Here Comes the Sun! We’re going green in 2022!

Solar Event Header

Here Comes the Sun! Family Promise of Philadelphia is going green in 2022!

Thanks to a visionary and generous family, environmental investors and two community congregations, Family Promise of Philadelphia (formerly known as Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network) will soon generate enough solar power to offset nearly all its electricity consumption.

This project is the first known collaboration between faith groups, community members and a community nonprofit in which solar power generation will be used to directly benefit vulnerable members of their community.

“With a concept that is replicable and scalable, this will be a model for the rest of Pennsylvania in which institutions can aid non-profit organizations while utilizing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Bob Byrne, FPP’s Director of Operations.

The idea for the solar project came from Marilyn and Larry Moyer, members of First United Methodist Church of Germantown (FUMCOG). The Moyers purchased a portion of the solar panels for FPP and raised additional funds from FUMCOG congregants and environmental activist friends.

The remainder of the project expenses were covered by a grant from The Grandom Institution, a foundation that aids organizations that provide affordable, clean energy to low-income residents and increase the ability of low-income persons to become self-sufficient. Funds that would otherwise be used to pay FPP’s electrical bills will instead be directed to assisting families in our community who are experiencing housing insecurity.

Due to a recent provision in Pennsylvania’s renewal energy law called “virtual meter aggregation”, solar equipment may generate power to credit the equipment owners for all their electrical bills within two miles.

As such, a property with a large roof within two miles of FPP’s operations could be used. Since the roof at FUMCOG was not appropriate for the installation, FPP looked to other supporting congregations that had recently installed a new roof.

Second Baptist Church of Germantown has supported FPP for more than 25 years and shares a commitment to environmental conservation. Conveniently, the Church has also been using its parsonage to house FPP shelter families during the pandemic. The Church graciously offered to allow FPP to install 36 solar panels on its roof.

Second Baptist also decided to purchase and install another 26 panels on its roof that will offset its own electrical usage. Combined, the two arrays will generate 28,500 kWh annually. This solar electric production will offset the majority of FPP’s electric consumption and a large portion of Second Baptist Church’s electrical usage.

Solar States, a Philadelphia company with a deep commitment to working in its most impoverished neighborhoods, is designing the system and will complete the installation in April.

Just as FPP congregations collaborated 30 years ago to provide shelter to families experiencing homelessness, members of FUMCOG and Second Baptist are demonstrating how collaboration and community action can pave the way for a brighter future.

“I was immediately attracted to FPP functioning as a partner because it is an opportunity to introduce environmental activists to the cause of ending homelessness and to introduce our base of volunteers to the benefits of going solar,” said Rachel Falkove, FPP’s Executive Director. “The project does not rely on any of FPP’s operating funds and it provides a way for people who can’t afford to go solar in their own homes to participate in supporting alternative energy initiatives.”

Falkove continued, “The religious communities in our network apply their religious teachings to inform their social justice initiatives. These initiatives include environmental justice, addressing poverty and homelessness, and welcoming immigrants. This project brings together two of those causes and introduces a new way that people can invest in solar, even in a small way, to make a difference for us all.”

FPP is an affiliate of Family Promise and has provided emergency shelter, material goods, and supportive services to families experiencing homelessness for 30 years. Increasingly, its work has broadened to prevent families in our community from experiencing the trauma of homelessness. To find out more about FPP, including ways you can help, please visit www.philashelter.org.

 

Pioneering a New Hosting Model

Unitarian Universalist Church of Mt Airy Added a Shower and Plans to Pilot a Less Intensive Congregation Hosting Model

BY NAN MYERS

The Unitarian Universalist Church in Mt. Airy has been a trailblazer in housing homeless families. “Our church has been involved with this program for a long time on and off,” explains Darlene Styer, who, with Steve Workman, is a coordinator of the PIHN project. “It is a matter of social importance. ­­­­­­ The program was in existence when I joined in 1994,” he says.

