PIHN and COVID-19

Dear Friends of PIHN,

Many of our volunteers and supporters have reached out during this time of Coronavirus to ask how Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network is managing. Here is our update on services that will be continued, and others that will be discontinued:

Since so many of the families we serve are employed in service industries, we expect that they will be working fewer hours, making less income, and are likely to have even more material needs. As such, PIHN staff will be working to keep material supports available such as food, diapers, clothing, and personal items for families in need. Staff have divided into three teams who will work on alternate days, keeping our services going as long as possible. If one team needs to be isolated, another team can step in.

The PIHN Northwest Family Center will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10AM – 6PM, and Saturdays from 10AM – 2PM for food and diapers.

  • We ask that families on come to the PIHN office on these days, and enter through the rear to pick up their items.
  • Visitors will not be welcome to come in and utilize computers or the family center to keep it sanitized for staff to be there safely, and assist people with getting basic needs.
  • All calls and requests for rental assistance will be handled by phone, with staff working remotely and checking messages on a regular basis.
  • All in-person tax appointments will be postponed for the next two weeks.
  • PIHN staff will be unavailable to pick up or deliver any furniture donations until further notice.

Our Northeast office is temporarily closed. If you wish to donate any food, supermarket gift cards, or personal items, please bring them to our center at 7047 Germantown Ave. during open hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. We will keep you posted on our wish list.

We have also made special plans for the families in our shelter program to stay safe. They will be treated as family, and can remain in their church without volunteers. A handful of dedicated interns and staff will be assigned to check in on them and not to interact with other aspects of our operation. Many thanks to Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Mt. Airy for accommodating our families at the present time, and to Second Baptist Church in Germantown should the crisis continue. If your congregation is hosting or co-hosting, your coodinator will advise you of our arrangements for volunteers. Our Northwest and Northeast families are now together.

We have implemented increased, regular sanitizing procedures to keep everyone safe. Remember to wash hands frequently and avoid public gatherings as much as possible. Stay home if you are sick and be sure your children know how important hand washing is.

With every wish for calm, safety, and good health,

Rachel SIgnature

 

Rachel Heart

 

 

Rachel Falkove
Executive Director

Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network and the Coronavirus

 

Dear Friends of PIHN,

Many of our volunteers and supporters have reached out during this time of Coronavirus to ask how Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network is managing. Here is our update on services that will be continued, and others that will be discontinued:

Since so many of the families we serve are employed in service industries, we expect that they will be working fewer hours, making less income, and are likely to have even more material needs. As such, PIHN staff will be working to keep material supports available such as food, diapers, clothing, and personal items for families in need. Staff have divided into three teams who will work on alternate days, keeping our services going as long as possible. If one team needs to be isolated, another team can step in.

The PIHN Northwest Family Center will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10AM – 4PM, and Saturdays from 10AM – 2PM for food and diapers.

  • We ask that families on come to the PIHN office on these days, and enter through the rear to pick up their items.
  • Visitors will not be welcome to come in and utilize computers or the family center to keep it sanitized for staff to be there safely, and assist people with getting basic needs.
  • All calls and requests for rental assistance will be handled by phone, with staff working remotely and checking messages on a regular basis.
  • All in-person tax appointments will be postponed for the next two weeks.
  • PIHN staff will be unavailable to pick up or deliver any furniture donations until further notice.

Our Northeast office is temporarily closed. If you wish to donate any food, supermarket gift cards, or personal items, please bring them to our center at 7047 Germantown Ave. during open hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. We will keep you posted on our wish list.

We have also made special plans for the families in our shelter program to stay safe. They will be treated as family, and can remain in their church without volunteers. A handful of dedicated interns and staff will be assigned to check in on them and not to interact with other aspects of our operation. Many thanks to Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration in Mt. Airy for accommodating our families at the present time, and to Second Baptist Church in Germantown should the crisis continue. If your congregations is hosting or co-hosting, your coodinator will advice you of our arrangements for volunteers. Our Northwest and Northeast families are now together.

