Host congregations provide a space for families to stay for a week at a time usually once a quarter.
Host congregations provide the foundation for The Road Home’s Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) Shelter Program. Families stay at a host congregation for one week at a time from a Sunday evening until the following Sunday morning. Host congregations provide shelter for the families for four weeks per year with host weeks occurring quarterly. Families stay at the host congregation from 5 p.m. until 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on Saturday). During the day, they come to The Road Home’s Day Shelter. You can learn more about How Our Shelter Works.
If your congregation wants to make a difference for families experiencing homelessness in our community, we would love to have your help! Read on to learn the basics of being a host congregation. Remember that each host congregation usually works with several buddy congregations or businesses. Buddy groups are assigned one or more shifts during the week to cover the volunteer duties for that evening and morning.
Host congregations provide:
- Temporary overnight housing for up to 5 families (14 individuals maximum) in its facility for a period of 7 evenings, a maximum of 4 times per year. This temporary housing should provide privacy for each family grouping, either through separate rooms or the use of dividers.
- Bedding, sheets and towels for the families.
- A safe place for sleeping.
- A sufficient number of volunteers who have completed The Road Home’s volunteer training program to host the families. Read about the volunteer duties at our shelter here. Learn how to Become a Volunteer. Volunteer shifts may be filled by volunteers from the host congregation, “buddy” congregations/businesses or from the “Floater/Student” volunteer list provided by The Road Home.
- Evening and morning meals on days not covered by buddy congregations/businesses and items for sack lunches.
- A primary coordinator(s) to recruit local volunteers, to serve as a liaison with The Road Home staff and to attend scheduled coordinator meetings.
- Transportation of the cots and personal belongings to the next Host Congregation at the end of their host week. (The Road Home provides transportation for the families.)
To learn more about being a host congregation, download our packet here or contact Alane Conn by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 608-294-7998 ext 306 for more information.
You can also see a list of our current host congregations.