It is a no-brainer. Now more than ever, people are falling on hard times through no fault of their own.  They need help.

As Philadelphia began to close down because of Covid, and the church was no longer having in-person services, the banging and breaking down of walls began. Today, thanks to a grant from two individuals, an ADA-compliant apartment was created. A space that was used for storage and administration has been transformed into an area fit for a family.

“The congregation made a series of decisions about the space and how we wanted to support families,” Steve explains. “It turned out to be an enormous project. We enlarged the space and put in a shower. Previously, families had to go to the PIHN office on Germantown Avenue before they started their day, to shower. We also have upstairs classrooms that we will put beds in and a kitchen, which will alleviate things for a family.” In past iterations families used the kitchen in the Fellowship Hall.

During Covid times, we’ve missed having the PIHN families stay with us. While we can’t provide the usual in-person hosting, we can still open our doors to a more self-sufficient family in need with PIHN staff supervision. We’re honored to be the first congregation to try out this new, less intense hosting model in our congregational building, especially while we’re not using it as much as we normally do.

A goal of the Interfaith Hospitality Network is to end family homelessness in our community. Families selected into our program receive temporary emergency housing and hospitality in one of our participating church, synagogue, or mosque congregations. Guests are sent to safe, child friendly living quarters with private rooms. Because congregations have been unable to host during Covid timse, PIHN has been sending families to far more expensive hotels and AirBnbs.

 

 

REST IN PEACE – ALIYA VANCE

rrxstudents14-

Rest In Peace Dear Aliya.

Our  PIHN family mourns the sudden loss of our beloved and talented Social Worker, Aliya Vance, who suffered a stroke and died this past Tuesday November 23, 2021 at the age of 46.

Our hearts go out to her children, Kamil and Tahira, who along with others, set up a GoFundMe for the funeral and burial expenses. Any donations are greatly appreciated and will hopefully help relieve some of the financial burdens on her family at such a devastating time.

https://gofund.me/08ead817

PIHN’s HAPCO Partnership

Lasting Solutions through Lasting Partnerships

PIHN’s New Partnership with HAPCO

 

Happy young mother having fun with her child

Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN) is implementing a 3-way partnership between HAPCO Philadelphia/Tenants/PIHN to prevent homelessness. PIHN believes that an informed landlord can recognize signs of struggling tenants and assist them to receive help. Resolving problems without eviction and getting tenants back on track is a more cost-effective solution and has better outcomes for both the landlord and the tenant.

HAPCO Philadelphia landlords will refer current tenants who have been unable to keep up with rent to PIHN. Tenants will complete a comprehensive financial assessment and put together a financial plan with assistance from PIHN. Once the tenant completes their work with PIHN, landlords will be paid directly for back rent.

HAPCO Philadelphia landlords will notify PIHN when they have a vacancy and PIHN will refer potential new tenants. PIHN will assist selected referrals with security deposits. PIHN will also provide ongoing case management and support over the course of a year. PIHN has offices in NW and NE Philadelphia but serves clients from all over the city.

Contact Anita Lyndaker-Studer, PIHN Northeast Coordinator, at (215) 247-4663 ext. 101
or by emailing anita@philashelter.org
for referrals or more information.

Make a Difference to Help Northeast Families in Crisis


Make a Difference Supporting PIHN Northeast Families!

NE Pic

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, PIHN and many other Northeast Philadelphia social service organizations have received hundreds of requests for help from hard working households experiencing layoffs, working fewer hours, making less income, and requiring more food and material support. Neighbors worry as they watch their bills grow to a point where they can’t imagine catching up – even after returning to work.

The Northeast Philadelphia COVID-19 Resilience Fund provides a way for individuals and businessesto make a difference by addressing our neighbors’ emergency needs directly, flexibly, and creatively. Funds can be used for covering back rent,utilities, temporary daycare for returning workers, emergency home repairs, medication for someone who has lost insurance, etc.

All funding requests will be evaluated by and administered through Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN).