We have implemented increased, regular sanitizing procedures to keep everyone safe. Remember to wash hands frequently and avoid public gatherings as much as possible. Stay home if you are sick and be sure your children know how important hand washing is.

With every wish for calm, safety, and good health,

Rachel SIgnature

Rachel Heart

 

Rachel Falkove

Executive Director

A Shared Community Initiative – PIHN’s New Partnership with HTN!

HTN Banner 2

We are super excited to announce St. Alphonsus Parish Ministry’s HTN Program, and Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network’s partnership with a shared initiative to provide assistance to the most impoverished neighbors in our community. Combined, PIHN and HTN have served 700(+) vulnerable families (over 1,500 children and adults) in the Philadelphia and Montgomery County!

Our new partnership with HTN has granted us access to surplus, large ticket items to distribute to families who rely on our programs. This includes recently purchased, unwanted mattresses, dresser sets, bed frames, couches, and so much more, supplied by over 800 generous donor companies! Many of these returned household essentials come from distributors who are unable to resell at market rate after they have been opened or used on a trial basis.

These donation will play a phenomenal role in supporting PIHN’s operations to ensure we continue making a difference for families in crisis before relying on the shelter system. Thanks to HTN, we can give overstocked and returned products a second life, and help budget stretched households live comfortably and focus on paying their rent and utilities!

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PIHN is a FREE Tax Filing Site!!

PIHN is a Campaign for Working Families, and free Tax Filing Site. As a service to our community, we are filing Federal and State Income Tax Returns for households with an income less than $69,000 beginning next week. Please share this message, with the info below containing a checklist of paperwork that will be needed prior to meeting.

 To set your appointments, please contact Christian Gordon-Scott at (215) 247-4663 (ext. 102)
or email taxes@philashelter.org.

Taxform 1

Taxform 2

Breaking Barriers and Strengthening Community! – 2020 MLK Day of Service

Collage 2(2020 MLK Day of Service volunteers!)


Monday, January 20th marked Greater Philadelphia’s 25th anniversary hosting a day of service that celebrates the life and legacy of Civil Rights Activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr! Beginning in 1996, this day has served as a nationwide movement to break down barriers, form lasting partnerships between local community programs, and cultivate a deep understanding of Dr. King’s Mission by bringing together hundreds of local volunteers.

Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network reaped many benefits with assistance from the 75(+) awesome volunteers who spent the day participating in our annual Houses for Change project, crafting bowls for this year’s Empty Bowl Dinner, and helping us clean and organize our family day center for the children who come and go everyday! Many thanks to Unitarian Society of Germantown for hosting and featuring us in their Day of Service event, and all of our friends who joined us to volunteer from:

  • Bryn Mawr Trust
  • Chestnut Hill College
  • Friends Select School
  • Merion Mercy Academy Alumni Association, and
  • Unitarian Society of Germantown

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In the midst of the many projects PIHN was hosting , we were grateful to receive two very special donations from our amazingly supportive community. Special thanks to Merion Mercy Academy for their huge donation of “Birthday Care Packages” to help our families celebrate that special time of year. Finally, special thanks to Delaware Valley Friends School, for their donation of assorted comforters and bed sets that will go very quickly during this chilly season.

Our community far and wide is really the pride of PIHN! ❤️

 

Thank You for a Remarkable 2019!

Year-End PIHN Photo

(PIHN achievements in 2019)

Thanks to our generous supporters, PIHN has had quite a busy year in 2019. During this time, we have sheltered and moved 18 families to stability, and mentored a growing cohort of 180 alumni families who utilize our supportive services on a regular basis. We have also opened our doors and provided material supports to 276 community families, and assisted 100 families in avoiding homelessness by preventing eviction, providing back-rents, and helping with housing deposits!

PIHN ends this year poised to make a bigger difference in preventing homelessness during 2020. With grants from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement Fund (PHARE), the Home 4 Good Program (project of the PA Housing Finance Angency, the Help Us Move In Foundation (HUMI), The Philadelphia Foundation, Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services, and GIANT Food Stores, we intend to double our prevention efforts in the year ahead.

