This picture tells a thousand words of a struggle that is infinite. It saddens us deeply that many Wake County families are experiencing homelessness. Thankfully, organizations like Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network are working strenuously to eliminate that epidemic. Seeing this emotionally compelling picture struck our hearts and moved us to learn more about Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network.
Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network, WIHN, helps Wake County families experiencing homelessness get back on their feet by giving them temporary stability as they work towards permanent independence. WIHN accomplishes its mission by providing families with shelter, transitional and permanent housing opportunities with continuous case management and life skills support.
Through WIHN’s Emergency Shelter Program, every evening, two churches provide shelter, meals, and transportation for up to five families each. Up to 10 families are served nightly in the WIHN program. Most churches provide shelter four weeks a year.
Ongoing case management services are offered to families who have successfully participated in the Emergency Shelter Program. These services include counseling, life skills development, and health, employment and financial assistance when available.
Families who successfully complete the Emergency Shelter Program are also eligible to live in Transitional Housing apartments for up to one year. The Transitional Housing Program consists of several components including staff facilitated support groups, information and referral services in addition to intensive case management.
After the Transitional Housing Program, families can be referred to the New Lease on Life Program. New Lease on Life provides families with high-quality apartment housing at reduced and affordable rates for 1 to 2 years. In order to qualify, families must continue to participate in the case management services offered by WIHN.
The Day Center is a place where families engage in daily morning activities when they are not at a church for shelter. Here, families receive case management services, search for employment and wash their clothes. The center also offers amenities such as showers, lockers for belongings, and a nursery.
What we love about Wake Interfaith hospitality Network is their focus on assisting families to the pathway of success despite the dark hours they are facing. WIHN provides empowerment and resources necessary for families experiencing homelessness to move forward. The teamwork of the churches and dedication of volunteers are essential to providing these services. As board member Nicholas Verna stated, the services WIHN provide are “not a handout. It’s a hand up.”
Check them out and learn more about their mission at http://wihn.org/