From the Executive Director
Our community continues to invest in the futures of our homeless families with children. Intensive case management and advocacy empower families towards obtaining and maintaining independent housing. Our interfaith congregations provide the foundation for safe shelter and food security. This support extends throughout our continuum of care to reach families who working but do not make a livable wage. We remain a lifeline for many families that we serve based on our effort to go above and beyond in ensuring that every need is met. IHNSC has unwavering appreciation for all of our partnerships: congregational, individual and beyond that allow us to carry our mission into another year.
With much gratitude,
A Special Message from Our Board President
As I write this message, we are all isolated from our typical routines, staying at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Yet as a community, IHN is never isolated. We are constantly reaching out to our clients, our volunteers and our congregations to instill hope – hope for housing, hope for health and hope in our Faith.
As we ended 2019, we expanded our outreach so we can continue to work with our families to help them gain independence. Our staff, headed by Alyssa Martini, amazes me on a daily basis as they overcome challenges and celebrate family successes. And I am indebted to our board for their commitment and hands-on work; we are a team like no other.
I do want to remember Bob Foley, a long-time champion of IHNSC and board member who passed away unexpectedly in March 2019. Bob’s compassion, Irish wit and commitment to service touched all of us. We continue to feel his spirit every day. God bless you, Bob.
And finally, thank you to each and every one of you, who have supported our families in countless ways. From meals, to hosting nights, to holiday gifts, school supplies and monetary donations. We need each of you and salute your generosity.
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
- Donna Casale
- Carol Goett
- Jill Potdevin
- Carol Levine
- Angela Toia
- Lee Matyola
- Kate Sarles
- Robert J. Foley (deceased March 2019)
Our Volunteer Impact
In 2019, you responded to the needs of 40 families in our emergency shelter and continuum of care programs.
- 17 host congregations
- 17 support congregations
- 9,549 nights of shelter
- 3,027 meals
- 1,328 Volunteer hours
- Over 1,000 volunteers
- Back-to-school supplies
- Basic needs support
- Holiday support
- Interview clothing
- Housing supplies
- Transportation assistance
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 resources.
- 11 families served
- 30 individuals, 18 children
- 1,544 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.
- 2 families served
- 2 adults, 4 children
- 2 adults employed
- 2 adults enrolled in Raritan Valley Community College
- 463 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.
- 20 families served
- 47 individuals, 25 children
- 14 single mothers
- 15 adults employed
- 926 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.
- 5 families served
- 8 individuals, 2 children
- All adults employed
- 139 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
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
Clients Who Inspire
Living through two civil wars in her native country of Africa, Hawa came to the United States seeking asylum and the American Dream. Through perseverance and maintaining a perpetual positive outlook on her journey, Hawa is the true definition of a survivor. Through our Emergency Shelter, Hawa identified and completed goals towards self-sufficiency. Focusing on the needs of her three children, employment and mental health, Hawa has removed several barriers towards living independently. After obtaining her own apartment, Hawa has continued to thrive in our Phase 2 program. By working on stabilization through financial and mental health case management, Hawa has shown her dedication to her independence. Her giving nature has even inspired and assisted other IHNSC clients. As the guest speaker at our 2019 Thanksgiving Interfaith Service, Hawa was brave enough to have her story told with pride. The support of IHNSC has given Hawa the tools, life skills and confidence that she needs to keep her remarkable story moving forward towards her permanent independence. With aspirations to become a Certified Nurse Assistant, Hawa’s giving nature and life experiences will continue to benefit those around her.
A Community That Cares
Our partnerships throughout our community continued to benefit our homeless and low-income families in 2019.
Children attend the Santa Fly-In at the Central Jersey Regional Airport sponsored by the Branchburg Rotary.
Flynn Center beautification generously donated by Liquid Church volunteers.
Gateway Gives Back! collected back-to-school supplies for children in all program phases.
ConvaTec elves wrapped holiday gifts for IHNSC families.
Our Calendar Raffle provided much excitement for winners and staff alike! With winners pulled each day of the week in November, December and January 2020, our biggest fundraiser successfully engaged our community and generated funding for our programs aimed at providing stabilization and independence for our homeless families.
Partnering once again with Williams-Sonoma in Bridgewater Commons for our 2nd Annual Holiday Cookie Bake-Off proved to be both delicious and a sweet success for raising awareness about IHNSC. With adult and youth categories, contestants brought their best cookie creations to be judged by Gail Kingman of Sweet Passion Cakery in Warren, Hadley Gustason of The Cooking School at Natirar and Anissa Hopkins of Williams-Sonoma.
Our Financial Contributors.