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

About RAIHN: RAIHN is a non-profit network of 41 local, culturally diverse and caring faith communities who provide food, safe shelter and hospitality on a weekly basis throughout the year. RAIHN’s goal is to provide sustainable independence for homeless families and they have a success rate of 91%!

A total of 15 host congregations provide physically space for 5 families (15 individuals) by transforming 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 34 Meigs Street. The RAIHN staff provides personalized case management services as families enter the program and graduate from it to permanent housing. (www.

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

About RAIHN@Third Presbyterian:

Third Presbyterian 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 faith partners for our hospitality efforts are New Life Presbyterian Church and 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.

Our work typically involves over 70 volunteers for key tasks such as:

    • 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

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.

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 to Help

Before Our Host Week

Prior to our host week the following volunteer opportunities are critical to our readiness, and buttoning-up for next time:

  • Supplies - Shopping to replace items (like paper supplies, some personal items like toothbrushes/paste, bath soap, etc)
  • Food - Shopping for staples, lunch as well as our “continental” and hot breakfasts, and snacks. Our dinner teams typically shop for their own items.
  • Laundry - Laundering (before and after rotations) and organizing our 'linen closet'.
  • Donations - Identifying and reacting to on-going needs for hosting our guests, like gently used washable blankets

Lou Loggi

During Our Host Week

We host families within our church building for a week at a time, four (4) times a year.

Just as we ready to start our week, volunteers are needed to help with various tasks that do not require any advance training, and are very short (1 hour) experiences, 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. At the end of the our week, we reverse these tasks!

  • “Pre” Set-up Saturday: We typically start setting up our lodging areas the Saturday morning prior to our guests’ arrival on Sunday, in order to stage our beds, lamps, supplies, linens, etc, from the bottom floor of our Ed Bldg to the top floor.

  • Set-up Sunday: Transform Sunday School rooms into bedrooms, and set up 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!

  • Children’s Activities: Read, play board games, do crafts for a couple of hours while parents are settling in and getting oriented on Set-up Sunday.

  • Take-down Sunday: We quickly remove our beds, etc and put our classrooms back into their original shape as well as emptying the mini-kitchen of our food stuffs, storing everything back in our closet on the bottom level of the Education Building.

The following hosting roles require advance RAIHN-training in order to serve directly, as a client-facing Host:

  • Dinner team (prepare/host the dinner and evening): Dinner time is 6 p.m., with hosts arriving at 5 p.m. (4 p.m. on Saturday)

  • Overnight team: Arrive by 8:30 p.m. and crosses over with the dinner team, relax with our guests and help with continental breakfast the next morning (M-F), and leave by 7:15/7:30 a.m. after taking the guests over to the RAIHN house next to the church at 34 Meigs St.

  • Hot Breakfast preparers: We serve a hot breakfast at 8:15 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

  • Host the Day Center next door from 10-1 only on our Saturday

  • Host the Day Center and pizza lunch on Sunday: We host the Day Center on Sunday during take-down starting at 9 a.m. as families need to return there. We provide & host a pizza, and help load the vat at 1:30 p.m.

Lou Loggi

Beyond Third Church

In addition to the volunteer opportunities for hosting our guests at Third, RAIHN 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. Contact: David Poland (586-0742) to volunteer.

  • 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. The Day Center is next door to the church at 34 Meigs St. Contact: Kim Hunt-Uzelac (506-9050).

  • Movers - assist families with moving furniture and belongings into their own homes. The commitment is for an evening during the week or part of a Saturday. Contact: (585)506-9050.

  • Donations – help provide basic furniture and household needs to enable our families fill their new home.


Upcoming 2016-2017 TPC/Temple B'rith Kodesh:

  • November 13 - November 20, 2016
  • February 12 - February 19, 2017
  • May 14 - May 21, 2017
  • August 13 - August 20, 2017
  • November 19 - November 26, 2017(includes Thanksgiving)

RAIHN Volunteer Training Dates

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

  • Tues. October 25, 2016 at 6:30 - Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 4115 Dewey Ave.

Special Events

  • TBA
  • Interfaith Hospitality Network - Contact Information

    Lou Loggi

    Laurie Mahoney

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

    Leadership Team:

    Glen Anderson, Sue Bixler, Lorenda Gauronski, Jim Pochyodylo, Linc Spaulding, Beth Tschorke, Char Schuth (NL)

    IHN - FAQ

    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 fairly detailed manual on where you find keys, etc. It’s always in the details!

    Can I donate items?

    Yes and Yes. Donation needs at Third Church are typically to replace blankets, towels and other linens, or small bedroom type lamps. Donations to help RAIHN families move into their new homes include beds, mattresses, furniture and all other household items. Sue Bixler heads up Donations at Third Church; go to RAIHN at or (585)506-9050 to donate everything else!

    What does set-up entail?

    We divide this in 2 –
    (1) staging items which make up our bedrooms, to the top floor of the Education Building on Saturday prior, and
    (2) actually setting up the bedrooms, etc on our 1st Sunday right after church, and just ahead of our families’ arrival.

    What does take-down entail?

    Here’s when we reverse the se -up process – Everything goes back down into our storage area, hopefully well organized!

    What does hosting at dinner entail?

    When RAIHN’s Day Center closes at 5 p.m. (4 p.m. on Saturdays), we are “open”. Volunteers are there as our families arrive, and we are there – transparent, hospitable – as we get ready for dinner at 6 p.m. Some dinner teams prep at home, others in Third Church’s main kitchen area. Some guests engage as tables are set, blessings are said, and we dine family-style in the Celebration Center. Everyone cleans up, and we retire to the upper floor of the Education Building for homework, conversation, TV and sleep! This team makes sure bag lunches are prepared, and that the incoming overnight team knows who’s having coffee and and breakfast the next morning!

    What does an overnight entail?

    You arrive by 8:30 p.m., and take over from the dinner crew. You make sure orange juice and coffee are available the next morning. Kids may have to meet extremely early buses, like 6:45 a.m., and you’ll open the Day Center at 7 a.m. the next morning.

    What does food preparation entail?

    See Dinner Team above – Some teams are split into someone dropping off dinner or its fixings, and another team hosting the dinner until the overnighters arrive.

    What do I need to do for Children's activities?

    On Sunday our families arrive in the afternoon. While we are orienting parents, we provide child supervision. We try to have construction paper and crayons and colored pencils. There are books and puzzles. You might bring a favorite craft. And in summer weather, a walk – with some moms – might be in order.

    What does shopping entail?

    We shop for bathing supplies as well as shop for food staples, especially for breakfasts and snacks as many of our dinner teams shop for their own dinners.

    What does laundry entail?

    As we take down on our last Sunday, we need to launder bedding and towels for next time. Typically, 8-10 volunteers pickup a bag or two of laundry, and return it ahead of our next rotation for sorting. We leave the bagged laundry on the bottom level near the elevator, with a sign-out sheet. It’s available from 9 a.m. on.

    Are there other things I can do to help?

    Yes! There are numerous needs at 34 Meigs including skills training for parents. Please send your ideas to

    Do you need a new member on the committee? Planning Team?

    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.