COVID-19

covid19blog

Can you chip in $10 to help defray the hotel costs we're facing to not sacrifice shelter services through COVID-19?

Dear Friends,

It's been a long week for us, and I imagine for so many of you too.

We rarely email for financial support outside of our special events and EOY appeal, and hesitate to now. But we placed every family in a hotel recently on faith, and now we have to pay for it.

Our huge thanks to the dozen or so friends who already donated a total of $4,200 before we even asked for a cent!  Word travels fast, and our volunteers are the best. We have raised enough to cover hotels through April 26, but we likely will have to continue through May.  We need to be prepared, and have thousands left to raise.

Our Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) shelter--where houses of worship open their doors to shelter those in need, and volunteers provide for those needs--is an incredibly cost efficient model...except during a pandemic. Congregations are closing, and even if they're not, our volunteer-based model is the polar opposite of "social distancing." We don't want to have guest families exposed to hundreds of volunteers, and we don't want volunteers--many of whom are especially vulnerable to COVID-19--to be exposed to each other, guests, and staff more than necessary. So we shut down IHN till further notice.

The guest families are taken care of. Staff worked to secure extended stay rooms with kitchenettes for the families who are still working towards housing. Thanks to your generous response to the supply drive last month, we have paper products and plasticware, diapers/wipes, and more to provide!  Thanks to our Family Assistance Fund, we had a hundred buses passes on hand to share, and are purchasing more for the coming weeks, in addition to food cards.

Case management of course will continue, and leases are being signed.  In fact, the week of March 16 that I’m writing this, three families are moving into their new housing.  We will accept new families into the hotel rooms when they call us for shelter, like the two intakes we did this week.  We still get 10 calls per day for help.

We had called apartment complexes, retreat centers, and others to find a more cost-effective way than a hotel, but none worked out.  Plus, we negotiated a bulk rate at the hotels. Us paying for the hotel allows their hotel staff to stay working, and that's also important. Do you realize how many low-wage hotel staff call our shelter for space?

The Executive Committee of our Board of Directors approved this emergency hotel spending so that shelter services are not sacrificed. We already have funding for staff. Any dollar raised from this appeal will be spent on hotels or other support needs of families (e.g., extra bus passes, babysitter costs so working parents can keep jobs while daycares close, etc.).

If we raise less than what’s needed, we are happy that we have six months of cash operating reserves in the bank for times like this.

If you can't donate, don't worry.If we raise more than what’s eventually needed, it will go to our Family Assistance Fund--100% of which is spent on families' childcare, employment, housing, or health needs.

Thank you for your consideration! Thank you to those who already donated! And we thank Providence that we are able to continue this work through the pandemic, as it's as necessary today as ever.

With faith and hope,


Mike Chapuran
Executive Director

"Because every child deserves a home"

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Family Promise of Greater Indianapolis – 1850 N. Arsenal Avenue – Indianapolis, IN 46218       T: 317-261-1562      F: 317-261-6308

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