Short-term Transitional Housing
Safe, comfortable sleeping rooms are provided to IHN guest families for a week at a time at the physical facilities of one of the IHN network of 36 faith-based congregations. Volunteer members of the hosting congregation, with their support congregation partners, provide three meals and evening hospitality to the families while they are at the facilities of the hosting congregation. IHN staff provides training for volunteers, organizational support, and monitors the interaction between guest families and hosting congregation volunteers.
For most of our guest families, this is their first experience with homelessness and they are not familiar with services for which they might qualify.
To increase the ability of guest parents to make appropriate decisions in managing their personal finances.
Help parents create or improve their resume, prepare for employment interviews, and acquire appropriate apparel and personal appearance to meet prospective employers.
The case manager provides simple and practical techniques to help parents to reduce their stress and improve communication with their children. Practical tools and techniques that help adults achieve respectful, healthy relationships with their children are discussed.
The case manager assists guest families in obtaining affordable housing and educates them on ways to prevent a return to homelessness. Through the budgeting section of the Financial Literacy program, shelter expenses in addition to the rent, are discussed and families are encouraged to get and evaluate complete cost information from potential landlords.
Helping Hands Fund
Helping Hands Fund was established by the Board of Directors to provide guest families with essentials and extra items that allow the families to live a more normal life while in the IHN program.
A physical facility that IHN rents in an old Victorian house near city center. Since IHN provides shelter to families with children who are in homeless situations, it was determined that the Family Day Center should, as close as possible, resemble a residence. Thus, guest family children needn't be embarrassed when the school bus comes to pick them up or drop them off. The building is on the free shuttle bus line which is convenient to the offices of most social service agencies and three of the city's major parks. The building provides a space for guest families to shower/bathe, wash laundry, prepare formula and food for infants, and prepare snacks for the older children for when they return from school, and to receive mail and phone calls. In the children's enrichment center there is a library and computers available for the children to use for school work and relaxation. Also, there is an outdoor play space for the younger children and a basketball hoop for the older children. The Day Center is a place where families can play or just relax together.
Volunteer Service Program
The mission of the Volunteer Service Program is to assure that IHN guest families experience hospitality provided by volunteers while they reside in safe and comfortable space to search for employment, recreate, share meals and sleep. This includes:
- Insuring that the hosting facility is safe and the volunteers have been trained to respond to emergency situations in a calm and confident manner.
- Each congregation has sufficient number of trained volunteers for their hosting week to set up family bedrooms, prepare meals, welcome and host families during their week stay and provide after dinner activities.
- Training volunteers to be sensitive to the families' situations and stresses and assure that they are prepared to be understanding, compassionate and patient as they interact with them.
- Assuring that each congregation implements its weekly hosting plan with energy and goodwill and is prepared to deal with unexpected surprises as they become known.
- Assuring that the Family Day Center and grounds are maintained to a level where everything operates efficiently and the building is comfortable and welcoming for guest families.
Take Home Technology
When a family enters the IHN program they are given exclusive use of a desktop computer with Internet access at the Family Day Center (donated by many local businesses and organizations). The computer provides them the ability to create resumes, complete online employment applications, research employment opportunities and affordable housing, plus keep in touch with friends and relatives through their email account. Each computer has Quicken Basic installed and use of the software is covered in the financial literacy program. A group of volunteer mentors have been trained to provide parents with the education they need to get the most from their time at their computer. Upon successful completion of the IHN program the family is encouraged to take the computer with them to their new home. This allows them to keep all of the documents they have created while in the program and maintain their electronic associations. Their children will also be able to use the computer for school work, research projects and enjoyment.
IHN is well known and respected within
the Colorado Springs/El Paso County community.
As a result, we receive many phone calls or drop-in contacts
for various types of assistance.
For those who require assistance that we do not provide every
effort is made to connect them to the agency that is most
appropriate to providing the requested assistance.
It is not unusual for IHN to receive 60 phone calls and a
dozen or more drop-in contacts each month.
IHN Family Day Center
(Directions to our day center.)