The Homeless Hospitality Network
IHOC’s flagship program is what we call the Homeless Hospitality Network. Through this innovative, intensive, six month long program, IHOC takes up to a dozen homeless men off the streets at a time and provides them with shelter and food, housing them with our member congregations, while also enabling them to become self sufficient through regular drug and alcohol counseling and life skills training.
We run the Homeless Hospitality Network from October until May, during which time homeless men, are housed with various member congregations. The congregations serve as hosts for two week periods, providing meals, a warm, secure place to sleep, and fellowship. During the first ten weeks, the men gain valuable lessons by attending life skills classes on money management, job seeking, and developing interpersonal relationships while also working with nonprofit organizations such as the Goodwill Industries. Following the required training, the men begin an intensive job search. Once they obtain a job, the men must deposit 80 percent of their salaries into an IHOC managed account to be held for them until they secure permanent housing. Throughout the entire program the men participate in intensive drug and alcohol counseling and are expected to attend a minimum of two Narcotics Anonymous and/or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week. In addition to all these rehabilitative programs the congregations also make a strong effort to engage the clients during their spare time and keep them active with various recreational activities.
John Dambly House
As part of its continuous, hands-on efforts to engage its past and present clients IHOC also operates a transitional housing program. Through the generosity of The Chapel of the Annunciation Episcopal Church (one of our many participating congregations), IHOC has the use of a house in Lawnside, NJ. The house is available to house up to four graduates of the Homeless Hospitality Network for a term of up to one year. These men must be willing to continue in a structured program which includes mandatory curfews, counseling and continuous employment. In exchange for living at the house the men are asked to pay a minimal guest fee. Proceeding in this manner allows them to save money they need to take the next step forward towards complete independence.
Permanent Housing Program
IHOC maintains housing units in Camden for homeless families who, for various reasons, such as loss of employment or illness, no longer have the financial resources to remain in the regular housing market. During this three-year program, a professional case worker meets regularly with the family and provides invaluable support and the families are only required to pay a minimal guest fee to participate. This enables them to save money towards the purchase of the property they are staying at from IHOC.
Pack-A-Sack is a program which delivers school supplies primarily to Camden children living in homeless shelters (some of the supplies go to other impoverished Camden children who, while not homeless, are still extremely needy). Participating in Pack-A-Sack is a great way to directly help out less fortunate children in need of basic help. Supporting the program is easy. All you have to do is purchase a child size backpack and fill it with back-to-school items such as pens, pencils, rulers, folders and any type of school supply that you think a child could use. Many of the children Pack-A-Sack targets are also in need of socks and underwear. Including these items along with the other school supplies would therefore be extremely helpful. Pack-A-Sack is held annually towards the beginning of each school year. You can check our website in July or August of each year to see where you can drop off items for the program.
Adopt-A-Box is another annual program IHOC runs which is very similar to Pack-A-Sack. The purpose of Adopt-A-Box is to distribute basic hygiene supplies to men, women and children who are currently staying in shelters or using day centers. Like Pack-A-Sack, Adopt-A-Box is easy to participate in and is a great way to help out those in need. All you have to do is take a shoe box and fill it with basic items such as: toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, baby shampoo, deodorant, underwear, shaving cream, hand lotions, razors, wash clothes, socks and any other useful hygiene items you can think of. Once you have filled up your shoebox or shoeboxes, just mark each one as “Man”, “Woman”, or “Child” based on which items you placed in it. IHOC typically runs this program in March, around which time you can check our website to find out where the drop off locations will be.