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Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network Inc

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Community Stories

69 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Andrew71

Advisor

Rating: 5

BY Andrew M. Brasfield

Numerous times in the summer of 2014 I brought the past days of a 2014 day calendar that had patterns of airplanes to the new Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting House to play with the children. I also brought scissors, tape, glue stick and a stapler to assemble the toys with the children. The boys liked it. I told them I didn’t want to hear that they were making paper airplanes in school! They liked playing kick ball outdoors the best anyway.

I bought and cooked Angel hair pasta & three sauces at home for the dietary needs of the Philadelphia homeless families for the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting House, on Mermaid Lane, in Philadelphia, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. In our home, a relative made salad and I bought the salad dressing & garlic bread. I paid for the meal at Aldi. For dessert, because of dietary needs of the clients I bought plums and flavored gum. A request from one child was pizza however I was told that was a party food and was ruled out.

Classrooms for First Day School were made into rooms for the clients. The meeting house has a shower, clothes washer and clothes drier. In the kitchen it has a dish washer, a dish washing station, kitchen sinks.

As a Caucasian and Native American someone from the Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting House made a tepee with a brown tarp on the building’s grounds. In talking with the clients they could see I was Caucasian and I mentioned I was Native American. On the collegiate level it provides sociology I’d like to study.

I would like to earn a Certificate of Nonprofit Administration from West Chester University Of Pennsylvania. I’ve applied for a full scholarship. With that diploma I’d also like to pursue a nonprofit business TV comedy. You only live once!

I heard talk that the former Chestnut Hill Meeting House could be used as a Philadelphia homeless family shelter, however, extensive renovations are necessary. The neighbor on the adjacent property might rule against that habitation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have volunteered for this organization now for several years. It provides temporary housing in churches and synagogues for people and families who are awaiting more permanent housing. We have cooked meals, as well as served and eaten with the families. Our children have been able to be involved and the experience puts a very human face on issues of unemployment, homeless and the need for dignity and respect.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

this charity has helped many families in the past. families that has seen some of the roughest times in their lives its comformting to know that somone will be there to offer there support , and understanding. NOONE plans on becoming homeles. so please consider this charity for the 5,000

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

NPIHN is a phenomenally successful faith based shelter program for homeless families. Operated out of churches and synagogues and relying heavily on volunteers, this organization has ushered many families through the maze of social services and educational barriers to permanent self-sufficiency. Families move from church to church during and average stay of six months. They are provided with counseling, classes in financial management, a savings match program, assistance finding jobs, finding transitional housing programs, finding permanent housing, help with school uniforms and supplies, and new community connections. Graduates of the program come back to help others once they are on their feet, and they refer people. What greater endorsement can a program have?

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

NPHIN is an incredible organization in the local area. It serves homeless families by empowering them to move from destitution and powerlessness to becoming successful citizens. Clients are served in tangible ways: they learn effective parenting skills, money management, food nutrition, how to dress for success, etcetera. I have contributed suits and clothing appropriate for women who would be in the job market. I have also made financial contributions.
What makes this organization so very special, is the fact that communities of faith are involved in the feeding and overnight housing of NPHIN's clientelle. I once had the privilege of serving dinner and interacting with families at a neighboring parish. It is also staffed by a group of dedicated employees and members of the Board of Directors are passionate about the organization.
I was amazed at the vast number of the community at the soup dinner the first time I participated, and it is with great anticipation I look forward to attending when it rolls around.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church has volunteered with NPIHN for many years. I have cooked quite a few dinners for the clients and attended s the empty bowl fund raisers. The organization has helped keep families together and provide shelter for 19 years.

Review from Guidestar

Dani H.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have observed how the organization made an impact while volunteering to prepare meals for the NPIHN guest of my church. The residents were very greatful for the help and the stories they relayed about where they were and where they are now... where very moving.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NPIHN has been a part of my congregation's ministry for 17 years. Members and friends volunteer for this program more than any other outreach program of the church. We love it and value what it brings to our community.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

IHN operates in our church. i have seen families come and go. they are good people who treat others with respect and dignity. IHN is a blessing in the community.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I serve as an overnight host. I am impressed with the quality of the program and the way it has been handled in our congregation. I am also pleased with the direction of NPIHN.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a NPIHN volunteer since the program's beginning in Philadelphia, I have observed many organizational changes implemented to best accommodate the needs of homeless families. This willingness to change keeps the organization relevant and responsive to the needs of its families, volunteers and to those working to combat homelessness in our broader community. The program is great and I highly recommend involvement!


Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with NPIHN for virtually all of its years of existence as at various times a Congregational Coordinator and a board member. I have seen many,many families grow and blossom as a result of their experience with the Network and the volunteers and staff that make up the Network. The Network has grown greatly so that it not only hosts families but also seeks to help the guests after they have moved on into the community. It's been great to observe the development of the organization and the expansion to meet families in many different ways, all while doing so in a very cost-effective manner. I also feel that the volunteers benefit greatly by their involvement with the guests who "put a face" on the societal problem of homelessness. The Network is a blessing to many, and I continue to support it through my time and money.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I chose to be a Board Member after watching, supporting and seeing my friends enthusiasm as she serves on this board. My initial feeling was this is a very caring and empowering organization. The leadership of the Executive Director is outstanding. The services provided is useful, helpful and definitely wonderful effort to help those in need. I am proud to be part of this team.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a former board president, I have first-hand experience with NPIHN's organization's leadership. Rachel is an amazing executive director and advocate. This city is lucky to have her.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I chose to be on the Board of the Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network after spending some time mentoring a young woman and her three year old son who were temporarily housed at our synagogue. I found what the Network was doing to change and improve the lives of people who did not want to be homeless and were striving to put their lives back in order to be compelling. I decided that this was so important that I could not just look to others to do the work, but had to carry my share of the load by becoming an active participant.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 4

NPIHN is the best shelter i have ever had the experince of being a volunteer at and the only shelter that i have been a participant of. When i came into the program I didnt know what to expect. I had heard so many horror stories about how people had to share familes with 4 & 5 other familes...stories of beint talked down to and or turning a blind eye to what was going wrong in the program. there wasnt any issue of that sort at NPHIHN. I truly apreciate everything that was done for me and my daughters and that is why I have no problems returning the favor.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for NPIHN numerous times and in various roles. Not only have I had great experiences with the families in the program and the dedicated staff as well. I have also gained new insights on poverty and life in general. Homelessness could happen to all of us. It doesn't discriminate.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

The services and guidance provided by the Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network provide a life line to the families they serve. It is great to support a group so very committed to serving, supporting and guiding families in need. I am happy to volunteer!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our church has long supported NPIHN and helped by providing housing for families in need. NPIHN really deserves to have a grant so it can help even more people.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a forner volunteer, board member and board president. NPIHN is a truly amazing organization due to its dedicated staff and volunteers. It helps families get back on their feet by providing a myriad of services, including housing and counseling. It has a remarkable success rate with over 90% of its families never returning to homelessness.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a volunteer since the beginning of the program (almost 20 years) I spend one or two overnights during the twice yearly periods when they stay at my church in Germantown. At these times you get to meet the guests and learn about their history, what they are now doing to alter their conditions, and their aspirations for the future. It is very inspiring to see, in spite of all their challenges, how they rise each day to meet these obligations in a very positive and inspirational manner.
Five years ago, after retirement, I was asked to represent my church on the board. During this time I have been able to be involved with many other aspects of the program, particularly focused on ways to provide transformational housing and financial matters.
The real joy of NPIHN is the involvement of so many volunteers who give to others their time, talents, energy, and finances because they see, first hand, the help that is provided to these good people who have had some tough times.





Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been cooking dinners for NPHIN since it's inception, and hosting on the evenings I cook. I always make it a practice to do this at least twice (to get to know the guests better) during each rotation at our synagogue and help out at other congregations when asked. I've also helped connect the organized Secular Jewish community with the program. Being involved in NPHIN led to my writing a book about homeless families and children in America. What becomes evident when working with these families is how diverse the homeless population is and how invisible. The other thing that has always impressed me is the tight connections between the children and their parents. After volunteering with the Network one can no longer say that will never happen to me or someone I love.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NPHIN is a wonderful, caring organization doing hands-on work to help people get back on their feet. I'm the Associate Pastor at our church, that has both hosted their clients and helped other churches host by providing meals. The organization is well run, treats its clients with respect and dignity, and has many great success stories to share about getting people into stable housing. What a wonderful, much-needed organization!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

