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!

Spotlighting Aubree House – Our Young Poet

One of PIHN’s very own, Aubree House, recently wrote a poem that was selected for presentation at the All City Oratorical Contest in celebration of Black History Month. In addition to grabbing a star role in her school play “Hairspray!”, Aubree is really putting her best foot forward and making us very proud! Read Aubree’s poem “Take a Knee” below.

Can we Take a Knee?

Can we take a knee and stand up for our rights?

Can we take a knee and stop all the fights?

Can we take a knee and realize black lives do matter?

Can we take a knee and save lives from being shattered?

Can we take a knee and realize for a second

Every single day some lives are being threatened?

Can we take a knee and stand up against police brutality?

I can’t believe our world has come to this very harsh reality.

Can we take a knee and stop all the hate?

Can we take a knee and begin to retaliate?

Can we take a knee and stand up for what we believe?

Can we take a knee and see what we all can achieve?

Can we take a knee and speak up when something’s wrong?

Not by yourself, but together … we are strong!

Can we take a knee and treat others with respect?

If you don’t … then think of all the people you might affect.

I’m saying this to you today, to tell you something true.

All the violence in the world … isn’t something new.

Can we take a knee and make this world adjust?

Can we take a knee, not just by myself, but with all of us?

Can we take a knee?

Aubreewritten by Aubree House.

PIHN’s Award of Recognition

An Honor of Recognition

Receiving FUMCOG’s Social Justice Award

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Last week, Executive Director Rachel Falkove received the annual Social and Racial Justice award given by The First United Methodist Church in Germantown (FUMCOG) this past MLK day weekend. Also recognized for maintaining one of the most respected agencies in the city, this award is granted as an honor to those who cross racial or ethnic lines making significant contributions toward the resolution of issues regarding social and racial injustice. 

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.

 

“An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure”

A Homelessness Prevention Strategy that Philly 

Desperately Needs.

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Hundreds of Philadelphia families, even from the priciest neighborhoods of our City, find themselves during the course of any month. Far too often they cannot get the emergency help they need. Philadelphia’s safety net, the shelter system, is stretched well beyond capacity and lacks the resources necessary to respond to current economic and housing realities of City residents, in particular for the Northeast zip codes that Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN) and our 20 Northeast area congregations serve. Northeast Philadelphia has the second highest eviction rate in the city. More than 5,700 School District students were homeless last year. Some were in shelter, but others were couch surfing. Each year approximately 14,000 Philadelphians utilize a homeless shelter.

Homelessness occurs for a myriad of reasons and comes with many costs. Shelter beds are very expensive – approximately $15,000 per individual and $45,000 for a three person household per year! The choice not to build additional shelter beds to meet the true need comes with hidden social costs that show up in unnecessary placements in the child welfare system, increased health crises, lost employment, delays in educational progress for children, prolonged domestic violence, increased trauma and resulting behavioral health problems. Vacant housing brings down our neighborhoods.

Rather than let families and children fall behind, how can Philadelphia provide necessary resources and services sooner to prevent the downward spiral of homelessness? A promising solution lies in a cost-effective “homelessness prevention” strategy, managed by public-private partnerships that includes community, faith-based, local government, and corporate collaboration and support.

On March 13th and March 20th Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, Family Service Provider Network, the Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, Health Providers, Legal Aid groups and others testified in public hearings on the Homelessness Prevention and Philadelphia’s Eviction Crisis to ask our City Council to support investment in community-based prevention strategies that would help 1,000 households to avoid the emergency shelter system. Utilizing the Housing Trust Fund for homelessness prevention monies would be money well-spent. 3 million dollars would provide landlord mediation, legal assistance, financial coaching, benefits advocacy, employment and training, “master leasing”, and short-term financial assistance. These interventions have been tried in other cities and have proven 98% successful in preventing homelessness and displacement. While there will still be some families who need higher levels of service, most low income working families can avoid homelessness with targeted interventions.

Prevention intervention costs range from $500 per household to $6,000 per household in one year of service, compared to the high costs of providing shelter or the societal costs of doing nothing, PIHN believes that our City leadership should work to develop a community based homelessness prevention plan utilizing funds from the City Housing Trust Fund. By investing in a proven intervention, homeless Philadelphians won’t have to rely solely on the shelter system. A great city like Philadelphia can, and should, do better for its vulnerable citizens.

2017 Empty Plate Dinner Slideshow!

Check out some of these awesome shots taken at the 4th Annual EPD.

We had a WONDERFUL time with our neighbors this year!

Photo Creds to our German Volunteer: “Felizitas Bitzenhofer”

PIHN joins FSPN at City Council Homelessness Prevention Hearing

Council Prevention hearing-Nancy House testifying-2017-03-13edit

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 in photo above) & Rachel Falkove (below) at Press Conference before the Hearing.

City Council Homelessness Prevention Hearing-PIHN Rachel-2017-03-13 (2)edit

Click Here for our Article on PlanPhilly.com!

Take a peak into the Hearing by following these YouTube links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MwnKoh7L-Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO88646l1QY

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.

raymour

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.