There is still time to help Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network during 2019! Every individual contribution, large or small, makes a difference. Please refer to our year-end Appeal letter for details on PIHN’s achievements reached this year.


Help us change lives in 2020 with any generous
year-end gift you can make!

 

2019 Annual Appeal-2

2019 Annual Appeal-1

Thank you PIHN Secret Santas!

Penn Charter 2019-min(Penn-Charter and their gift donations)

Santa and his helpers have been hard at work this season making drop-offs around the city for PIHN’s Secret Santa Program. The generosity shown through organizations and congregations including:

  • Delaware Children’s Charity
  • Penn-Charter
  • Mt. Airy Playground
  • KWG
  • New Leaders Council, Philadelphia
  • Friends Quaker Meeting House
  • Grace Presbyterian Church

have allowed us to provide Christmas matches to 275 children plus their parents in Philadelphia! Thanks especially to the number of individuals who also participated in providing gifts. It truly takes a village, and ours is awesome!

Celebrating PIHN’s 21st Annual Empty Bowl Dinner

To PIHN’s Amazing Community…

Thanks for Our Most Successful Empty Bowl Dinner

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Last Wednesday, Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN)’s 21st Annual Empty Bowl Dinner was nothing short of spectacular! Hundreds of bowls donated from over 30 different potters, clay programs and schools, as well as soups, cakes, and breads donated from 57 local restaurants, bakeries, and home bakers, made the dinner a visual and gastronomical feast! Special thanks to United Lutheran Seminary for hosting and to Mike McGrath of WLVT/PBS39′s “You Bet Your Garden” for dishing out some great energy and humor for the evening.

Congratulations to Tanisha Carter for receiving the beautiful 2015 Chrysler 200 generously donated by Geico and refurbished by Service King through the Recycled Rides program from the National Auto Body Council. Our fabulous Corporate Sponsors and Advertisers helped make the event a huge success and enabled PIHN’s alumni families to join in the fun!

Tanisha Geico
The 2019 Empty Bowl
Dinner was made possible thanks to:


The Empty Bowl Dinner Committee,
(Headed by Cynthia Lalone, with Cristin Lalone, Valerie Erwin, Beryl Evans, Bill Fox, Lynn Grahame, LaVerne M. Jones, Della Lazarus, Mark McGuigan, Donna Price, and Shirlyn Swann)

Our dedicated Staff, (Bob Byrne, Christian Gordon-Scott, Ben Domsgen, Deborah Kish-Silver, Linnea Luzzo, Keyonnee Thalia, Pesha Leichter, and Rachel Fakove)

…And our 100(+) Volunteers and Interns who everything from soup schlepping, serving, greeting, and SO much more! Huge shout-out to GIANT Food Stores and Elfant Wissahickon Realtors who brought a team of volunteers with them to help support the event.

Arcadia EBD 2019

Additionally, HUGE thank you to Arcadia University for hosting it’s very own Empty Bowl Dinner on PIHN’s behalf held November 11th. Your continuous support of PIHN’s programs have come such a long way!

Our deepest thanks
is to PIHN’s awesome community!


In the end, our dinner raised awareness and $40,000
in support of PIHN’s programs to prevent and alleviate family homelessness! It really takes a village, and ours is one of a kind.

With gratitude to each and every one of you,
Happy Thanksgiving!

A Sesame Street Tale Addressing Childhood Homelessness

sesame blog

Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC), a program of Sesame Workshop — the nonprofit that produces Sesame Street, joined Family promise, our national organization, at our 2019 National Conference. Before launching a suite of online resources for providers serving children without stable housing, SSIC consulted Family Promise the leading nonprofit addressing family homelessness as one of their expert advisers. Together they created a mupper child experiencing homelessness and made her feel much more hopeful about her family’s situation.

