October 21, 2013
Dear Partners with WIHN:
Let me tell you a story of how I got interested in Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN). About 10 years ago, I picked up the local newspaper and saw a large picture of one of my friends. As I started to read the article, I was shocked to read that he was homeless, and the article was about his experience in the shelter! I grew up in a small town in Iowa and his family owned one of the best restaurants in town. He had studied culinary arts in France and eventually took over the restaurant.
This made me realize that homelessness can happen to anyone! If it can happen to my friend, it can happen to people like you and me. I soon became involved in IHN through volunteering through my church and eventually ended up on the board in Iowa. After relocating to Raleigh, I quickly found my way back to this amazing organization through WIHN.
Due to our partnership with the Triangle Apartment Association, WIHN has embarked on a new program, New Lease on Life. Wake County is more than 25,000 units short of affordable housing, making it hard for families exiting shelter to move into market rate housing with an expectation of sustainability. The biggest challenge families face upon leaving homelessness and returning to independence is finding decent, safe and affordable housing. After successful completion of WIHN’s Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing programs, families can be referred to the New Lease on Life program. This program assists families by providing high quality apartment housing at a reduced and affordable rate for a period of 1 to 2 years, provided the family continues to participate in WIHN case management services.
WIHN continues to struggle with the loss of government funding due to budget cutbacks. We depend on our volunteers, host congregations and people like you to help us in our vision to end homelessness in the Wake community.
We are asking for your support, so that we can continue to help our guests help themselves, and get back on their feet. Thanks to wonderful partners like you, we have a success rate of 85% of families who remain in permanent housing a year after leaving our program! If we receive your donation between November 1 and February 2, The Stewards Fund will match, dollar-for-dollar, gifts from those who have not given in the last year, or an increased amount of giving from those who have been faithfully partnering with us. Thank you in advance for your generous contribution.
Ann R. Sandve
President, Board of Trustees