Families Count – Shining a Light on Family Homelessness

Families Count!

Let’s Make Sure that ALL
Experiencing Homelessness are Counted

2019-01-23-e-lee-bruce-thomas-philadelphia-city-hall-homeless-families-under-count-768x512(PIHN Executive Director, Rachel Falkove & PIHN Family, Bruce Thomas)

Last Wednesday night, an army of volunteers fanned out across the greater Philadelphia area to count the number of people sleeping on the street combined with those sleeping in shelter. The Annual Point-in Time Count (PIT) is required by the Department of housing and Urban Development to measure how municipalities across the country are doing in the national goal to eliminate homelessness and determine funding for services needed for the year ahead.

Family advocates note that the PIT frequently overlooks families, who are a hidden part of the homeless population. If families cannot find room in a shelter or don not want to be divided up, they will hide their homelessness, staying in cars, hotels, substandard properties, sleeping on couches, and living doubled up in other crowded, tense, living situations. They will rarely stay on the street because if they do, they may lose their children to the child welfare system.

fspn press conference on count-2019-01-23 (22)(FSPN coalition appeals to City Officials)

PIHN, along with a coalition of 20+ agencies of the Family Service Provider Network (FSPN), participated in a “Families Count – Uncovering Family Homelessness” Press Conference hosted by City Council members Domb and Gym, and joined by Council members Blackwell and Greenlee. This conference was held to reauest city departments to commit to collecting more accurate data to represent themany hidden families and children who interface with their departments, but are not in shelter or visible for the PIT Count.

PIHN alumni, Bruce Thomas, spoke on behalf of the many uncounted families and told of his family’s 10+ year-long journey living with families and friends, without services, supports or a housing plan. Only upon making the decision to come into shelter did things finally begin to come into place for them. After a year in our congregational shelter, Bruce’s family moved into PIHN’s Church Lane House that was so beautifully renovated last sumer thanks to many generous supporters. He, Jen, and the children recently received PHA housing and we are making plans to move in another family in to the house shortly. We would all like to thank Bruce for sharing his family’s story with City Council members and the press.

It’s the people that you don’t see, who need help also.
They didn’t know about me and my family for 10 years.” – Bruce Thomas
conference_blast3(Left to right: Joe Willard of People’s Emergency Center, Councilman Allan Domb, & Daniel Ferrell of HelpUSA)
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Click the links below to find coverage of the Press Conference By:


KYW News Radio

Generocity

WHYY


 

 


Auf Wiedersehen!

Saying Goodbye to Our Boys

Thank You David and Jakob!

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We can’t believe a whole year is over for our dedicated German Volunteers! After spending an exciting year of service in PIHN’s program, volunteers David Bock and Jakob Becker have finally gone back home. We would like to make a special thank you to these two who were the first through Action Reconciliation for Peace to help out as a pair! The time the boys spent dedicated to PIHN has meant the world to us and our families.

Thanks guys, for moving families, cleaning, organizing, and building some genuine connections with so many of the kids in our program! We want to wish the very best to David who is headed to England to study music production, and Jakob who is headed to Germany pursuing his life in fine arts. Please take care guys, Auf Wiedersehen!

Rehab a Home, House a Family

We’re Almost There!
Rehab a Home, House a Family

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Ninety

PIHN owns a house in a rapidly developing section of Germantown that was gifted to us 10 years ago. It has already been home to 5 families who are now homeowners and/or market rate tenants. The house is waiting for it’s next family but needs some structural rehab that must be done before we move in the Thomas family of 6. They have been in our shelter program for 6 months and were without a home for one year prior.

We are only $500 away! Our PIHN community has shown SO much support for our house rehab and as we are closing in on our online goal of $10,000, we owe it all to you! We are making tremendous progress with our house renovations and expect to move the Thomas Family into their new home within the next 3 weeks. Like all renovation projects, we have discovered a few new issues and would like to exceed our goal in order to minimize the loan amount. With just a little bit more to go, we can provide a comfortable living space for the Thomas family!

To Donate Online, Visit:

https://connect.clickandpledge.com/…/ph…/campaign/ChurchLane.

Thank you for participating in creating an affordable home for
a wonderful, hard-working family!

