About Rochester Area's Interfaith Hospitality
About RAIHN: RAIHN is a non-profit network
of 41 local, culturally diverse and caring faith communities who
provide food, safe shelter and hospitality on a weekly basis throughout
the year. RAIHN’s goal is to provide sustainable independence for
homeless families and they have a success rate of 91%!
A total of 15 host congregations provide
physically space for 5 families (15 individuals) by transforming
space into family bedrooms and communal space. In addition, hosts
and their respective support congregations provide groceries, breakfasts
and dinners for one week before the families move to the next host
RAIHN provides a van to transport the
families to and from the host congregation to the RAIHN day center
located at 34 Meigs Street. The RAIHN staff provides personalized
case management services as families enter the program and graduate
from it to permanent housing. (www.
RAIHN is part of a national organization,
Family Promise, that has nearly 200 interfaith networks across
the USA (www.familypromise.org)
About RAIHN@Third Presbyterian:
Third Presbyterian has been a host
congregation since the inception of RAIHN in April 2004, with the
Third Presbyterian clergy & congregation
intimately involved in creating the Rochester network. Our
faith partners for our hospitality efforts are New Life Presbyterian
Church and Temple B’rith Kodesh.
We host guest families four weeks
a year, typically in Feb, May, August and November.
Our rotations start on Sunday
afternoon and end on the following Sunday afternoon.
Our work typically involves over
70 volunteers for key tasks such as:
- Transforming Sunday school rooms into guest bedrooms and
TV lounge area
- Setup bathroom and kitchenette areas for our guests
- Provide freshly laundered sheets and towels for our guests
- Shop for groceries for the week (basic breakfast food,
lunch items, snacks)
- Shop for basic supplies (tissues) as well as personal items
(shampoo, toothpaste, etc)
- Provide a hot dinner each day of the week, either prepared
at home or at the church, which we share with our guests
- Greet our guests as they
arrive each day & help them
as needed while dinner is prepared
- Overnight hosts stay the
night at Third & help our guests
leave after breakfast the following morning
- Serve a hot breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings
- Convert our rooms back to Sunday school configuration
- Wash laundry in preparation for our next rotation
We use a web-based sign up tool,
so that you can easily see what fits into your interest and schedule. A link is sent via
email with the specific details for each rotation week. If
you are a new volunteer, we will always pair you with an experienced
Our work is rewarding, sorely needed and greatly appreciated by
our guests !
For more information, contact:
Loggi at 585-781-4237 and email@example.com
Laurie Mahoney at 585-747-5852 and firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Help
Before Our Host Week
Prior to our host week the following volunteer
opportunities are critical to our readiness, and buttoning-up for next time:
- Supplies - Shopping to replace items (like
paper supplies, some personal items like toothbrushes/paste, bath soap,
- Food - Shopping for staples, lunch as
well as our “continental” and hot breakfasts, and snacks. Our dinner
teams typically shop for their own items.
- Laundry - Laundering (before and after rotations)
and organizing our 'linen closet'.
- Donations - Identifying and reacting to
on-going needs for hosting our guests, like gently used washable blankets
During Our Host Week
We host families within our church building for a week at a time, four (4) times a year.
Just as we ready to start our week, volunteers are
needed to help with various tasks that do not require any advance training,
and are very short (1 hour) experiences, well-suited for families and youth
desiring community service hours, as well as busy individuals who can make
time to contribute an hour or so. At the end of the our week, we reverse these
“Pre” Set-up Saturday: We typically start
setting up our lodging areas the Saturday morning prior to our guests’
arrival on Sunday, in order to stage our beds, lamps, supplies, linens,
etc, from the bottom floor of our Ed Bldg to the top floor.
Set-up Sunday: Transform Sunday School
rooms into bedrooms, and set up bathrooms and kitchen areas, on the first
Sunday of our host week immediately after church, just in time for our
families’ arrival about 2:00 pm!
Children’s Activities: Read, play board
games, do crafts for a couple of hours while parents are settling in and
getting oriented on Set-up Sunday.
Take-down Sunday: We quickly remove our beds, etc and put
our classrooms back into their original shape as well as emptying the mini-kitchen
of our food stuffs, storing everything back in our closet on the bottom
level of the Education Building.
The following hosting roles require advance RAIHN-training
in order to serve directly, as a client-facing Host:
Dinner team (prepare/host the
dinner and evening): Dinner time is 6 p.m., with hosts arriving at 5
p.m. (4 p.m. on Saturday)
Overnight team: Arrive by 8:30 p.m. and crosses over with the dinner team,
relax with our guests and help with continental breakfast the next morning
(M-F), and leave by 7:15/7:30 a.m. after taking the guests over to the
RAIHN house next to the church at 34 Meigs St.
