PIHN joins FSPN at City Council Homelessness Prevention Hearing

Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN) families, staff and volunteers as well as many representatives from the Family Service Provider’s Network (FSPN) testified on March 13th about the need for a Homelessness Prevention Plan this past Monday at a City Council public hearing. The hearing, sponsored by the Council’s Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development and Homelessness advocated for funding for a robust homelessness prevention program to relieve Philly’s log-jammed shelter system with long waiting lists.

Andrea Jourden and Nancy House, PIHN alumni,  spoke about their struggles to find housing they could afford and how they are doing so much better since PIHN’s shallow rent subsidy and master lease program.  As working, low income families, their stay in shelter could have been shortened or avoided all-together had resources been available earlier. Aubrey, Nancy’s 11 year old daughter spoke eloquently about the impact of housing insecurity on her family and her difficulty concentrating in school when the family was struggling prior to entering PIHN’s Master Lease Housing program that offers shallow rent subsidies. PIHN’s Director Rachel Falkove, and other FSPN providers, suggested that City Council:

1) Direct $3,000,000 from the Housing Trust Fund for Homelessness Prevention efforts.

2) Allocate $3,000,000 from the General Fund to strengthen the contract agencies that have been flat-funded for the past 8 years.

3) Allocate $25,000 for trauma informed care training programs.

We are hopeful that these requested changes combined with strengthening the role of public/private/faith-based partnerships will result in helping 750 families avoid the experience of homelessness.

PIHN families of Andrea Jourden , Nancy and Aubrey House (shown behind the podium) & Rachel Falkove at Press Conference before the Hearing.

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A Shoutout to PIHN’s Project Partners!

Here’s a shout out to PIHN’s project partners, Sisters of Salaam Shalom for an article this past Thursday in the Philadelphia Inquirer and to Tom Costello of The Joy of Sox in last week’s People Magazine human interest feature!   Both articles mention PIHN and the ways PIHN families are strengthened by their work.   It totally takes a village, and our project partners really do go the extra mile.  We’re honored to be working with them!

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Check Out Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom’s PEACE MEALS Article Here

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Check Out Tom Costello’s Article in People Magazine Here

Houses For Change

Many thanks to Unitarian Society of Germantown for hosting the annual neighborhood Martin Luther King Day of Service, bringing together hundreds of local volunteers!  The day reaped many benefits for PIHN- a cleaner and more organized family center, a start on bowls for next year’s Empty Bowl Dinner, lots of Houses for Change and some much needed shelving in our office!

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Seen here- Debby Stern, PIHN Coordinator at Germantown Jewish Centre and granddaughters, Hanna and Gabriella, making their Houses for Change to collect spare coins to help bring about positive change for PIHN families

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Raymour & Flanigan “Wheels to Work” 2016 Fundraiser

In the past month, PIHN has come together with Raymour & Flanigan to raise funds for  SEPTA passes to distribute to our neighbors who need transportation to get to job interviews, new jobs or take care of other responsinilities. Thanks to all of you, our “Wheels to Work” fundraiser was a wonderful success! Thanks to the generosity Raymour & Flanigan with an extra check from SEPTA, PIHN will be able to 571 bus tokens for PIHN and community families in need of transportation assistance.

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Our Empty Bowl Challenge – From your Wharton Team

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Together, we can fill an empty bowl.
Many of us have spare change lying around the house.
So, I, Christopher Rathbun, pledge to complete the Empty Bowl Challenge by taking and posting a picture with an empty bowl, filling that bowl with spare change, and contributing that amount or more to help a family experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia and around the world.

I nominate all of my neighbors and family to complete the Empty Bowl Challenge! You have 48 hours to pass this along to 3 of your friends! (You don’t have to be nominated, take the challenge yourself!) Every year, the Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN) hosts an event called the Empty Bowl Dinner that raises awareness about family hunger and homelessness. Every guest leaves with an empty hand-made bowl as a reminder that every night hundreds of families go hungry in the City of Philadelphia.

Learn more and donate at http://philashelter.org/index.php/how-to help/donate/. Every donation helps a family experiencing homelessness.#emptybowlchallenge #PIHN

Also, if you have any stories about attending an Empty Bowl Dinner, volunteering with families experiencing homelessness, and want to share something about your experience or want to share something about how you use your Empty Bowl, feel free to write something additional!

 

New Beginnings in Our Northeast Network!

NE_PhillyLogo (1)We are excited to announce that PIHN has moved its Northeast Daycenter and office to the second floor of 6730 Torresdale Avenue, 19135. While we are sad to say goodbye to our former neighbors at the OCCCDA, this new location provides easy accessibility, and its location above Councilman Bobby Henon’s office makes PIHN a convenient resource for community members. The new day center includes new amenities, such as a full kitchen and washer/dryer for our current and alumni guest families to utilize.

PIHN realizes, along with other agencies providing social services in Northeast Philadelphia,  that we could more effectively serve the community through collaboration and coordination. Therefore, Councilman Henon has entrusted Emma Wagner, who previously served as a PIHN intern, with formally organizing the Northeast Service Team (NEST). NEST is a collaboration of organizations that work together in order to ensure that vulnerable residents of Northeast Philadelphia will have access to all of the services and resources they need to thrive.

NEST’s vision is that every individual and family in Northeast Philadelphia will live abundant lives, free of hunger, homelessness, and poverty. NEST is comprised of many great agencies, including Catholic Community Services, CityReach, Feast of Justice, Friends Hospital, The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank, Holy Family University Family Center, Kingdom Life Christian Center, The Philadelphia Furniture Bank, PIHN, Star of Hope Baptist Church, and Turning Points For Children.

PIHN welcomes our newest faith community partner: Masjidullah!

We are thrilled to introduce our new faith community partner- Masjidullah, a Muslim community at Washington Lane and Limekiln Pike.  Inspired by the Imam Roberto Rashid’s commitment to interfaith partnerships, members of Masjidullah responded generously to PIHN’s recent request for food contributions to cover a month of hospitality for our families.  The community raised over $1,000 to cover hosting expenses.  While Masjidullah cannot physically host PIHN families, many of the members have also stepped up to volunteer when our families are staying in other congregations. The community warmly welcomed PIHN’s Executive Director , Rachel Falkove, at a recent Friday worship service. 

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Celebrating another great Empty Plate Dinner!

We thank all of our supporters for making Empty Plate Dinner 2015 such a success!

We thank our corporate sponsors:
EPD 2015 sponsors

We also thank Holy Family University for all of their support in painting plates and volunteering during the event!
Holy Family University

We thank the businesses who donated items for our raffles and prize baskets:
Acme Markets
Beer Baron
Fat Jack’s BBQ
Giant Food Stores
Gino’s Pizza & Spaghetti House
Golden Corral
La Petite Puppy Salon
Longhorn Steakhouse
Panera Bread
Pathmark
Pizza City
Saul Funeral Homes, Inc.
Stein’s Flowers
Sweet Lucy’s Smokehouse
Three Monkeys Cafe

For a list of Empty Plate Dinner food contributors, please visit our Empty Plate Dinner page.

Empty Plate Dinner is back!

Empty Plate Dinner 2015

 

 

Saturday April 18th
Doors open 5:00pm, food served until 8:00pm
St. Dominic’s Marian Hall: 8532 Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19136
Tickets: $20 Adults, $10 Students with ID, $7 Children 12 and under
(Additional $5 for unlimited beer and wine)

Visit our Empty Plate Dinner page to learn more about this fun and delicious springtime event, including advertisement and sponsorship opportunities.