Since 2005, our cathedral has been an active participant of the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati,
providing warm and safe shelter to families who are homeless four times a year. Other congregations open their churches and synagogues to families in need other times during the year. All total, over 90 congregations in the Cincinnati area participate in this ministry, serving either as a host facility or by providing support services.
The cathedral hosts up to five families who are homeless for one week at a time.
"Our service is one of hospitality," says Elizabeth Brown, the coordinator of the program. "We serve a hot supper, help children with their homework or play games with them, help parents pack lunches for the next day and serve breakfast the next morning."
She adds, "I used to have to 'strongly encourage' my husband to join me during IHN host week. Now he enjoys it so much, he volunteers even without me."
You can find the same satisfaction as a volunteer. Contact Elizabeth Brown to find out what you can do to help.
August 3-September 5
Stories of Interfaith Hospitality
Our cathedral again opened its doors to families who are homeless the week of November 6, thanks to the efforts of 32 volunteers. The ministry is part of a network of congregations throughout Greater Cincinnati that provides room and board to families with children but no home to call their own. The families who stayed at the cathedral in November included two fathers.
"It is unusual to have 2 fathers," says Elizabeth Brown. "Sunday evening when they arrived at about 5 p.m., one father made a beeline to the TV to watch the Bengals. I warned him that we have not been very successful in getting TV reception and usually watch videos. It took him about four minutes of wire adjustments to get the game loud and clear, which evening host Prince Brown very much appreciated."
Elizabeth tells another story of taking young religious couple into the darkened nave one evening during an organ practice.
"They were totally amazed by the grandeur and beauty of the space," says Elizabeth. "I mean month open, eyes wide, blown away. It made me see a place that I had become used to with fresh eyes."