IHN, Interfaith Hospitality Network, is a national network of churches sharing a common goal of providing temporary shelter and meals to homeless families with children. In 1994, Indianapolis and Carmel United Methodist Church joined the national IHN program. Carmel United Methodist Church continues as one of 40 churches now involved locally. During the past 14 years we have hosted up to 15 guests for a week at a time, four times a year. These guests are families, who have made a commitment to permanently change their lives. Their goal is to move toward self-sufficiency through jobs, housing, and transportation.
How You Can Serve:
Individuals of the community of CUMC commit a few hours in an effort to enable our guests to have a secure place to spend their nights as they work to reach their goals. We need about 80 volunteers for each week we host to help with...
- Setting up rooms at CUMC for guest families
- Helping to provide a wholesome evening meal
- Driving the van one day to transport guests to and from IHN Day Center
- Providing snack and food items for lunches
- Sleeping in host room at CUMC one night to provide security for guests
- Assisting with children's crafts and activities
- Laundering bedding and towels after stay
- Taking down beds and loading a van to move beds on to next church
What Do We Do To Help:
Each day that our guests are with us, our volunteers deliver our guests to the church by van each evening at 5:30 pm and then return them to the Day Facility at 7:00 am the next day. At the Day Facility families receive assistance with preparing resumes and job applications, and also spend time seeking interviews. They also make application for housing and receive guidance and counseling in special needs such as extending their education. On arriving at our church for the evening, families enjoy a wholesome dinner together. Planned activities are made available for children after dinner while parents prepare lunches for the next day. A volunteer arrives to stay with the guests overnight. Each family has their own room with linens and toiletries provided. Beds have traveled to our church and will move on to the next church at the end of the week.