Interfaith Hospitality Network @ Third

… for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something
to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Matthew 25:36

Homelessness in Rochester is an ongoing concern, particularly for families. Many shelters are not equipped to handle complete families and young children. Each night, over 100 families with children are homeless in Rochester. The Rochester Area Interface Hospitality Network (RAIHN) exists to provide temporary housing, food and hospitality for up to 5 families at one time on a weekly basis throughout the year.

  • About IHN
  • About RAIHN@Third
  • Volunteer
  • Schedule
  • Contacts
  • FAQ

About Rochester Area's Interfaith Hospitality Network

RAIHN is a not-for-profit, interfaith, culturally-competent organization which assists homeless families and keeps them together in their time of trauma. Our network of over 40 local, culturally diverse and caring faith communities provide food, safe shelter and hospitality on a weekly basis throughout the year.

Host congregations provide physical space for 5 families (up to 15 individuals) by transforming their space into family bedrooms and communal space. In addition, hosts and their respective support congregations provide groceries, breakfasts and dinners for one week before the families move to the next host site.

RAIHN provides a van to transport the families to and from the host congregation to the RAIHN day center located at 142 Webster Avenue.

RAIHN’s goal is to provide immediate temporary shelter and the necessary long term support to allow families to gain sustainable independence. The RAIHN staff provides personalized case management services as families enter the program and graduate from it to permanent housing. (

RAIHN is part of a national organization, Family Promise, that has nearly 200 interfaith networks across the USA (

RAIHN graphic

About RAIHN@Third Presbyterian:

Third Presbyterian Church has been a host congregation since the inception of RAIHN in April 2004, with the Third Presbyterian clergy & congregation intimately involved in creating the Rochester network. Our current faith partner for our hospitality efforts is Temple B’rith Kodesh.

We host guest families four weeks a year, typically in Feb, May, August and November.

Our rotations start on Sunday afternoon and end on the following Sunday afternoon.

Each week typically involves over 60 volunteers and a total of over 350 hours of hospitality tasks:

    • Transforming Sunday school rooms into guest bedrooms and TV lounge area
    • Setup bathroom and kitchenette areas for our guests
    • Provide freshly laundered sheets and towels for our guests
    • Shop for groceries for the week (basic breakfast food, lunch items, snacks)
    • Shop for basic supplies (tissues) as well as personal items (shampoo, toothpaste, etc)
    • Provide a hot dinner each day of the week, either prepared at home or at the church, which we share with our guests
    • Greet our guests as they arrive each day & help them as needed while dinner is prepared
    • Overnight hosts stay the night at Third & help our guests leave after breakfast the following morning
    • Serve a hot breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings
    • Convert our rooms back to Sunday school configuration
    • Wash laundry in preparation for our next rotation

What does a typical RAIHN day at Third Presbyterian look like?

    • 5pm:  Dinner hosts & greeters arrive to meet our guests as they come from the day center
    • 5pm-6pm : Guests relax in their rooms or the common lounge while hosts prepare dinner
    • 6pm: Dinner hosts & guests share dinner & fellowship together
    • 6:30pm:  Guests return upstairs while dinner hosts clean up
    • 7pm: Greeters join the guests upstairs for conversation, quiet time or whatever
    • 8:15pm:  Overnight hosts arrive;  interface with guests on morning routine for work & school;   decide who wants coffee in the morning; remind guests to make lunches
    • 10pm: Typically lights out and quiet time
      (Overnight hosts can also retire at that time, unless some guests return from work late)
    • 5:30am:  Overnight hosts wake guests
    • 6:15am:  RAIHN van arrives to transport guests to RAIHN day center
    • 6:30am:  overnight hosts empty garbage and lock the area for the day

Our work is rewarding, sorely needed and greatly appreciated by our guests !

For more information, contact:
Louis Loggi at 585-781-4237 and


Laurie Mahoney at 585-747-5852 and

How you can Help

  • We use a web-based sign up tool, so that you can easily see what fits into your interest and schedule.
  • A link is sent via email with the specific details for each rotation week.
  • If you are a new volunteer, we will always pair you with an experienced volunteer.
  • If you are uncertain and have questions, do not hesitate to call and get some details.
  • Our collective team work is fantastic and personally rewarding, as well as fulfilling a critical need in the community on an ongoing basis!

For more information, contact:
Louis Loggi at
Laurie Mahoney at


Tasks that are not ‘guest facing’ such as setup, shopping, take down and laundry do not require any training in order to help. Just sign up to help or show up impromptu and our team will help you get engaged. These tasks are well-suited for families and youth desiring community service hours, as well as busy individuals who can make time to contribute an hour or so

To help better understand our guests, volunteers are encouraged to take the basic training led by the RAIHN staff, which is a 1-hour commitment. For those interested in deepening our understanding of the trauma our guests experience and how we can be supportive, a second level training session of 3 hours is available.

