need more time for activities or classes like relaxation, etc. that they were not "required" to learn something. I realize there is only so much time in a day and they need to run a focused program to help these families get back on their feet and take full responsibility for their lives. It's an idealistic thought, but if I or someone had the time, how good it would be to start the day with a mini stress sessions a.m. and p.m.

February 13, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 13, 2011

I taught at The Crefeld School in Chestnut Hill, and my Community Service group crocheted blankets to donate to NPIHN. When we visited, Rachel Falkove, the Executive Director, sat with my students and me for an hour discussing what the organization does. She inspired these young people and gave them a clearer picture of what it's like for youth to live without homes, and how easy it can be for families to fall into homelessness. Rachel took time out of her day to sit with my small group of students and share her wisdom with them. They were impressed that she had taken the time, and they learned a lot! NPIHN's work in the community is notable in many ways.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Thank God, I haven't had to use NPIHN's services myself. But, I can see the good it does for people who need it, and I am reassured that it is there.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would pay the staff more and hire more staff to help find more jobs for clients. In this down economy, there are more people than ever in need of help.

February 12, 2011

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February 12, 2011

This first rate organization strives to keep the fabric of human decency tight as people's lives unravel due to poverty, underemployment, and unemployment. They represent what's best about our human experience in reaching out to those who struggle to meet our most basic daily needs.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Witnessing the power of support to keep a family together

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fund the many great programs better.

February 12, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 12, 2011

This first rate organization strives to keep the fabric of human decency tight as people's lives unravel due to poverty, underemployment, and unemployment. They represent what's best about our human experience in reaching out to those who struggle to meet our most basic daily needs.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Witnessing the power of support to keep a family together

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fund the many great programs better.

February 11, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

This is a wonderful organization. IT brings together those needing help and those providing it in a very special way so that there can actually be a connection. This helps break down stereotypes and assumptions about those struggling financially. The guests in the program receive excellent service in terms of shelter, food and guidance, but most of all friendship.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Changes in awareness and attitudes among those who help with the program.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide more funding so they could expand their services.

February 11, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

I have been involved with the program since the first meeting to explore the viability of the approach for Northwest Philadelphia. I have been a strong supporter since those early days and continue to volunteer weekly when our church hosts the families.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Experiencing how it educates the congregation to the needs of the homeless.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

provide more resources.

February 11, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 11, 2011

I worked as a volunteer with the NPIHN during my second year of seminary at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and I have led mission trips with my youth to work in the city with this organization. Working with the staff at NPIHN I have learned so much about the needs of homeless and low income families in the Philadelphia area and what it take to offer them support and hope, while still helping them maintain their dignity. This network is so special for many reasons, however I don't think this box is big enough to name the all, so I'll stick to the that have moved me the most. One is that NPIHN takes care of the whole family and addresses both the immediate needs of the guest, as well as helping them build long term goals to improve their lives. They help people learn money management skills, get job training, obtain education, and gain access to the resources they need to avoid becoming homeless again in the future. They also work with the children in the program to help them deal with the stress and embarrassment that often comes from being homeless. They help get kids re-enrolled in school and provide different therapy options to help give kids a more stable lifestyle. I also have to praise NPIHN for not just looking to alleviate the immediate suffering caused by homelessness, but for also addressing the root causes of it by advocating for fair housing practices, improved low income housing, and other important legislation that helps prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place. Finally as a pastor, I have to commend that they do all this while working with the many wonderful faith communities in the Germantown area. It is not easy to do any of the things I have mentioned above, however to do them and unit people of different faith backgrounds together around the common goal of caring for those most vulnerable in our society is truly special. I really can't say enough good things about this organization, it's leadership, and it's program. I'm proud to have been a part of it, and proud to help it in any way I can.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Hearing the news that families that were in the program when I was there are doing well, as well as hearing the impact that working with and witnessing this program has had on the youth and adults I took on mission trips. I also know that I personally have grown in my understanding of poverty in America and the challenges of be homeless in our society.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

That it be larger, at present they can only support a small number of families and it would be wonderful to see this program expand so it could do more.

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