Thank You Jannie Blackwell – $800,000 for homeless family prevention

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Thanks to City Councilperson, Jannie Blackwell, families who experience
homelessness will have more options toward resolving housing insecurity.

After meeting with members of the Family Service Provider Network (Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, HELP USA, Darlene Morris, and PEC) the Councilperson pledged to find new resources for families.  She convinced City Council the following week to add the $800,000 for prevention services, each year for the next 5 years.

The funding will be used for:
  • Flexible financial assistance
  • Short-term rental assistance
  • Back rent
  • Security Deposits/1st/Last month’s rent
  • Utility Assistance, moving costs, transportation, furniture
  • Housing Stabilization/Case Management
  • Mediation
  • Access to mainstream services

The Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services, which will manage the new funds, had only been able to provide such assistance to 28 percent of those who sought to help.

Interfaith Service Project for Ismaili Muslim Youth

Ismaili Students Clean Prince of Peace

The Interfaith Service Project is a College Program on Islam including a one-week road trip that engages 25 ShiÔÇÖa, Ismaili Muslims between the ages of 18-25, who come from across the country. The program aims to experimentally teach students more about their faith, heritage, culture, and identity, as well as how they fit among other faith communities. As a part of this experience, students learn more about living their faith through service to other faith communities.┬á Together, these students painted 3 rooms at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Lawncrest, cleaned the Social Hall and also cleaned the grounds around the church.

According to Helen Tobin, a member of Church Council, ÔÇ£These students were so remarkable. It was truly amazing to see all that got done in just 3 hours of work! ÔÇ£

 Ismaili Students Clean Prince of Peace2

When the students finished their projects, the students and church members went outside to take photos and celebrate their work.┬á They shared songs about love and peace in Arabic, Hebrew and English, and ended with ÔÇ£Let There Be Peace on EarthÔÇØ. Helen summed up the day saying ÔÇ£This is the way we should live. …WouldnÔÇÖt it be wonderful?ÔÇØ

Delivery from HUD’s Homeless to Housed Drive

this HUD- PIHN receives Homeless to Housed Donations
from Regional Offices of Federal Agencies -
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Many thanks to staff from Regional Offices of 6 Federal Agencies for selecting PIHN to receive donations from the Homeless to Housed Campaign, collecting an array of household goods to help launch families moving from shelter to homes. Staff from six federal agencies filled a truckload of NEW household items including pots, pans, electronics, cleaning supplies, and so many items that families need to establish a household. In-kind donations such as these are a large part of the reason why so many PIHN families succeed in never requiring a repeat stay in an emergency shelter!
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A BIG THANKS to the employees at these Regional Federal Offices:
  • Department of Navy, Philadelphia Operations Center
  • Federal Executive Board (CFC)
  • Housing and Urban Development – Region 3
  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Security Exchange Commission
  • Veteran’s Administration
  • Federally Employed Women, Philadelphia

A PIHN Call to Action – Help Us Pass the HCYA Bill!

A PIHN Call to Action!

Please Ask your Congressional Representative to
Support the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA)

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Dear Friends of Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network:
As you may have heard, on April 1st, 2019, the Homeless Children and Youth Act (HR 2001, HCYA) was reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Stivers (R-OH-15) and Congressman Loebsack (D-IA-2).

Attached to this email is a letter we hope you will send to your representative asking for his/her support of HR 2001, HCYA. As with the last congressional session, the Government Relations Committee of Family Promise, PIHNÔÇÖs national organization, was able to provide input along with other national partners to assist in the revision of this bill, providing comments on it in draft form. https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

HR 2001,HCYA would mandate that HUD expand eligibility for homeless programming to include children and families that are experiencing homelessness under the definition provided by the Department of Education. It would also prohibit HUD from prioritizing homeless sub-populations, allowing Continuums of Care to award funding for programming according to the local needs assessment rather than national priorities. Finally, this legislation would revise the definition of chronically homeless familiesÔÇöcurrently the head of household must have a disability to qualify. Under HCYA, anyone in the household could have the disability for the family to qualify. This could potentially open the door to additional resources for the children and the families that we serve.

PIHN is an affiliate of Family Promise representing 242 networks around the country, and has endorsed and advocated for the HCYA under the last Congress. It was bipartisan and bicameral, and passed through the House Financial Services Committee on a bipartisan vote. Having personally experienced homelessness with her family, Kat Lilley (ED of Family Promise in Colorado Springs, National Board Member, and Guest Advisory Council Member) testified to the committee on the need for HCYA. (Click here to watch Kat’s testimony) Unfortunately, the clock ran out on the bill and it was not voted on prior to the end of the congressional session. So, the bill has had to be reintroduced for the new congress.

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Will you take a few moments of your time to download this support letter, add your personal message, and email it to your Congressional Representative? It will be more impactful to hear from you than from lobbyists.

For more information:

How Can You Help?

  • Reach out to your Congressional Representatives, asking them to consider cosponsoring the bill. Attached to this email is a sample letter you can print/copy, edit, and use. If possible, insert local data and statistics in support of the legislation.

Note: Please open the attached sample letter, complete highlighted portions and email it to your Congressional Representative.

 

General Advocacy Tips and Info…

Thank you for ALL that you do!

Rachel Falkove
Executive Director

A Look Back on our 2019 Empty Plate Dinner…

A GIANT Thank You
to Our Community of Support!

Empty Plate Blog

This past Saturday, PIHN hosted one of our most remarkable Empty Plate dinners ever thanks to our supportive community throughout the city! A truly extraordinary evening of reaching milestones and paving the way toward a future where every child has a place to call home.

GIANT shoutout to our sponsors, the 70(+) restaurants who donated the delicious food, Platemakers, Open Hearts on Tour for our first year of LIVE music, the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia for honoring us as a “Zone of Peace”, our large support net of volunteers, and finally to our lead dinner sponsor Giant Food Stores for their amazingly generous 3-year grant award announcement of $81,000 to expand our services in Northeast Philadelphia and for helping our dinner run smoothly.

THANK YOU for all of your tremendous support, we could not have done it alone.

Photos of the evening coming soon…ÔÇìÔÇìÔÇì

 

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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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.