Our New Blog

HI Everyone!  Thanks to our Waddell Fellow through the Presbyterian Church, Dray Criswell, we now have a blog space on our website. We hope that you will check in periodically to read our blog posts, and if you would like to contribute an article, please let me (Stacy Pardue) know.

Our office has been busy this summer! Our staff now consists of Davin Welter, Director; Stacy Pardue, Assistant Director; Regina Goldman; Service Director, Elizabeth Morris, Office Assistant; Sarah Beth Tankersley, Master of Social Work Intern; Hannah Mapes, Bachelor of Social Work Intern; Dray Criswell, Waddell Fellow Intern.

We are working hard to improve all aspects of IHNA and its organizational processes. We want to keep a full house of families (3 families or 14 people is our weekly capacity), increase our number of host congregations,  improve communication with our volunteers and the Athens community, strengthen the collaboration with other homeless agencies in Athens, keep our finances strong, and be sure that we are thanking our many volunteers for their good work! We also are excited about increasing our interfaith work, and are helping form an Athens Area Interfaith Council that will focus on interfaith dialogue and service.  And, we are delighted that this week we welcomed the Al Huda Islamic Association as a new support congregation.

We hope you enjoy our new blog! Send us any feedback and keep engaged on our website. Thanks for making a difference to struggling families in Athens!  Athens is my new home; my husband Sam and I are delighted to be part of such a wonderful community!

About IHN of Athens

The Mission of IHN Athens is to mobilize our community to help homeless families in crisis situations achieve sustainable independence. It is the goal of IHN Athens to give homeless families the opportunity to stay together as a family and the time and resources to get back on their feet.

IHN Athens is a coalition of Athens Area Churches and Congregations of Faith, referred to as Host Congregations or Support Congregations, that may provide shelter, meals, and support for homeless families in crisis for up to 90 days.  Host Congregations, on a rotating basis, provide 3 meals a day to Network Families.  Each network family is provided with their own room within the Host facility.

The Hancock House Day Center is located at 393-1 West Hancock Avenue, and is staffed by the Executive Director, the Service Director, and the IHN Athens Office Volunteers and Office Van Drivers, who are trained on IHN Athens processes and policies.  From 8AM to 5PM Monday through Friday, unless they are working or in school, guests are at the Day Center, where they are assisted with employment direction, medical needs, financial management, childcare assistance, and transportation options. The guests also have access to laundry facilities, showers, telephones, and computers, and are able to send and receive mail.

What does IHN of Athens do?

The network of churches provides shelter, meals, and compassionate assistance for up to three families (or maximum of 14 people) in crisis situations. As a group, the families rotate from church to church on a weekly basis. By uniting congregations through our Day Center, and through the support of social service agencies, our program assists these families with finding sustainable housing, job training, employment, and with meeting other various needs.

For Guests

  • Families can stay together in a safe environment
  • Professional staff and caring volunteers provide daily support
  • A majority of families go on to secure permanent housing

For the Community

  • Mobilizes cost-effective community resources
  • Assists homeless families for about 1/3 the cost of public shelters
  • Does not institutionalize shelter as a solution to homelessness

For Volunteers

  • Provides an opportunity to make a difference in their own community
  • Provides an opportunity for families to volunteer together
  • Volunteer jobs fit varying schedules and talents

For Churches

  • Informs, energizes and motivates congregations
  • Offers meaningful family-centered outreach
  • Offers interfaith partnership