Click Here to Donate or Learn More
About PIHN’s Northeast Philadelphia COVID Relief Fund

 

Sharing Sarah’s Story

Help Us Keep Families Home For Good…

Sharing Sarah’s Story

Happy young mother having fun with her child

Sarah is a 74 -year-old retired teacher with two adopted sons, ages 12 and 14. She had raised her boys in foster care. It recently came to our attention through the Red Cross that their home of 50 years had been destroyed in an electrical fire. Sarah had no property insurance, and everything was destroyed.  Neighbors had raised money to house the family in a hotel for several weeks, but had run out funds, especially since there were no cooking options and meals had to be purchased. With deep community ties, Sarah wanted to find rehousing close to her neighbors to maintain

PIHN’s team placed the family in an Air BnB on Temple University’s campus, several blocks from her old house. After one week in the Air BnB, PIHN staff located and furnished a short-term rental for the family also close to their old neighbors.  Sarah and her boys will remain in the rental housing for the next several months while working to repair the damages to her home. PIHN staff are exploring alternative housing for her, in case completing repairing the old house is not economically feasible – requiring alternate longer term permanent housing.  In the meantime, the family is staying in the current short-term housing, normally occupied by Temple students, who have not been there during the past semester due to the pandemic.

Click Here to Support
PIHN’s Family Promise Giving Day

 

File Your Taxes Virtually with PIHN for Free!

File your taxes virtually with PIHN!

Claim your FREE Tax Refund

CWF PhotoPIHN is returning this year as a Campaign for Working Families, free Tax Filing Site. As a free service to our community, we are filing Federal and State Income Tax Returns for households with an income less than $55,000 beginning on February 1st!

Please note that all appointments MUST be scheduled through www.cwfphilly.org using the In-Person Drop-off function before visiting PIHN’s office with your documents. After your appointment is set, drop your documents off at our office, and a tax specialist will be reaching out to you soon after. You can find the list of paperwork you need to bring with you on the document attached to this email.

 

Click Here to Schedule Your Free Virtual Tax Appointment!

 

Tax Front

 Tax back

PIHN’s Massive Holiday Gifting Effort!

Tis’ the season for giving…

Huge Thanks to all of PIHN’s Secret Santas

123_1(1)

Santa and his helpers have been hard at work this season making drop-offs around Philadelphia for PIHN’s Secret Santa program. Holiday time is fun, but often stresses hard working parents from paying rent and utilities. This year, with so many out of work or underemployed, making Christmas for the little ones feels next to impossible.

The generosity shown through participating organizations and individuals, allowed us to provide Christmas matches for over 372 PIHN Children and their Families! Thank you for helping us share the spirit of the holiday with our neighbors who are most at-risk.

Shhh…The following organizations and groups were Secret Santas:

  • Angels of Christmas
  • Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting
  • City Councilman Bobby Henon’s Office
  • Delaware Valley Children’s Charities
  • Frineds Sleect School students
  • FCMH
  • First Methodist Church of Germantown
  • KWG employees
  • Mt. Airy Presbyterian Church
  • Now You Foundation
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
  • Soroptimist International of Five Point Magneta
  • Unitarian Society of Germantown
  • Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration
  • William Penn Charter School

xmas2

The following  list of wonderful individuals who participated as Secret Santas and adopted a family:

  • Alyson Goodner
  • Annabel Grote & Harald
  • Bonnie Zetick
  • Bria Biddle
  • Cara Herold
  • Carla White
  • Carol Fleishman
  • Casey Good
  • Charlotte Biddle
  • Chrissy Madalone
  • Clara Thompson
  • Courtney and Michele
  • Cynthia Lalone
  • Deb Schreffle
  • Deneen Stewart
  • Diana Thomas
  • Eileen Fitzpatrick
  • Eve Putkovich
  • Evelyn Washington
  • Gina Kutchner
  • Hideko Secrest
  • Jackie Anderson Schocky
  • Jonathan and Victoria Greenberg
  • Juliana Martell
  • Karen Rothschild
  • Kathleen Dillon
  • Kathy Sullivan

Naturally, we have a huge thank you to share with Keyonnee Thalia, PIHN’s Director of Family Services, who coordinated this massive effort. Thanks for helping us bring the holidays to our neighbors at-risk!

xmas3

Thanks for Joining “Walk of the Holy Family” on PIHN’s Behalf!

