The Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network Inc., a coalition of 46 religious groups, was founded in 2003 to help homeless families achieve independence. Since its founding, RAIHN has assisted 300 families, providing shelter, food, personalized case management and other services.
Homeless families are referred to RAIHN by the Monroe County Department of Human Services, the Salvation Army and other agencies. The network can accommodate up to 14 guests at once or five families, each with one or two adults and a child or children. Families are interviewed by the network’s director, a licensed social worker, before acceptance into the program. RAIHN places a strong emphasis on keeping family members together during the entire period of temporary displacement.
Once they are in the program, families spend days at the RAIHN day center and going to appointments, working to solve the problems that caused their homelessness. At 5 p.m. RAIHN’s bus takes them to one of 15 host congregations, where they are given dinner and overnight shelter. The families are picked up by the bus at 7 a.m., after having eaten breakfast and packed a lunch, and return to the day center. Children are picked up at the day center and transported to their home schools so they can maintain normal school attendance.
RAIHN’s day center and headquarters are in a house rented from Third Presbyterian Church, one of the host congregations. Guests use the center as their home while they are in the program. They can shower and do laundry there. They have access to a phone and computer to search for apartments or employment. And from the day center they can use Regional Transit Service buses with support from donations and a grant of bus passes.
The day center has three offices, three guest living rooms, three bathrooms, an attic clothing closet and storage areas for use by guests. The house currently lacks an outdoor play area for children.
The RAIHN program depends on approximately 1,800 volunteers. The host congregations generally house families for a week at a time, four times a year, and the network includes 31 more faith communities that provide volunteers and financial support. A coordinator in each congregation manages its volunteer schedule.
RAIHN’s signature annual fundraising event is Car City, in which supporters raise donations for the network by spending the night in their cars. Car City for 2014 was held on the night of May 3 at Asbury First United Methodist Church, another of RAIHN’s host congregations.
The network has two full-time and two part-time employees, and Nancy Elliott is its director. The office is at 34 Meigs St., and the website is www.raihn.org.
Financial record Year ended Dec. 31, 2013
Foundations and corporations $95,908 46
Religious and civic organizations 53,615 26
Individual contributions 25,956 12
Government contracts 23,800 11
Fundraising 10,741 5
Investment income 76 less than 1
Total revenue $210,096 100
Pay and benefits $110,961 63
Occupancy 14,060 8
Guest-related expenses 13,762 8
Professional fees 10,630 6
General and management costs 7,421 4
Van capital expense 4,310 2
Training 3,400 2
Computer, software, telephone, fax 3,272 2
Consumable program supplies 2,248 1
Fundraising 1,254 1
Other 5,665 3
Total expenses $176,983 100
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses $33,113
Board of Directors
Bill Tierney, chairman
Roderic Frohman, vice chairman
George Gray, treasurer
Joanne Ligtenberg, secretary
—Researched by James Leunk
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