PIHN’s Flea Market Returns

 

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Back to School time can be very stressful for low income, hard-working families because of the need to make many purchases outside of their budget in order to ready their children for a new school year. PIHN Alumni decided to take matters ito their own hands by organizing a series of flea markets with all proceeds going toward purchasing uniform vouchers! We welcome the help of our community by donating household items, clothes, children’s toys and also by volunteering. Please contact keyonnee at (215) 450-0171 or keyonnee@philashelter.org, and feel free to drop by and shop too! Thank you so much for ALL that you do!

Future Dates To Be Announced.

College Guidance Added to Our Resources!

Education 101:

College Guidance Added to Our Resources!

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We are always trying to update our resources tab for members of PIHN community to use depending on any given situation. In addition to tips about Wellness, Single-Parenting, and Youth Programs we have added a new set of sources that a specifically catered to picking the right type of higher educati0n and how to pay for it! Check out these resources as well as others that we continually make updates to by clicking the link below. If you have any resources, or programs to share with us, we will be more than happy to relay that info to the families that we serve!

Click to Visit Our Resources.

Empty Plate Wrap-Up

A Special Thanks to the Community

Our Empty Plate Dinner Wrap-Up

EPD PicThis past weekend PIHN celebrated it’s 5th annual Empty Plate Dinner, where we received a huge turnout from our community in the Northeast! With over 70 restaurants serving food from all over the Philadelphia area, we were able to really showcase what can be accomplished when a village comes together. Special shoutouts to the Professional Women in Aviation, Arcadia University students our large support net of volunteers, and finally our dinner sponsor Brynn Mawr Trust who helped our dinner run smoothly. THANK YOU for your continuing support and we’ll see you all next year! ♥

 Check out our photo galleries of the evening HERE,
as well as on our Instagram and Facebook pages!

PIHN on the Hill – Thanks for a GREAT Holiday!

Holiday Shopping with a Purpose

Wrapping up PIHN On the Hill Day

Chanukah “Carolers” on the Ave

Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network’s community and supporters kept Chestnut Hill’s charming village shops filled with shoppers in support of PIHN On the Hill Day held December 10th this year! Proceeds went to the PIHN Children’s Fund, supplying school supplies, uniforms, winter wear, scholarships, learning programs, extracurricular activities and camperships for the children we support. Special thanks to our participating Chestnut Hill businesses – Artisans on the Avenue, Bohemian Pink, Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop, Chill on the Hill, Evergreen Cheese Shop, J. Mclaughlin, Iron Hill Brewery, Mango, Quelque Chose, Tavern on the Hill, Ten Thousand Villages, Threadwell, and Windfall Gallery for playing a huge role in spreading the spirit of holiday generosity in support of PIHN children! 

USG Shoppers

USG Shoppers

Our Community & a SOUPer Evening!

To a SOUPer Evening..

Our Empty Bowl Dinner’s Success!

Empty Bowl Dinner 2017

Empty Bowl Dinner 2017

- Thank You -

The 2017 Empty Bowl Dinner was the BEST! We say that about each Empty Bowl Dinner, but this time we are not exaggerating!  It was well attended; our bowls were beautiful; the soups were delicious  and the desserts were fabulous!  Mike McGrath was….Milke McGrath, and the Philly Phanatic made us all smile! Congrats to Katie Pearson who won the 2015 Recycled Rides Hyundai Sonata! 

Many thanks to our host, United Lutheran Seminary, to our dinner host, Mike McGrath, to our corporate sponsors, advertisers, bowl makers, restaurant donors,  bread and cake makers, home bakers, soup shleppers and more than 100 volunteers. Special thanks to our hard working Empty Bowl Dinner Committee ( Cheryl Barber, Cynthia LaLone, Emmanuel Philor, Helene Broitman, Jamilla Mitchell, Lauren Casper, LaVerne Jones, Mel Strieb, & Shirlyn Swann). And an additional thanks to Arcadia University for hosting it’s own Empty Bowl Dinner on our behalf two days earlier! We raised community awareness of family homelessness and over $35,000 in support for PIHN’s programs!  A very FUN and SUCCESSFUL  night!

Click Here to View the Rest of the 2017 Empty Bowl Dinner Photo Album!

Want to Help Out on Empty Bowl Day?

Empty Bowl Dinner 2014

Volunteer for Our Empty Bowl Dinner!

