Community Matters: Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH)

site-logoInterfaith Partnership for the Homeless (IPH)
Contact:  Bonnie St. Onge
518.434.8021 ext. 107
In 1984, homelessness was gaining attention in cities throughout the U.S.  The heightened awareness moved members of the Capital Region’s local Council of Churches to respond to the needs of Albany’s homeless population, and they founded Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless.
The founders understood that you can’t secure the basics of life without a roof over your head and a place to call home, so they established the overnight shelter that is still the core of IPH’s mission.  Over the next 30 years, IPH leaders grappled with other issues of homelessness – mental illness, substance abuse, lack of education – and added services to resolve them.
IPH has grown to become a continuum of services that confront the problem of homelessness from every angle.  By caring for all aspects of the lives of its guests – families and individuals, veterans and civilians –IPH hopes to help them not only find homes but build the stable, productive lives that will keep them in their homes.
IPH’s continuum of services include a full-service permanent Housing Program that surrounds formerly homeless residents with support and a safe home to return to each night and a 30-bed Albany Homeless Shelter for men and women which offers client support services.
During the cold weather months, IPH’s Safe Haven Shelter serves more than 300 individuals who were sanctioned from the shelter system and had no other option.  Individuals were living in abandoned buildings, cars and areas that were not meant for human habitation.  The Summer Youth Program serves more than 1,000 meals to the children of the Sheridan Hollow and Arbor Hill neighborhoods each year.
Services for IPH’s population provided during the day at the Drop-In Center include daily safety and resources to local homeless and at-risk individuals and families.  IPH collaborates with service providers who specialize in areas such as mental health and substance abuse, employment and housing assistance, and legal assistance.  Also available are a daily meal, mailboxes, lockers, showers, clothing pantry and case management services.
IPH’s vibrant Health and Wellness Program last year handled close to 2,000 office visits with IPH nursing professionals addressing the wellbeing of guests.

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