Hot Breakfast preparers: We serve a hot breakfast at 8:15 a.m. on both
Saturday and Sunday.
the Day Center next door from 10-1 only on our Saturday
Host the Day Center and pizza lunch on Sunday: We host the Day Center
on Sunday during take-down starting at 9 a.m. as families need to
return there. We provide & host a pizza, and help load the vat at 1:30
Beyond Third Church
In addition to the volunteer opportunities for hosting our guests at Third, RAIHN needs volunteers for the following tasks:
Van drivers - drive the RAIHN van from the
host church to the day center and return daily and on weekends. Contact:
David Poland (586-0742) to volunteer.
Day Center Staff - provide general office
support, or accompany clients to appointments and assist families
with employment and housing searches as directed by the network director.
The Day Center is next door to the church at 34 Meigs St. Contact:
Kim Hunt-Uzelac (506-9050).
Movers - assist families with moving furniture
and belongings into their own homes. The commitment is for an evening
during the week or part of a Saturday. Contact: info@RAIHN.org (585)506-9050.
Donations – help provide
basic furniture and household needs to enable our families fill their
Upcoming 2016-2017 TPC/Temple B'rith
- November 13 - November 20, 2016
- February 12 - February 19, 2017
- May 14 - May 21, 2017
- August 13 - August 20, 2017
- November 19 - November 26, 2017(includes
RAIHN Volunteer Training Dates
(for volunteers who will have "direct-contact" roles)
to Jen Canning
- RAIHN Director)
- Tues. October 25, 2016 at
6:30 - Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 4115 Dewey Ave.
Interfaith Hospitality Network - Contact
Rev. Lynette Sparks: Associate Pastor at Third Presbyterian Church
(585)271-6513 ext 106
Glen Anderson, Sue Bixler, Lorenda Gauronski,
Jim Pochyodylo, Linc Spaulding,
Beth Tschorke, Char Schuth (NL)
IHN - FAQ
Do I need special training?
Yes and No. Advance training is required
for any direct-client role like dinner and overnight. It’s only
an hour, and you can buddy with another veteran volunteer to try
the role out prior to committing to the training. All other non-direct
roles just require you, as you are, showing up, with a commitment
to helping our families with as little as an hour to share. Easy.
And of course, we have a fairly detailed manual on where you find
keys, etc. It’s always in the details!
Can I donate items?
Yes and Yes. Donation needs at Third
Church are typically to replace blankets, towels and other linens,
or small bedroom type lamps. Donations to help RAIHN families move
into their new homes include beds, mattresses, furniture and all
other household items. Sue Bixler heads up Donations at Third Church;
go to RAIHN at www.raihn.org or
(585)506-9050 to donate everything else!
What does set-up entail?
We divide this in 2 –
(1) staging items which make up our bedrooms, to the top floor
of the Education Building on Saturday prior, and
(2) actually setting up the bedrooms, etc on our 1st Sunday right
after church, and just ahead of our families’ arrival.
What does take-down entail?
Here’s when we reverse the se -up process
– Everything goes back down into our storage area, hopefully well
What does hosting at dinner entail?
When RAIHN’s Day Center closes at 5 p.m.
(4 p.m. on Saturdays), we are “open”. Volunteers are there as our
families arrive, and we are there – transparent, hospitable – as
we get ready for dinner at 6 p.m. Some dinner teams prep at home,
others in Third Church’s main kitchen area. Some guests engage
as tables are set, blessings are said, and we dine family-style
in the Celebration Center. Everyone cleans up, and we retire to
the upper floor of the Education Building for homework, conversation,
TV and sleep! This team makes sure bag lunches are prepared, and
that the incoming overnight team knows who’s having coffee and
and breakfast the next morning!
What does an overnight entail?
You arrive by 8:30 p.m., and
take over from the dinner crew. You make sure orange juice and
coffee are available the next morning. Kids may have to meet
extremely early buses, like 6:45 a.m., and you’ll open the Day
Center at 7 a.m. the next morning.
What does food preparation entail?
See Dinner Team above – Some teams are
split into someone dropping off dinner or its fixings, and another
team hosting the dinner until the overnighters arrive.
What do I need to do for Children's
On Sunday our families arrive in the
afternoon. While we are orienting parents, we provide child supervision.
We try to have construction paper and crayons and colored pencils.
There are books and puzzles. You might bring a favorite craft.
And in summer weather, a walk – with some moms – might be in order.
What does shopping entail?
We shop for bathing supplies as well
as shop for food staples, especially for breakfasts and snacks
as many of our dinner teams shop for their own dinners.
What does laundry entail?
As we take down on our last Sunday, we
need to launder bedding and towels for next time. Typically, 8-10
volunteers pickup a bag or two of laundry, and return it ahead
of our next rotation for sorting. We leave the bagged laundry
on the bottom level near the elevator, with a sign-out sheet. It’s
available from 9 a.m. on.
Are there other things I can do to help?
Yes! There are numerous
needs at 34 Meigs including skills training for parents. Please
send your ideas to Director@RAIHN.org.
Do you need a new member on the committee?
Yes and Yes and Yes! Please contact me
so we can match your interest and skills with our needs –
Can I be a substitute?
What if an emergency comes up and I
can't do my task?
Lou Loggi email@example.com or (585)781-4237
Laurie Mahoney LMahone1@rochester.rr.com or