Click the links provided below to sign-up for a role to play during the dinner. Your willingness to volunteer will ensure the success of this remarkable community event to combat homelessness! 

Greeters and Servers:
www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E0E48A5AC2EA7F94-empty

Parking Assistants:
www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0e48a5ac2ea7f94-empty1

Set-up/Clean-up Crew:
www.SignUpGenius.com/go/30E0E48A5AC2EA7F94-empty2

Can You Be a Souper Schlepper?

We are also in need of volunteers to run around and gather soups from local food donators prepared for the big night! If you are interested, please contact Rachel Falkove at rachel@philashelter.org or 215-247-4663 ext. 136

It’s Been Another Busy Year! – Annual Meeting 2017

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Our board, congregations and alumni gathered for PIHN’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday June 28th  at Chestnut Hill Friends.  Featured speaker, Daniel Farrell, Senior Vice President of HELP USA for Homelessness Prevention and Rehousing, encouraged PIHN to move forward with efforts to focus on preventing homelessness before it begins.  The preliminary annual report was distributed and the members elected four new board members:

Cheryl H. Barber, BS, MS

With extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, Cheryl holds a Fundraising Program Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  Her areas of expertise include, but are not limited to, fundraising, development, strategic planning, communications, community outreach, and program development.  Cheryl currently serves on the board of the American Baptist Homes & Caring Ministries.  Throughout her career, she has held positions with several nonprofit organizations, including Germantown Friends School, Philadelphia Art Alliance, and Dunleavy & Associates. Cheryl was most recently Director of Development with Baptist Children’s Services.

Michael H. Novak, BS, 30 graduate credits in Industrial Psychology at Temple University

Having an extensive and varying career, Michael worked with General Electric and Franklin Mint as a human resources professional.  Mike was VP of Administration at Wells Fargo Alarm Services, has worked as an entrepreneur, and was Executive VP at Alternative Ways, Inc.  He is retired from Fluidics, Inc., where he held the position of Director of Sales and Marketing.  Mike has been affiliated with Saint Vincent de Paul Conference of IHM parish (Vice President) and is a Member of Friends of St. John the Baptist Parish in Manayunk.  He has been married to his wife, Rose, for 51 years, and has four children and six grandchildren in the Philadelphia area.

J. Jamillah (Jamie) Mitchell

Philadelphia native, Masjidullah member, A graduate of Cardinal Dougherty High School and Howard University Alum., Jamillah has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, small business development, corporate training/development and quality assurance experience.  In 2003, while living in Atlanta, GA, Jamillah begin consulting with local businesses in need of part time Administrative and Executive Level Assistance, Human Resource Services, Grant Writing and Marketing/Public Relations. This part time, home-based, consulting business serves as the foundation for her role as Interim Administrator at Masjidullah.  Jamillah is also the proud mother of two children ages 12 and 18. Her son Zion, is a 6th grader at Mathematics, Civics and Sciences Charter School (and an active Masjidullah Jawala Scout) and Zoee Monet, a Freshman at Community College of Philadelphia (and Masjidullah Madressa assistant).

Frank Robinson​, BS, MBA, M.Div

Managing Partner of Kairos Development Group, has been a leader in the sustainable development industry for over eighteen years, working with government, private and nonprofit clients.  Frank has extensive experience articulating primary objectives for strategic plans, pursuing federal grant opportunities, revitalizing brands through online channels, and spearheading new programs. Frank has also written and managed over $40 million in federal grants/programs. He is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with a degree in Political Science. He also has an MBA with a focus on Economic Development from Eastern University and a Masters of Divinity at Westminster Theological Seminary. He also holds several certifications including one in low-income Housing Tax Credit Management & Development. Frank is a licensed minister and currently serves as an Elder at Cresheim Valley Church.  He is married to Carolyn Crouch Robinson and has one daughter named Samantha whom is currently in high school.

Thank You Cathy Smith, Beloved Social Worker!

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Cathy Smith, long time PIHN Social Worker was celebrated for her years of dedicated service to PIHN upon her retirement. Three alumni families spoke movingly about their experience with PIHN’s programs and about working with Cathy.  These included Tonia Harris, Andrea Jourdan and Fatima Wells.  We presented Cathy with a beautiful plaque, with her name in calligraphy; decorated by Jeanne Marie Todd.