“We Got This!” is a children’s book, and valuable resource that our Network has to share with our children and parents experiencing homelessness. We will also share the books with other partner agencies. Many thanks to Sesame Street and it’s nearly 5-year commitment to addressing children’s developmental, physical, and emotional needs!


Click Here to Read More Details!

 

 

PIHN’s 5k was a huge SUCCESS!

Thank you for Making PIHN’s

“There’s No Place Like Home” 5k Amazing!

2019 5k Collage

- PIHN’s 2019 No Place Like Home 5k -

We are so happy to announce that PIHN’s community of “There’s No Place Like Home” runners, walkers, and donors raised nearly $21,000 to fund PIHN’s growing homelessness prevention efforts this year!

Special shout-out to Cheryl’s Champs for raising over $1,000, the Our Mother of Consolation Golden Knights for raising over $1,800, The Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness for raising over $3,000, and Germantown Jewish Centre for raising over $5,000! We are so grateful for all of the amazing teams and individuals who ran through Oz on PIHN’s behalf. Thank you so much for all of your very generous donations!

Shout-out to the number of individuals who
represented PIHN on the winner’s podium this year!


Women’s Division:

Congratulations to…
Sabrina Borzi who placed THIRD in the 13-19 Age Division!
Andrea Horos who placed THIRD in the 40-49 Age Division!
Emily Kallmeyer who placed SECOND in the 13-19 Age Division!
Eve Laurito who placed FIRST int he 4-12 Age Division!
Jane Hohenleitner for placed FIRST in the 13-19 Age Division!
Melissa Paquette who placed FIRST in the 50-59 Age Division!

Men’s Division:

Congratulations to…
Pj Horos who placed THIRD in the 4-12 Age Division!
Dave Flanigan who placed THIRD in the 40-49 Age Division!
Joel Schneier who placed THIRD in the 50-59 Age Division!
Bruno Fleischman-Mayro who placed SECOND in the 13-19 Age Division!
Bob Byrne who placed FIRST in the 30-39 Age Division!
Joe Willard who placed FIRST in the 60-69 Age Division!

For a full list of the results, Click Here
and look yourself up in Generocity’s gallery of Finisher Photos.

2019 Giant 5k Team Blast-min- Giant Food Stores Team -

Finally, a GIANT shout-out to Giant Food Stores for organizing 13 teams, representing each regional store who raiseed roughly $3,000! Let’s thanks our Giant Supermarkets for their support, a great selection of food and their GIANT hearts!

 

Thank you for making our 5k a SUCCESS!

2019 5k Collage
We are so happy to announce that PIHN’s community of “There’s No Place Like Home” runners, walkers, and donors raised nearly $21,000 to fund PIHN’s growing homelessness prevention efforts this year!
Special shout-out to Chery’s Champs for raising over $1,000, the OMC Golden Knights for raising over $1,800, The Philadelphia Commitee to End Homelessness for raising over $3,000, and Germantown jewish Centre for raising over $5,000! We are so grateful for all of the amazing teams and individuals who ran through Oz on PIHN’s behalf. Thank you so much for all of your very generous donations!

 Shout-outs to the number of individuals who
represented PIHN on the winner’s podium this year!

 

Tickets for Kids provides a trip to the Phillies!

phillies crop

We’d like to give a shout-out to Tickets for Kids Charities and their donation of tickets for two of our families to attend the Philadelphia Phillies game about two weeks ago at Citizens Bank Park. We’ve heard wonderful things from those who attended!

In the past 12 months, Tickets for Kids has provided over 200,000 tickets to charities across the U.S. Thank you so much for supporting our families and children everywhere!

Thanks for Making Back to School a HUGE Success!!

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PIHN children, teens and college kids are looking great and getting off to an awesome start for the new school year. Students received uniform gift cards and bookbags stuffed with school supplies for the upcoming school year at three PIHN Back to School gatherings held in our Northwest office last week.

SUPER Big thanks to:

Back to School CollageFinally, a special thanks to Cradles to Crayons Philadelphia for providing their efforts in making sure that the big kids and thousands of other Philly children, had all they needed too. Together, you have provided us with over 250 bookbags for our children this school year!

