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The Road Home (IHN): Big Changes for 2018

The Road Home is changing, and our role in supporting homeless families will be changing, too!

The Road Home Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to end its shelter program hosted by the congregations.  The shelter program will end on or before March 31, 2018.  Our MCC Road Home Team is saddened by the end of the IHN shelter ministry because it has been such a rewarding experience for us and for our volunteers.  But the reasons for ending the program are good news; and we as a congregation and as individuals will have new opportunities to serve families through The Road Home

First, a little history.  The idea that churches in the Madison area would provide shelter to homeless families with children began in 1997 as several congregations worked together to form The Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN).  Middleton Community Church was a founding member.  The first families were served in 1999 and, for more than eighteen years, homeless families with children have found shelter in area congregations on a rotating basis, with the families being moved from church to church each week.  In the beginning, the IHN staff consisted of one person and the only service provided was shelter. 

But IHN soon grew to offer much more than shelter, hiring additional staff and providing many more services to the homeless and to those who find housing but still need help to maintain housing.  To reflect these changing services and goals, the name of the organization was changed from IHN to The Road Home Dane County in 2008, with the IHN host congregations and buddies still providing shelter services within The Road Home.  The Road Home now owns apartment buildings through their Housing & Hope program and provides case management at other properties owned by local governments and private individuals. 

Over a year ago, Dane County and other local government agencies began working together with local non-profits, including The Road Home and The Salvation Army.   There is now a unified “point of entry” as homeless families enter these programs.  The agencies and non-profits work together on a weekly basis to decide which program best fits each family’s needs.  There are now many more options for families to be placed in housing.  As a result, families are being placed in housing much sooner, often without being placed in IHN shelter first.  Because of all these positive factors, The Salvation Army family shelter is no longer constantly at capacity and the IHN shelter program now hosts only a small portion of the families served by The Road Home. 

Now a brief look at some of our future possibilities to serve.  In their careful deliberations before deciding to end the IHN shelter program, The Road Home Board concluded that the IHN congregations could have a bigger impact and serve more families if our mission would change from providing shelter to providing more personal services to the families.  Some of these opportunities may be more individual in nature.  Some may be for a group of volunteers or even a church-wide endeavor.  Some may happen at our church.  Many will happen elsewhere.  Some will require a financial commitment by Middleton Community Church.  Most will just require a caring attitude. 

These opportunities may include:

  • host a month as a congregation to provide help with events or other specific needs;
  • help with after-school programs; provide evening child care while parents are in classes at The Road Home office which will soon move to a bigger facility;
  • get matched as a buddy family, forming personal relationships by providing friendship and mentoring;
  • assist with restocking The Road Home’s personal essentials pantry;
  • provide help for specific needs such as resume writing, tax preparation, rides to appointments or to food pantries, or help in The Road Home office;
  • hold a drive to collect items on The Road Home’s “wish list”;
  • provide welcome baskets for families moving into housing or birthday baskets for children’s parties;
  • prepare freezer meals that families can use in difficult times such as when a family member is hospitalized;
  • become a Second Chance Apartment sponsor by providing rent and mentoring for a family for a year or two while they repair credit and become self-sufficient;
  • help shape The Road Home’s programs by joining a committee, planning an event, or becoming an advocate for those experiencing homelessness in our community.

We will determine the extent of our participation.  The Road Home will be providing more details as the end of the IHN shelter approaches.  They will also be providing training, especially for those who volunteer for opportunities in which we interact with individual families. 

Our role in support of the Road Home’s work will be changing, but these new opportunities may be even more rewarding.

Our final Road Home host week at Middleton Community Church begins January 7, 2018.  Our sign-up board will be up in Fellowship Hall beginning Sunday, December 3, 2017.  Please consider volunteering to serve homeless families with children in the Madison area.

Our Road Home Team at Middleton Community Church welcomes your feedback and suggestions for our continued involvement as a congregation and your individual involvement.

 

Blessings and thank you.

 

The MCC Road Home Team: June Meier, Ross Michaels, Marci Paulsen, and June Glasel

Weekly Schedule

Sunday Worship 9:30am

Is Church Canceled?

Sunday School 9:45am

Sunday Coffee & Cookies Fellowship 10:30am

Church Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday 8:00am-Noon

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Check our calendar or our newsletter Congregation Votes to Sell Land

See our 2017 Annual Report

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Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

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6654 Main Street
Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856