by Louis Loggi
A family searches for a place to stay on a cold evening…… sounds like the beginning of a familiar holiday story perhaps, but it is a cold reality for many in Rochester. You can easily picture the scenario:
An unexpected illness or car repair which ruins the limited budget, not enough cash so some bills go unpaid, the scrambling to recover until the next paycheck. Sometimes the scrambling is not enough and families lose their housing.
This is one of the faces of homelessness, albeit not the stereotypical one.
All of these situations create a short term housing crisis for families in Rochester.
For families with children, appropriate shelters are often a concern. This void is what the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network (RAIHN) tries to fill on a weekly basis. For over a dozen years, RAIHN has provided this safety net. In 2015, RAIHN helped 32 families, with a total of over 4100 total nights of safe shelter. With RAIHN’s help, 90% of those families are still in stable housing – RAIHN works!
During the last rotation at Third Presbyterian Church, our team literally rescued one family from the street. An unexpected turn of family events led a grandmother, caring for 2 preschool grandchildren, to lose their housing. They spent a night in a storage locker before being connected to the RAIHN staff. When the RAIHN staff asked if Third Church could accommodate them on short notice, of course we said yes. They gratefully joined us for the remainder of the week – thankfully before the cold weather arrived.
We provide a safe, comfortable environment along with food and compassion. We listen and empathize. We give children time to play and give adults time to regroup. We help repair our community.
This is only made possible because of the money you pledge to Third Presbyterian Church. Without this volunteer and monetary support, these families might still be living on the streets.
If you feel called to support this program, please send a check, made out to Third Presbyterian Church, to Carol Foster with RAIHN written in the “note” line.
For more information on other ways you can support this ministry, contact:
Lou Loggi – firstname.lastname@example.org