I appreciated your comments in [the April 4] IBJ about the Horizon House and the general efforts of the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention to help the many experiencing homelessness in our community.
As treasurer for the Indianapolis Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), I am well aware of the need and the limited resources to address homelessness in our city. Like many non-profit organizations, the Interfaith Hospitality Network is a lesser-known organization, which involves over 1,200 people belonging to one of 30 religious congregations of different faiths in our community. Working together, these volunteers provide food, shelter and support to homeless families while the families work with our paid staff to find housing, jobs and transportation.
Our goal is to help these families rebuild a more normal life. They spend evenings at a local congregation and use our center as a home base during the day as they work to re-establish housing. Very importantly, the children continue to go to school, which is a vital need for homeless families. We serve four to eight families at a time, and served over 200 individuals last year. I encourage you to learn more about our program on our website—www.indyihn.org.
In these difficult financial times, the need has increased significantly and the resources have become more limited. As you noted, volunteers are always welcome.
Mitchell E. Katz
Interfaith Hospitality Network