The non-profit Interfaith Hospitality Network operates Alpha House, an emergency shelter for homeless families. The mission of the IHN is to work together with the community and congregations to provide housing and support services to families in need. More than providing just a bed and a roof for families, IHN’s goal is to support the families in securing and maintaining their own home. Within a single year, 87 percent of homeless children move, often up to three times, meaning changes in school, teachers, and school work, often falling behind academically and/or developing emotional problems. Alpha House works to assure children have the support they need in shelter and during the transition back into permanent housing.
IHN serves over 40 families a year, up to six at a time, in Alpha House, and an additional 20-30 families in its Home-Based Support program. IHN provides intensive support services to address each family's individual needs and barriers to securing permanent housing.
Why We Help Alpha House
Volunteers from Dexter United Methodist Church come together to serve families in Alpha House while they regroup and look for housing. Volunteers can sign up to provide and serve meals (dinners and weekend brunches), to play with resident children at an evening Activity Time, or to stay overnight in a private guest room in case a family needs transportation to the emergency room during the night. Volunteers who are handy with maintenance, painting, gardening, etc. can also donate their time and talent to the constant upkeep needed in an older building.
Through this ministry Dexter UMC members are able to provide food for families in need, help children enjoy a peaceful and safe evening playtime and help maintain the shelter building so that it is warm, welcoming, and safe.
What You Need to Know
Dexter UMC hosts two weeks per year at Alpha House, in July and November. Church members also are welcome to volunteer on their own by contacting Kathy Koehler (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 734.249.5014 for a list of open service dates. If you are interested in volunteering during one of our host weeks, contact Tom Snyder at email@example.com. To learn more about the Interfaith Hospitality Network and Alpha House, visit the alphahouse-ihn.org.