Emergency Shelter Program

IHN provides emergency shelter and meals 365 days a year through a network of 21 churches and synagogues in Essex County. Two to four families (up to 14 people) stay at a different house of worship each week where dedicated volunteers express hospitality by providing a safe and comfortable temporary home for our families. They furnish sleeping quarters and a hospitality room where guests relax, socialize, do homework and watch television.

During the day, families can stay at the Family Service & Resource Center to meet with their case manager, access phones and computers and use the shower facilities. After school, children return to the Center to do their homework or play before they’re taken back to the host congregation.

A coordinator at each congregation is responsible for scheduling approximately 50 volunteers to prepare meals, serve as evening and overnight hosts, coordinate activities, organize supplies and assist guests as needed. If you are interested in volunteering in the network, please contact Angie Benedict for more information.

Our Host Congregations

Interfaith Hospitality Network is privileged to have a dedicated network of congregations that provide emergency shelter, hospitality and meals in their houses of worship. During a host congregation’s week, about 50 volunteers come together to perform the various tasks needed to turn their house of worship into a comfortable home for their guests. It’s a wonderful way for congregations to involve adults and children as they concretely work out their faith. If you would like more information on how your congregation can become a host site, please contact Angie Benedict.

Click here to view the list of current Host Congregations 

Does your family need emergency shelter?
Call IHN at 973-746-1400, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.