Blanket Donation from Sheraton Suites!

Blankets
We’ve just received a large shipment of brand new bedsheets! PIHN would like to share a super warm thank you to Sheraton Suites, Philadelphia who so generously donated over 20 HUGE trash bags stuffed with brand new, clean blankets for the families we serve!

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford shelter that is suitable during the Winter months and exposure-related conditions can be unavoidable. Thank you so much for helping us warm up those who are vulnerable in our community.

Join PIHN’s Board of Directors – Put Your Social Justice Committment to Work!

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If you are passionate about your community and have ever wondered how you can contribute to PIHN’s fight against family homelessness, here is your chance! We are actively looking for community members to apply and serve on our Board of Directors. Board members are the hidden engine of PIHN that allow our programs to function by supporting our staff in programming, fundraising, finance, and strategic planning.

If you have a background in:

  • Accounting
  • Law (Family or Housing)
  • Finance
  • Fundraising
  • Marketing
  • (or) Property Management

We are particularly looking for you! However, this is room for any interested community member who is willing to serve.

We seek members who share our values and reflect the diversity of our congregations and constituencies to help further PIHN’s mission. If this is you, please email LaVerne M. Jones at lavernemjones@gmail.com or call Rachel Falkove at (215) 247-4663 ext. 136

Ways to Support PIHN’s “No Place Like Home” 5k!

How You Can Support PIHN’s

“There’s No Place Like Home” 5k

Click Here for Registration

Big5kthingJoin PIHN!

Sunday, October 6th 2019
At The Please Touch Museum (Fairmount Park)
Remember to wear your Oz costumes for a special prize!

picnic borderHow Can I Support
“There’s No Place Like Home”


1.
You can Join as an Individual or as a Team

Visit www.pihn5k.greatfeats.com to receive your own fundraising page upon registration for $25. This is a fundraising effort, and we ask that all registrants try their best to raise a minimum of $200 to support PIHN’s Homelessness Prevention program. Every $500 raised prevents an eviction!

All 5k participants will receive a t-shirt upon registration and a finishing medal upon completion. If you wish to compete without the commitment of fundraising, please contact Bob Byrne at (215) 247-4663 ext. 137 or bob@philashelter.org to discuss options.

2. You can Donate!

Make a donation. Gifts large and small will be used to support PIHN’s Homelessness Prevention program, which offers targeted financial assistance and support, stops eviction and helps families stay housed.

If you desire, any donation of $1,000 or more can be used as match money to help motivate other runners. Please contact Rachel Falkove at (215) 247-4663 ext. 136 or rachel@philashelter.org

3. You can Share!

However you decide to participate, let your friends and family know about this event through conversation and by sharing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

4. Remember to Grab your RUBY SNEAKERS!

“There’s No Place Like Home” 5k is open to all ages and athletic abilities. Come out on October 6th (in your best Oz costume) and join our 5k team. Whether you’re a walker, runner, or roller, we invite our community of all ages to join us for this exciting and fun event

For information on the course or questions about the race,
please contact our office at (215) 247-4663

Click Here for Registration

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

Blackwell Collage

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 -
..
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!
..
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

PIHN’s New Vehicle Donation!!

We’ve Got a New Car!

Super Huge Thanks to Stephanie and Gary

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Thank you to Stephanie Miller and Gary Brooks for recently donating their 2007 Dodge Nitro to PIHN. It’s bright red, very peppy and super dependable. When asked why they are donating their car, Stephanie remarked:

“Our old car would have much more value for a non-profit than what we would receive for it in resale. PIHN is such a good organization and does so many great things to help people. We were confident that you would put the car to good use, or could give it to a family in critical need of one.”

A car really does make a big difference! If you have an old car with a little life left in it and would like to share it with a family in need, please contact Bob Byrne, Director of Operations, at bob@philashelter.org or at (215) 247-4663 ext. 137. PIHN will handle matching the car with a family in need and handle all tax paperwork.