Walk of the Holy Family Review!

Chestnut Hill Congregations Walk for
PIHN’s Prevention Program

2020.12.12_Walk of Holy Family_DCooper photo_0099_edit

This past week, 6 Chestnut Hill congregations came together for a fundraising walk along Germantown Avenue to commemorate “Las Posadas”, a Central/South American pre Christmas celebration that reenacts the journey of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter for Mary to birth her baby. The walkers make multiple stops asking for shelter and at very stop, they are turned away, drawing parallels to the experience of many families today, who seek an affordable place to live.

The candlelit walk successfully raised over $15,000 for our homelessness prevention fund, paying back rents and housing deposits for families at risk of homelessness.  We’re grateful to the sponsoring congregations including:

  • Christ Ascension Lutheran Church
  • Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
  • Cresheim Valley Church
  • Our Mother of Consolation Roman Catholic Church
  • The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

and the many community members who participated and contributed to this meaningful pre-holiday celebration.

Walk photos 2

Our hope is that this Walk will become an annual tradition among the Christian congregations of Northwest Philadelphia. Thanks for ALL you do, and for sharing a great first year with Las Posadas!

 

 

 

Thanks for a Spectacular Virtual Empty Bowl Event!


An Evening We’ll Never Forget!

PIHN and Arcadia University Have Successfully Hosted a Virtual Empty Bowl Dinner!

dsc08758_49103157751_o-min

Take a deep breath, and give a round of applause for the most AMAZING network we could ask for!  Sunday, November 22nd was nothing short of spectacular as Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN) and Arcadia University joined to celebrate our annual traditions of the Empty Bowl Dinner virtually through Zoom. With social distancing keeping us apart, the warmth of our community has and will continue to keep us together. Thanks to the support of Arcadia University volunteers, staff, and our local community – we have raised $30,000 towards our homelessness prevention fund!

Special thanks to Mike McGrath of WLVT/PBS39′s “You Bet Your Garden” for his memorable wit and energy to brighten up the evening. Congratulations to Kylia Alston for receiving the beautiful car (a 2015 Toyota Carola) donated by Geico and refurbished by Service King as part of the National Auto Body Council’s Recycled Rides program!

Use this link to watch a short video about Kylia, as she shares how much having a car truly makes a difference!

Recycled Rides Collage

Our generous Corporate Sponsors have really made a difference this year, by funding both the execution of our event as well as the attendance of PIHN’s Program Alumni:

  • Giant Food Stores
  • Drumcliff Foundation
  • Elfant Wissahickon Realtors
  • FX Cassidy and Associates
  • Fox & Roach Charities
  • Geico
  • Lindy Communities
  • National Auto Body Council (Recycled Rides)
  • Service King
  • Sovereign

The 2020 Annual Empty Bowl Dinner Cookbook is being printed at this time and will be available both digitally and in print before December 25th. Thanks to all who contributed favorite soup, bread, and dessert recipes and memories from our community about past Empty Bowl experiences. If you’re interested, you can also purchase an e-book online for $3, or a print version for $15 just in time for the holidays!

This dinner happened thanks to the efforts of these wonderful people: Students from Arcadia University’s Center for Civic and Community Engagement, including Hannah McGinnis, Kiara Jacoby, Julisa Linton, Tyanna Taylor and their fearless leader, Cindy Rubino. Thanks as well to PIHN volunteers and staff, Valerie Erwin, Della lazarus, Ezra Masch, TJ Narty, Christian Gordon-Scott and Rachel Falkove.

 

logos site

 

Thanks for ALL you do