KINGSPORT -- United Way of Greater Kingsport is pleased to announce the addition of Interfaith Hospitality Network to its network of 28 existing member agencies.
Through its Family Self-Sufficiency program, Interfaith Hospitality Network enhances the lives of homeless in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia by providing families with children temporary shelter and assistance to become self-sufficient. The agency applied for admittance during the summer and was approved at the October United Way Board meeting.
"We are very excited to bring the Interfaith Hospitality Network into the United Way of Greater Kingsport family," said 2011 UWGK Board of Directors President Etta Clark. "The Family Self-Sufficiency program joins a distinguished group of nonprofit agency programs that help improve lives. In partnership with our United Way agencies and vision councils, Interfaith Hospitality Network will help further our efforts to identify and implement strategies to meet health and human services needs in our community."
"Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Kingsport is both pleased and humbled to be a United Way agency," said IHN Executive Director Tim Carter. "The vision of United Way very closely matches Interfaith Hospitality's goals and objectives of "providing hope and stability for families with minor children while they work to overcome their temporary condition of homelessness."
The Interfaith Hospitality Network aligns well with United Way of Greater Kingsport's mission to improve lives by addressing health and human service needs in the community. United Way of Greater Kingsport's Self-Sufficiency Vision Council, tasked with identifying service gaps that relate to helping individuals become financially independent, identified the need for expanded homeless shelter services for families.
Amy Greear, UWGK Director of Community Impact & Communications, explains, "while several agencies already provide temporary shelter for the homeless, we discovered more services are needed for homeless families. The Interfaith Hospitality Network's Family Self-Sufficiency Program helps to meet this need via extended case-management services that assist clients from homelessness to a more stable financial situation."
UWGK addresses homelessness in two ways: through prevention and through assistance to individuals in transition. American Red Cross of East Tennessee's Social Services Program, funded by UWGK, provides mortgage and rental assistance to help families stay in their home through a financial difficulty. This program area of the Red Cross received around $95,000 in 2011 to address these and other social service needs. 211 Contact Concern, also a UWGK funded agency, provides referrals to individuals who need assistance with meeting basic needs, such as food, shelter and utilities. Salvation Army of Kingsport's Emergency Shelter and Social Services programs provide shelter and support for homeless individuals. These programs received an estimated $120,000 from UWGK in 2011, with 90% of the program graduates able to maintain permanent housing without further need for assistance. In addition, Hope House receives UWGK funding for a program that provides shelter and services for pregnant women.
The City of Kingsport recently asked United Way's Self-Sufficiency Vision Council to further explore and recommend solutions to better assist homeless individuals. United Way has brought together community representatives from the Salvation Army of Kingsport, Interfaith Hospitality Network and Hope Haven Ministries (a Kingsport-based homeless shelter) to validate UWGK's research findings and to propose potential solutions to meeting the need of temporary and transitional family shelters. In the next few months, the self-sufficiency council will be continuing to work with the current agencies to determine feasible and sustainable options for addressing the issue of homelessness in Kingsport, creating a path forward while raising awareness of this issue.
Those interested in volunteering with this effort, or who would like to learn more information on United Way of Greater Kingsport's work to address homelessness or other health and human service needs in the community, may contact Amy Greear, Director of Community Impact & Communications, at (423) 378-3409 ext. 12 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy M. Greear
Director of Community Impact and Communications
United Way of Greater Kingsport
301 Louis Street, Suite 201
Kingsport, TN 37660
(423) 378-3409 ext. 12
Fax: (423) 578-4059
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
UWGK Announces Addition of Interfaith Hospitality Network to Member Agencies
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