Next hosting week: October 29 through November 5
Our next host week with Faith Family Hospitality starts on Sunday, October 29. The new SignUpGenius page is available for volunteers to reserve shifts.
Before volunteering, you will need to do the following, to assure the safety of the families and volunteers in the FFH program:
o Attend training conducted by FFH, which is a 90-minute class given by FFH trainers. The next two opportunities for the training are Sunday, October 1 from 1-2:30 pm and Monday, October 2 from 7-8:30 pm. Please contact Annette Lynch to confirm the location of the training.
o Complete an online background check as part of the rules for volunteers at Our Saviour’s. The link to the check is in the header of the SignUp Genius site.
o A NEW REQUIREMENT: The Episcopal Diocese of Colorado now requires volunteers who have contact with children and youth, like in the FFH program, to complete Safeguarding God’s Children training. Please click the link to start the process. Note that it may take a couple days to receive the login instructions from the Diocese, so please start the process as soon as possible.
o A NEW REQUIREMENT: The Diocese is requiring an additional background check, separate from the one performed for Our Saviour's. The instructions for completing the background check will come to you with the instructions for the Safeguarding class, and the fee will be paid by St. Luke’s.
Due to planned construction at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church during the 2017/2018 year, they have taken themselves off the FFH 2018 hosting calendar. This means that St. Luke’s will not be volunteering for the FFH temporary shelter program for the entire 2018 year. Instead, we will encourage members to consider becoming involved with other aspects of the FFH program, such as the Task Forces (Donation, Equipment, Welcome), the Day Center, and the Sherwood House opening activities.
What is Faith Family Hospitality (FFH)?
Faith Family Hospitality changes lives!
You and your family have an opportunity to share God's love with local families who are experiencing homelessness.
How? St. Luke's is one of several churches in a rotation that provides a week of housing for 4-5 homeless families. You can volunteer to help with setup, evening or overnight hosting, meal preparation, breakfast food donation, or tear down. Your prayers and good wishes are always most welcome.
St. Luke’s has transitioned from a host church to a support church role to engage and strengthen our congregational participation in this vital ministry. For this purpose, FFH has paired St. Luke's with Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. We also plan to further engage the congregation in understanding the magnitude of those experiencing homelessness in our community.
There are many exciting events on the horizon for the FFH program as a whole. The Day Center now operates 6 days a week and provides a "home base" for families. The Day Center provides shelter, food, laundry, showers and case management services to not only the 4 families in the overnight program but many other homeless families in Fort Collins. The overnight hosting program now includes 3 new hosting sites for a total of over 30 interfaith congregations. This program strives to help families get back into permanent housing within 3-4 months. FFH has made a concerted effort to push families towards early self sufficiency which is so important for future success outside of the program. The Sherwood House will hopefully be ready for families within the year. This is a transitional house for families that need longer services and care. It is located near the Lincoln Center and renovations are proceeding. Stay tuned for ways to help with this exciting project!
Faith Family Hospitality is a coalition of 27 Faith communities in the city of Fort Collins, CO. These volunteer congregations provide fellowship, overnight housing, meals and support to local families experiencing homelessness. There are 13 congregations that serve as host sites, and 14 who support and back up that effort. St. Luke's has been very supportive of these congregations in the critical assistance of homeless families. Please check out the website and the blog on the site. It's a great way to get more information about Fort Collins' Faith Family Hospitality program -- its history, what's going on, who's involved, etc.
Family Day Center
Located at 300 E. Oak St. (downtown, NW of the Library) and open 8am to 4pm (volunteers take 2-hr shifts), the center provides guest families experiencing homelessness with a place to work on finding permanent housing or a job, take a shower, do laundry, provide a nap for a baby, or have access to a kitchen. Read more or contact FFH at 970-484-3342 for more information about this opportunity.
Volunteers are always needed at the Day Center, particularly during the upcoming holidays. An FFH Staff member provides details about volunteering or call Steph Thieman (Cell 970-420-2947).
The Day Center is primarily a ministry of presence, striving to be available to those who need it when they need it. They do require background checks for volunteers once they determine if the Day Center feels like a good fit.
Safe Church Training
The Episcopal Church expects individuals working with children in the church to take the Safe Church class. More information about upcoming training opportunities is on the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado website. The class is interesting, fast-paced, interactive and thought-provoking; it's well worth your time.
CLICK HERE to volunteer for the Day Center
UPDATE to video below:
Fawn and Zayden are HOME! Read here.
New Role Descriptions
On each evening of the week, there are 7 volunteer positions.
One "Point Person" arrives at 5:00 to open the church and stays until 8:30 to be the point of contact should an issue or concern arrive that would require involvement of coordinators.
Two "Evening Hosts" arrive at 5:00 and set up tables for dinner and stay until 8:30 to be present for the guest families.
Two other "Meal Preparers" prepare dinner for all the guests at their homes and bring it to the church at 5:30 and serve it between 6:00- 6:30.
Two "Overnight Hosts" arrive at 8:30 to spend the night at the church and wake the next morning to prepare coffee and make available breakfast food for guest families to take with them when they leave by 7:00.
Note: For those who have volunteered in the past, there will be some slight changes in how Our Saviour's does their volunteer roles. For example, Our Saviour's requires all volunteers to fill out an online background check prior to volunteering with FFH.
Click each role to read about it.
- Setup Crew
- Meal Prep
- Evening Host
- Overnight Host
- Cleaning Crew
- Tear-Down Crew
- Emergency Procedures & Resources (everyone)
Openings for Fort Collins Consortium of Churches
Faith Family Hospitality has three volunteer task forces to help with some of the organizational details of the temporary shelter program that St. Luke’s participates in.
The Donation Task Force handles collecting, organizing, and distributing donations of household supplies and furniture which is given to FFH families when they transition into permanent housing.
The Equipment Task Force keeps inventory of the cots and mats and other equipment that is used in the overnight program, and handles ordering new items.
The Welcome Task Force assists with volunteer training year-round and reviews FFH policies and the FFH Welcome Manual for new congregations. The time commitment for a member of these task forces is fairly minimal as many hands make light work.
If you are interested in being involved in these task forces, contact Annette Lynch, and she will direct you to the task force coordinators.
Not ready to volunteer?
Other ways you can support FFH
Your continued prayers for FFH and its mission, its participating families, and its volunteers are always needed.
FFH also welcomes your financial support to fund the Day Center for guest families and for operating expenses. Gifts can be made by checks made payable to United Way, with the notation "For FFH" on the memo line. (United Way, 424 Pine St., Fort Collins, CO 80524). You may also make a check payable to St. Luke's, with the notation "For FFH" on the memo line. If you want your donation for FFH to be restricted to St. Luke's FFH hosting efforts, please note "for St. Luke's FFH" on the memo line.
Annette Lynch, St. Luke's FFH Coordinator