Upcoming hosting weeks are August 28 - September 4 and November 27 - December 4, 2016
- Prepare & deliver a meal that serves 14 - 20 people
- 3 flexible hours
- Serve as an evening host from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
- 3 hours/night
- Serve as an overnight host from 8:30 p.m. – 7 a.m. Separate room(s) provided.
- 10.5 hours/night
- Help wash linens
- 3 flexible hours
- Serve on Set-Up and Take-Down Teams
- 1 - 2 hours
What does GAIHN stand for? Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network
GAIHN works by partnering with area congregations to provide clean, comfortable shelter for homeless families in classrooms of participating church facilities. GAIHN is the ONLY Homeless shelter in Greenville that keeps families together. At any other area shelter, if you are a single parent and your child is 10 years or older, you will be separated from them if they are a different gender than you. GAIHN closely screens Guest families and does not allow anyone with an active domestic violence case in the program, anyone using drugs, or other criminal offenses. Most of the families are working and if they are not, GAIHN staff helps with job searches or partners with United Ministries for obtaining GED, employment readiness or other skills.
Hospitality is the key- We as a congregation make the experience a true GAIN for guests & hosts alike. Families gain dignity and a way back to normalcy. As members of the church we gain a wealth of fellowship and the opportunity to make a real difference in someone's life by doing what we do best at Westminster - gracious hospitality.
Hosting the program within our own facility in this very personal way provides hidden benefits for guests and for volunteers. Guests feel the warm fellowship of God’s people in a very tangible way. Providing comfort and interacting with these struggling families brings the issue of homelessness to the forefront in volunteers’ minds and puts a real face on this social issue. These families are not just “out there in a shelter”, they are guests in our church home and in real need of our hospitality.
Yet, temporary shelter housed in church facilities is only one part of what GAIHN does to address homelessness. Because of the generosity of so many member congregations, GAIHN has interim homes where guests “graduate” to on their road back to stable living conditions. Parents that demonstrate responsibility and complete milestones in required training programs become eligible for these homes. The next step for families beyond interim housing is section 8 housing or even home ownership. GAIHN works with those determined to help themselves to achieve permanent housing.
WPC is thankful to be a part of the hosting network with our members and beautiful church facilities. Quarterly we have up to 3 families stay at the church who check in on Sunday evening and check out the following Sunday morning by 7:00 a.m. GAIHN provides WPC with the names and ages of the families before they arrive as well as providing food preferences and any allergies.