From the Executive Director
Each year IHNSC proves to be a driving force in the fight against family homelessness and 2018 was no different. Our community came together to support our mission in empowering homeless families to achieve and maintain independence by supporting programs aimed at improving life skills and sustainability. We extend our appreciation to all who are active in our mission and believe in the daily work that IHNSC does to ensure that the families who come through our door are presented with opportunities for a brighter and stable future.
With much gratitude,
1. A Special Message from Our Board President
The balance between Faith and effort is always a challenge but 2018 has been a great year!
Our competent and innovative Staff guided by Renee’s legacy and true professionalism has met every challenge put before them and our Congregations are passionate in helping Guests feel comfortable and secure in a confusing world.
For the Board, on the effort side of the equation, our goals for this year include:
- A more active Board attracting new members with passion and skills.
- Grow our public image in all areas by communicating our successes, needs, and future directions.
- Increase fund-raising allowing us to expand services.
- Improve guest transportation methods.
- Improve facilities for guest services.
- Improve the annual network calendar in order to help planning.
Often I feel humbled and amazed at how many times things come together in such positive ways and I know that the reason is Faith.
Bless you all!
H. Steven Vollers
Board of Directors
- H. Steven Vollers, President
- Bill Jonat, Vice President
- Kathy Rue, Secretary
- Gary Survill, Treasurer
- Dottie Driscoll
- Robert J. Foley
- Sharon Howard
- Carol Levine
- Lee Matyola
- Christine Petrane
- Kate Sarles
- Angela Toia, PhD
2. A Continuum of Care that Empowers
Our Emergency Shelter provides housing, meals and basic needs through interfaith congregational hosting and support. Case management, financial counseling, mental health evaluation and community resource referrals are offered to homeless families to increase life skills and access to recourses.
- 8 families served
- 20 individuals, 11 children
- 777 hours of case management
Sunrise House, located in Bridgewater, accommodates families who were previously in our Emergency Shelter and have prepared themselves for independence but find themselves stalled by the search for permanent, affordable housing. Individualized case plans are continued and basic needs are subsidized as families work on educational and employment goals.
- 3 families served
- 3 adults, 4 children
- 3 adults employed
- 2 adults enrolled in Raritan Valley Community College
- 633 hours of case management
Phase 2 offers 18 months of continuing case management and support to clients who have transitioned to independent housing. This fills an identified gap in services to support previously homeless families to prevent relapse back into homelessness.
- 25 families served
- 54 individuals, 24 children
- 16 single mothers
- 18 adults employed
- 806 hours of case management
Rapid Re-housing serves clients who achieved independent housing. Clients receive Homeless Trust Fund assistance and are considered at high risk of relapse back into homelessness. Clients receive individualized case management, financial counseling, basic needs support and mental health services.
- 6 families served
- 9 individuals, 2 children
- All adults employed
- 604 hours of case management
Sound Minds provides all clients, children and adults, with a psychiatric evaluation, mental
health counseling and crisis intervention. Our counselor provides direct services to clients at our
host congregations, as well as in-home counseling. All adults and children have access to
mental health services and participate in consistent counseling.
- 7 families participated in family therapy
- NO mental health hospitalizations
Daycare Plus funds children, infant through age 5, to attend licensed and age-appropriate child
care and preschool at the Somerville YMCA at no cost to the parent(s). We offer this program
service in partnership with the YMCA who provides 50% of tuition scholarships to our referred
children. IHNSC funds the additional 50% while offering case management and transportation
from the program.
- 1 child enrolled in childcare
3. Our Volunteer Impact
In 2018, you responded to the needs of 36 families in our emergency shelter and continuum of care programs.
- 17 host congregations
- 17 support congregations
- 1,897 nights of shelter
- 5,815 meals
- 9,464 volunteer hours
- Over 1,000 volunteers
- Back-to-school supplies
- Basic needs support
- Holiday support
- Interview clothing
- Housing supplies
- Transportation assistance
4. Clients Who Inspire
Mary came to IHNSC through our Rapid Re-housing rental assistance program. A full-time home health aide, the mother of two young girls still struggled to pay rent. Mary dreamed of becoming a registered nurse, but the financial stress of everyday life prevented her from attending college.
When a vacancy opened in Sunrise House, Mary, who had just obtained citizenship, moved into Sunrise House with her daughters. She is enrolled full-time at Raritan Valley Community College and works part-time. The support for IHNSC allows Mary to work to secure a stable future for her and her daughters. She is a true role model for her children and those around her.
5. A Community That Cares
Cookie Bake-Off: A Sweet Success
A little flour, sugar and eggs, combined with a love of baking, go a long way to help our clients.
Partnering with Williams-Sonoma in Bridgewater Commons, IHNSC sponsored our first Cookie Bake-off, raising awareness of our mission and funds for case management services. More than 50 bakers submitted cookies for the contest, judged by professional chefs/bakers. Home-baked cookies donated by bakers throughout the county were sold through our congregations.
Congratulations to our winners:
- Adult Category: JCC Cares, Carol Engel, Pat Flavin
- Senior Category: Helen Bauer, Cynthia Roderer, Barbara Ann Driscoll
- Junior Category: North Plainfield HS Student Group 1, Samantha and Amanda Osborn, North Plainfield HS Group 2
Special thanks to Williams-Sonoma and our judges: Susan Collelicho, Williams-Sonoma; Kathleen Sanderson, Ninety Acres; and John Vingara, Somerset County Vo-Tech.
We would also like to thank Erik Kutz of Williams-Sonoma, Janine Gordon of Ninety Acres, Barry Krinsky of Candyland Crafts and Connie Riley Ayad for their generous donations of prizes. And finally, to Pastor Chelsea Miller and the staff of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, thank you for opening your doors and hosting our cookie sale!
A Day of Helping Hands
We were the recipient of a generous $25,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which will be used to help maintain our much-needed outreach for homeless families in the community.
As a further gesture of their support of IHN’s mission, nine employees from the Foundation also spent a team-building day at the Flynn Day Center in Somerville, where they brightened the facility with a new coat of paint and assembled furniture for use by our clients.
“Each year our team picks a new community outreach project,” said Cookie Acot, an administrative coordinator at the Foundation. “I was familiar with IHN’s great work through Board Member Christine Petrane, so I recommended that we consider it for 2018. We all felt that it was the perfect match for the Foundation and it obviously meets a critical need here in Somerset County.”
Brian O’Neil, Chief Investment Officer for the Foundation, noted that IHN’s three-phased approach to providing a continuum of care for the homeless dovetails nicely with the Foundation’s focus on healthy communities.
“Across the country we’re supporting large and small organizations that are working hard to remove the barriers to healthy viable communities,” he explained. “We were impressed with IHN’s philosophy of helping at-risk families with shelter, financial support and advocacy. Plus, they have a strong network of community volunteers to help sustain these valuable programs.”
Additionally, a key benefit of the team-building day was that the Foundation’s employees got to see first-hand how its grant would be put to work in Somerset County, he said.
The renovation of our Flynn Day Center has proven to be appreciated by families in all of our phases as it exhibits a comfortable, organized and productive environment. Used for case management appointments and mental health sessions on top of serving as home-base for our emergency shelter families, it is important to provide a home-like setting for families experiencing homelessness. We have much gratitude to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for supporting our mission and recognizing the crucial work that IHNSC does to ensure that homeless children and adults are empowered though our network to achieve and maintain independence.