The Interfaith Homeless Outreach Council (IHOC) runs a program for up to 12 homeless men that begins in November and runs until May when they graduate. The men are provided with training, career and life skill counseling before seeking and securing employment during the program as well as attend addiction counseling and support groups. By the end of the program the men are completely self-sufficient and able to move into housing and live on a budget their income can afford. During the program they stay for two-weeks in different locations and from Feb 23 until March 8 the men will be lodging at Our Savior and eating dinners here every night. Here is what we will need from the congregation to make their stay here possible.
Sleeping Area: The cots the men sleep on will be set up in our Parish Hall and during those two weeks there will be no outside or congregational activities that will be held in that space. Last year the mop sink in the ground floor custodial closet was converted to a shower for the men to use during their stay. They will have access to the Youth Room in order to relax, read, or watch TV or movies at night or during the day on the weekends.
Schedule: The men will leave Our Savior by 6:30 a.m. and return no sooner than 4:00 each weekday. During that time they will either be in counseling, searching for a job, or working at one after being hired. On the weekends they will either be here at Our Savior or engaged in an activity as a group (e.g. go bowling, to the movies, laundromat, etc.) as some congregations provide the funds for some recreational activities. Prior to leaving in the morning the men will make their breakfast and lunch from grocery supplies the congregation volunteers will have provided. In the evening the Dinner Host will make the meal at Our Savior as well as eat with the men and engage in conversation. The men are also required to attend a 12-Step Program at least once a week.
Volunteers Needed: There are basically three categories of volunteers needed.
- Breakfast or Lunch Supplies Provider: Volunteers would provide the food supplies for either breakfast or lunch for the men to prepare on their own. 14 of each will be needed.
- Dinner Hosts: An individual or family volunteer will be at the church from 4:00 until 7:00 on the night they host. During that time they will prepare the meal and eat with the men as a means to get to know them and be a support to their participation in the program.
- Overnight/Weekend Hosts: An overnight host must be a man who is expected to arrive by 7:00 p.m. and remain in the church until 7:00 the next morning or until all the men have left if sooner. A cot will be provided and overnight hosts are encouraged to socialize with the men at their discretion. Weekend hosts will be asked to remain in the church in two shifts beyond the Overnight Host shift; from 7:00-Noon and Noon-4:00 when the Dinner Host arrives.
A signup of all of the various volunteer positions will be made available online and at church. You can sign up on Sunday before or after worship or sign up online. Either way we hope you make a point to volunteer for one aspect of this new opportunity to participate in an amazingly successful ministry.