A Success Story

Tomorrow night is our last night for the 2007-8 season of the Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative (HIHI). Once again we successfully teamed up with Centerport Methodist, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs and St. Patricks’ Church to provide housing on Saturday nights.

We still have some opportunities for volunteers tomorrow night and Sunday morning. We need people to help serve and clean up for dinner. This shift runs from 4:45-10:00 PM. We can divide this up at 8:00 PM if we have people to cover the entire time. We also need people for the clean-up crew on Sunday morning from 6:30-8:00 AM. You could then be at church by 8:30 for the Bible Study.

We all owe a huge thank you to Anne Canadeo to thank for coordinating our end of the program. She always does such a great job with minimal fuss. And thank you to the many volunteers who cooked, cleaned and hosted the program. This is a very important ministry of our church and community. I am so proud of the work that we are able to do to provide housing for people who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets during the cold of winter.

The HIHI program continues to be one of the most successful interfaith efforts that I have seen. Almost all of the churches and synagogues in the town of Huntington are involved in some way. Housing is provided every night of the week in a house of worship. And each site includes volunteers from several congregations in partnerships such as the one in which we participate. So through this program we have been able to forge even deeper relationship with the other faith communities in Huntington.

Of course the most important part of the program is the service that is provided. The program has been serving 18-25 homeless persons each night of the week. This number seems to vary with the night of the week and the weather. In addition to a warm place to sleep we provide dinner and breakfast, showers at least one day a week and donations of clothing and other essential goods to ease the lives of our homeless guests. From the HIHI program we developed our weekly lunch (and now breakfast) program. This program has been called the Lunch Making program, but after a voting process that was much simpler than the Texas primary it is has been renamed the Peace and Plenty Interfaith Food Outreach.

These programs are great examples of what can be done by a few dedicated people who just want to make sure others are fed and housed. This work stands as an inspiration for us all.

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