“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

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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.

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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.

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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.

The 2013-2014 Annual Report is Here!

Please take a moment to read our 2013-2014 annual report. It’s been a successful year, thanks in no small part to your continued support. We extend heartfelt appreciation to our PIHN network of staff, families, congregations, coordinators, volunteers, donors, and sponsors. You helped fill the pages of our annual report with great news. Read on to find out about our name change, our wonderful children and youth programs, and more!

2013-2014 PIHN Annual Report

Empty Plate Dinner 2014

Empty Plate Dinner 2014 has come and gone, but we still remember it as a great event celebrating the strength of community. Save the date for next year’s Empty Plate Dinner, scheduled for Saturday April 18, 2015. In the mean time, click here to watch this video of the event created by student volunteer Taylor Ruso. And below are some pictures form the event as well. We thank you for your support of our inaugural Empty Plate Dinner and look forward to seeing you next year!

We thank YOU for your support of Jazz it Up ’14

We thank our community of supporters and sponsors who helped make Jazz it Up ’14 such a success. We also thank the musicians who donated their time and talent to present a spectacular jazz festival. We congratulate Jazz it Up! Producer Justin Fink on a second spectacular day of live jazz music. As you look back at these pictures from the event, we hope you remember what a good time you had while furthering NPIHN’s mission to find lasting solutions to family homelessness. We look forward to seeing you at our next event!


Photographs by Ken Burgess

Jazz it Up! 2014: SUNDAY MAY 18TH 12-9:30PM

JIU Sponsors 5.7

New Jazz it Up Sponsors Added

Friends of NPIHN are pleased to report the following sponsors for this year’s Jazz it Up! on Sunday May 18th:

  •  7165 Lounge
  •  Domenick & Associates Insurance
  •  Elfant Wissahickon Realtors
  •  The Goldenberg Group
  •  Health Partners
  •  Pepsi
  •  Philadelphia Office Retail

We thank our community of supporters for all they do to keep us going and growing!

Performers announced for Jazz it Up! 2014

If you attended Jazz it Up! last year, then you will remember all the fun that was had watching the live jazz performances on the 7165 Lounge stage. This year, we have added new acts and brought back a few of your faves from last year! We’ve also added an Old School dance party to end of the night with a special guest DJ. Read on to find the musicians scheduled to perform on Sunday May 18th at Jazz it Up! For more information, please call 215-247-4663 ext. 102.

Savor a tasty mix of old school jazz and blues, classic klezmer, New Orleans-style brass, and Latin jazz!

12 NOON to 3 PM – JAZZ BRUNCH

Old-School Jazz & Blues – un poco picante

JAZZ DOCTORS WITH JEANNIE BROOKS & SPECIAL GUEST TONY WILLIAMS

Classic Klezmer, Jewish Jazz – a family affair

THE FABULOUS SPIELKEHS, FEATURING ELAINE HOFFMAN WATTS & SUSAN WATTS

3 to 7 PM – AFTERNOON JAZZ PARTY & BUFFET

New Orleans-Style Brass – everything they do gonna be funky. . .

NEW SOUND BRASS BAND

Jazz & Soul – Philly songstress, passion from the heart. . .

MICHAL BECKHAM QUARTET

Latin Jazz – hot tropical rhythms for the mind, body and soul!

PABLO BATISTA’S MAMBO JAZZ EXPRESS

7 to 9:30 PM – OLD SCHOOL DANCE PARTY

Playing the jams that stand the test of time!

DJ MIKE HURT OF MIKE HURT ENTERTAINMENT

To purchase your tickets online or to make a donation, please click here.