For several years, my family and I--often, along with friends--have cooked and shared dinner with families being served through NPIHN. It has been an eye-opening experience to see the face of homelessness, which shatters stereotypes and gives statistics a name and a story. I've been impressed with how smoothly NPIHN manages the logistics of moving families, often with young children, in and out of various churches and synagogues, and with how they support their volunteers. NPIHN works by building relationships with clients who are homeless and helping connect them with the resources to gain stability.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family migrated in the US about two years ago and the NIHPN helped us settle and navigate our way though the system (logistic, customized school education, useful social services, discounts on many products and exernal services, registration and participation in many summer camps, redistribution of lot of furniture, tutoring of the kids, help with with taxes, and much more. NIHPN truly showe God's blessings upon countless families, thereby restores hope and faith in a better future.
As a parent of a big household, I could have never made it by myself. Thank you to you, Rachel, and to your wonderful and committed team.

Albert Tchato

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NIHPN does a great job on two fronts: guiding families out of homelessness, and bringing a wide range of congregations and members of very diverse backgrounds together to work on a common problem. By housing families in churches and synagogues, many dozens of people become aware of fellow human beings, not an abstract "homeless person." That has been part of my experience working as a volunteer over the years.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with the Interfaith Hospitality Network has been a great experience for my kids and me and a wonderful way to connect with families in transition. We've enjoyed making dinners, eating with the families and playing with kids. We have found IHN to be a very respectful and quality organization to support with Christmas gifts, too.

Review from Guidestar

Yona D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The programs run by Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (NPIHN) are so valuable to the people they serve. I have been volunteering as a dinner host for many years, and when my children were young, I used to bring them along with me to play with the children in the program, before and after dinner. Any one of us could be in the situation of needing help, and this kind of help is what is needed--to be treated with dignity, and supported in the quest to be self-sufficient and to give back. Thanks NPIHN, for doing such good work all these years. You have provided tutoring where needed, help in job searches, furnishings for new residences, as well as food and shelter while things come together.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) has been very inspiring in their bringing together families in need of temporary housing with groups (such as my synagogue) who provide housing, meals, and even some child care services for parents. Families are able to stay together, parents have a load taken off their back as they try to re-organize, a process which often includes job hunting as well as apartment hunting. IHN offers their services in a non-judgemental way, truly supporting families in maintaining dignity while they are in a very vulnerable situation.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family helped to host dinner for several families at our synagogue, which turned out to be a wonderful evening for us and - I hope - for the families we got to know that evening. We greatly appreciated Interfaith Hospitality Network's efforts to house these homeless families, because not only did it give them a place to stay, but it gave my family an opportunity to volunteer for the community and to learn a little bit about helping others less fortunate. The week was well run, and the families appeared to feel welcome and seemed pleased with the chance to stay in our synagogue.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered over the past several years to make and serve meals and to serve as an overnight host both at my synague and at local churches also involved with IFN. IFN is well organized and well run - I always end up learning something from the family members that are in the program. I really value bringing by kids as well so they can recognize that homeless families are really no different than any other families.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our synagogue, Mishkan Shalom, has had the Hospitality network here for a long time. The group is organized and comes prepared to stay well. Our kids in the school really find it meaningful to interact with the guests staying here and lots of discussions and meaningful thoughts come out at this time of year about having this group of people need to come to our synagogue. I meet the people and have always enjoyed talking to the new friends that I have met.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I have volunteered with NPIHN for many years. NPIHN is an amazing organization that helps keep homeless families together, and strives to house them in a welcoming, compassionate, and dignified way. As volunteers we had the opportunity to accompany and befriend our guests and share our life experiences. My daughter enjoyed doing homework and art work with the younger children. Having guests in our synagogue also sanctified it in a special way--it was great to know we could help shelter people.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer for the congregational hospitality program for many years, and know it at many levels. The professional staff is caring, committed, competent - and very creative. The program provides a holistic approach - addressing the many needs of families in need of financial stability and dignified housing - not just a revolving shelter door. They make possible meaningful connections between hosts and families, among the hosting congregations of all faiths, and even between young German interns and folks in the neighborhood from all walks of life. Year in, year out - they change lives for the better.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization does a fabulous job of assisting families that are homeless with great care and compassion. I am very aware of the need that is out there for these families and finding a place where they are treated with kindness and competency is critical. I highly recommend this organization.

Review from Guidestar