See the schedule tab for more details on all training sessions.

Task Details

  • Shopping

    We supply the list of items needed and the budget to reimburse you:
    • Basic Supplies - tissues, toilet paper, cleaning supplies
    • Personal care items - toothbrushes, shampoo, bath soap
    • Food - breakfast and lunch staples plus snacks
  • Laundry

    • Launder sheets abd towels after eachg rotation
    • Organize clean linens onto our service carts just prior to each rotation
  • Room Preparation

    • Set-up Saturday: Stage our beds, lamps, supplies, linens, etc, from the bottom floor of our Education Bldg to the top floor, in preparation for room setup on Sunday morning
    • Set-up Sunday: Transform Sunday School rooms into bedrooms, and prep bathrooms and kitchen areas, on the first Sunday of our host week immediately after church, just in time for our families’ arrival about 2:00 pm!
    • Take-down Sunday: We quickly remove our beds, etc and put our classrooms back into their original shape, storing everything back in our closet on the bottom level of the Education Bldg.
  • Dinners

    • Our dinner teams typically shop for their own items & then get reimbursed
    • Greeters and dinner cooks arrive at the church at 5pm, just prior to our guests
    • Dinner team prepares dinner in our fantastic kitchen and our team eats with our guests at 6pm
    • Clean up kitchen and save leftovers for our guests
    • Greeter and/or dinner team members enjoy time with our guests until 8:15pm
  • Overnight Stays

    • Overnight team: Arrive by 8:15 p.m. and cross over with the dinner team, relax with our guests
    • Lights out is typically at 10 pm & our hosts spend the night on comfortable air beds
    • Ensure guests are up and ready to leave on the RAIHN van by 6:15am, make coffee and help guests as needed to grab breakfast items like cereal, toast, etc.
  • Weekend Hot Breakfasts

    • Who doesn’t like a leisurely big breakfast on the weekend?
    • We serve eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, fruit, etc. on both Saturday & Sunday mornings at 8:15am

Volunteering Beyond Third Church

In addition to the volunteer opportunities for hosting our guests at Third, the larger RAIHN organization often needs volunteers for the following tasks:

  • Van drivers - drive the RAIHN van from the host church to the day center and return daily and on weekends.
  • Day Center Staff - provide general office support, or accompany clients to appointments and assist families with employment and housing searches as directed by the network director.
  • Movers - assist families with moving furniture and belongings into their own homes, as needed.
  • Substitutes - get your name on the list to help at any RAIHN host congregation as volunteers are needed.


Upcoming host rotations hosted at Third Presbyterian Church

  • February 10 - February 17, 2019
  • May 12 - May 19, 2019
  • August 4 - August 11, 2019
  • November 17 - November 24, 2019(includes Thanksgiving)
  • January 26 - February 2, 2019

RAIHN Volunteer Training Dates

(for volunteers who will have "direct-contact" roles)
(RSVP to Jen Canning - RAIHN Director)

Basic Training Dates

  • Tues. Feb. 5, 2019 at 6:30 - New Hope Free Methodist Church, 62 Union St., Rochester
  • Wed. Apr. 10, 2019 at 6:30 - Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Ave., Rochester

Second Level Training Dates

  • Thurs. Mar. 28, 2019 at 6:30 - Artisan Church, 1235 S. Clinton Ave., Rochester

Special Events

Grace Through Music - A benefit concert for RAIHN

Monday, March 4, 2019 at 7:00PM - St. Pauls' Episcopal Church, 23 Westminster Rd., Rochester

Interfaith Hospitality Network - Contact Information

Lou Loggi

Laurie Mahoney

Rev. Lynette Sparks: Associate Pastor at Third Presbyterian Church
(585)271-6513 ext 106


Do I need special training?

Yes and No. Advance training is required for any direct-client role like dinner and overnight. It’s only an hour, and you can buddy with another veteran volunteer to try the role out prior to committing to the training. All other non-direct roles just require you, as you are, showing up, with a commitment to helping our families with as little as an hour to share. Easy. And of course, we have a detailed manual on how to perform each specific role.

Can I donate items?

Yes. Donation needs at Third Church are typically to replace blankets, towels and other linens, or small bedroom type lamps. Donations of household items to help RAIHN families move into their new homes, while desirable, are difficult to accomplish as RAIHN has no dedicated storage space or trucks to move items.

Do you need a new member to help with planning or communicating?

Yes and Yes and Yes! Please contact me so we can match your interest and skills with our needs –
Lou Loggi

Can I be a substitute?


What if an emergency comes up and I can't do my task?

Lou Loggi or (585)781-4237
Laurie Mahoney or (585)747-5852 cell.