The partnership between New Pathways and the Interfaith Hospitality Network is perhaps, the Brainerd area’s best example of the faith-based community stepping in where government has no program or resources for a serious problem.
Together the two organizations help homeless families with children by providing a place to stay and three meals a day. New Pathways provides a day center in Brainerd that offers support, referrals and education. The IHN is a group of 18 churches that provide food and night-time shelter to the families.
For those who prefer to see private charities help at-risk families instead government programs, this is your chance to lend support a worthwhile private program that helps the homeless. A few of the participating churches in the network have found it necessary to pull out of the program because of the difficulty of finding volunteers. Angela Kingbird, New Pathways case manager, described it as “mission work, right here in the lakes area.”
This worthwhile program is wholly deserving of the community’s support. Since the partnership began in 2005 it has helped 177 families that included 238 adults and 322 children. The program has had to turn away 106 families. The average stay in the program, which has a 96 percent success rate, is 26 days.
This partnership is hands-on benevolence and a great example of the Brainerd community doing its best to take care of families who have fallen on hard times.