June St
Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Worcester (IHN)IHN kids

The Network

The United Parish has been a part of the Interfaith Hospitaltiy Network of Greater Worcester, "the IHN," since 2002. As a network congregation we join Jewish, Catholic, Unitarian and other Protestant congregations in supporting homeless families with children in greater Worcester County. Together, we operate a home in Worcester, 91 June St., that houses six families at a time. While staying at the IHN house, families work with the staff to make a transition plan, save money for "first-last-deposit," make needed connections with other IHN mom and sonsocial services, enroll in school or maintain their current jobs. The IHN is the only family shelter in Worcester County that works with families regardless of income or family configuration. 

 

Hosting

The United Parish currently takes two, one-week shifts "hosting" at 91 June Street. As congregational hosts, we provide evening and overnight "hosts" who provide companionship to the families and communication with the staff. We also provide grocery cards, diapers and other needed supplies, as requested. Members of our parish have brought up art supplies to make sidewalk drawings, ponies for pony rides, board games, and most important of all, their friendship and caring presence.  

 

Evening Hosts:

Arrive at June St. at 5:30 and stay till 8:30 pm, eating dinner and spending early evening hours with guest families. Often there's homework to assist with, babies to hold, games to play, books to read, or just quiet conversation to enjoy. 

 

Overnight Hosts:

Arrive at June St. by 8:15 pm and spend the night on a roll-away cot in the Director's office, logging the evening's events in the log before they are relieved at 6:30 am (7:30 am on Sat.-Sun.) the next morning. 

 


Fundraising:

As a network congregation of the IHN, the United Parish supports the program finanacially as well as with hosting weeks. We contribute a "pledge" each year toward the running of the IHN, raising money through fundraisers and offerings. In recent years, we've been running an IHN "Rock-a-Thon," a rocking chair marathon the first weekend of December. Participants sign up to rock one or more hours at church for 24-hour cycle, soliciting pledges from friends, family and neighbors. 

 

Likewise the IHN itself holds fundraisers each year which we, along with all the network congregations, are asked to promote and support:

  • Walk for the Homeless 
  • Ride for a Reason (bike ride) 
  • Benefit Musical Concert 
  • Holiday Appeal 

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