How it Works

Typical Week

During the week there are as many as 50 slots for volunteers. Some congregations have a different member for each slot; others have volunteers take on multiple roles. 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.

Sunday:
Our van arrives at the congregation in the afternoon with cots and the families’ personal belongings to be set up in a 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.

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.
  • 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:
The Driver takes guests to the Day Center. From there, children will go to school and the parents to their jobs.  In the afternoon the reverse is done. 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. The Day Center has bathrooms with showers, laundry and other necessities to prepare for the day. Everyone returns to the Host Congregation around 5:30 PM and the cycle repeats.

Saturday:
On Saturday the families can sleep in and enjoy a hot breakfast (pancakes or bacon and eggs).  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 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.

…and the next host congregation begins its week.