Let’s take a look at how this program works:
During a typical week in the program, there are approximately 50 slots for volunteers. Volunteers come from the host and support congregations and are assigned duties by the Volunteer Coordinators—members of the host congregation who oversee the week.
Some congregations have a different member for each slot; others have volunteers take on multiple roles.
- Network truck or van arrives in the afternoon with bedding and the families’ personal belongings to be set up in designated space
- Guest families arrive at the Host congregation Sunday evening.
- The rooms for the families and the common area have been set up prior to the arrival.
During Each Night of Hosting
- Families settle in, relax and meet the coordinators and the evening volunteers. At 6:00 PM dinner is served family style. Guests and volunteers share the meal together. Families are responsible for their children and help with clean up and chores.
- After dinner, volunteers fellowship with families. Hosts and their families play games, help with homework, watch videos, or just talk.
- Food for lunch is available in the kitchen area and parents make sack lunches for their families for the following day.
- Adults turn in around 10:00 PM; children at appropriate earlier bedtimes.
- Wake up is around 6:00 AM
- 2 Volunteers will spend the night at the congregation.
Daily (Monday to Friday) :
- Breakfast is served around 6:30 AM during the week; typically cereal and other convenient foods.
- The Network van picks the families up at 7:00 AM.
- During the day families do not stay at the congregation , but go to the Day Center which has bathrooms , showers and other necessities to prepare for the day
- A Driver takes guests to the designated Day Center
- From there, children will go to school
- And the parents go to their jobs
- If the parents do not have a job, they work with the Director at the Day Center to seek employment, housing, and other resources to help them regain their independence.
- In the afternoon, the van picks up the family and returns them to the host church
- Everyone returns to the Host Congregation around 5:30 PM and the cycle repeats
- On Saturday the families can sleep in and enjoy a hot breakfast (pancakes or bacon and eggs).
- If the congregation has an activity then all the families agree they can participate. If not the families go back to the Day Center and do what families typically do on weekends— see friends and relatives, take children to activities, etc.
The Next Sunday:
- On Sunday the families are packed up and moved out of the facilities prior to Sunday services.
- They are taken to the Day Center for the day until it is time to move on to the next congregation.
- Families that want to attend services will usually do so at their own congregations; some may choose to worship at a host congregation.
Ongoing…The next host congregation begins its week and the families are transported to the new Congregation for the week