Interfaith Housing Alliance – Helping families overcome homelessness.
September Mission of the Month – Interfaith – The New 30 Day Challenge!
Charitable organizations like Inter-Faith are struggling now, more than ever, to meet community needs due to the coronavirus. There are currently over 100 homeless families with children in eastern Montgomery County.
We knew that the month of September would look different for JUMC this year as the pandemic continues. Nancy Bennett and I have referred to September as the 30-day challenge, and now we have the “New 30 Day Challenge!” In the past, during the month of September, JUMC has become the home for up to 3 homeless families in the Interfaith Housing Alliance from our community.
Due to the Coronavirus, the new protocol for Interfaith is to separate the families as much as we can into a separate structure so that everything is contained in one building or section of a church. There are not many churches in our network that have the necessary amenities to do this. We are blessed that we went ahead and started to separate everything into the Ark. The one thing we do not have is a shower in the Ark; however, there is a shower in Fellowship Hall that we will allow the family to use until we can get one installed in the Ark.
The long-term goal had been to start a capital campaign to finish the renovations in the Ark, which include a full kitchen and a shower. Well friends, although not the perfect time, as I mentioned in an earlier church bulletin, we have started the ARK Renovation Project and we have raised enough money to start! Thank you so much – we are in excess of $12,000…still a ways to go but I have faith that we will make it! Remember the renovations will allow us to use it for other purposes in addition to Interfaith and emergency housing.
Inter-Faith Housing Alliance’s mission is to help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community faith-based response. Since the pandemic has started, Interfaith has been aggressively looking at alternatives in keeping everyone safe! JUMC will now help in that effort by hosting two families. The day center that is normally where families go during the day is being used as the “home” for a family, so transportation to the “day center” will not be necessary, and both families have cars so there are no other transportation needs at this time.
It is not known yet if one or both of the families will be staying in the Ark during the day. There are 2 school aged children that may need to stay to do their school work virtually unless school opens. We will not need overnight volunteers for the month, but see below for other volunteer opportunities. As we get closer I will share the make-up of the families. During the month of September we will need volunteers to:
- make dinners and drop them off at a location to be determined and announced before September;
- donations of gift cards to local food stores; and
· Any donations you can give towards the ARK Capital Campaign. Our goal once again is to raise $35,000.
Although September 2020 will be different, please help us once again make this a success and share your thoughts and love with those that are less fortunate than us. Remember you may be the only person in their lives that has shown them that someone cares! Calendars for sign-ups will be available again through an on-line calendar. We will share the on-line calendar code and sign on email within the next few weeks.
And lastly but most importantly – I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. As many of you know this is a special way to reach out to the community, help a family in need, and pass on the love of Jesus! For more information, call Sue Diehl at 215-913-9370 (cell); or email email@example.com.
Thank you for caring and making a difference!