Interfaith Collaborations

Interfaith Collaborations

Faith-based organizations have always been a huge part of the work that is done to help those experiencing poverty, hunger and homelessness.

At Keystone Opportunity Center, religious institutions are essential collaborators in our work to house the homeless, feed the hungry and educate those seeking to change their lives.

Faith-based organizations work with Keystone Opportunity Center in so many ways! They:

  • Contribute garden space so clients can grow their own food.
  • Open their buildings to families in our rotational emergency shelter program, the Interfaith Hospitality Network, providing overnight shelter and recruiting hundreds of volunteers to turn church classrooms into bedrooms, cook meals, go grocery shopping, provide transportation, and keep the families company as they stay overnight in their buildings.
  • Run food drives to contribute items to our food pantry.
  • Lease us their buildings at a low cost so we can use them for affordable housing rental units or administrative buildings.
  • Pack care packages, like birthday bags or giggle bags, for food pantry clients.
  • Host our fundraisers and events.
  • Clean, paint and fix up Keystone’s affordable housing rental units.
  • Deep clean our food pantry and pantry warehouse.
  • Run fundrasiers–large and small–to support the programs of Keystone Opportunity Center.
  • Supplement rent to help families get on their feet.
  • Fund the position of a Community Case Manager at Keystone who assists those referred by pastors.
  • Run household goods drives to contribute items to our homelessness prevention/housing stability programs.
  • Provide space for classes run by our Education Department in English as a Second Language, High School Equivalency/GED, Adult Basic Education, Citizenship Preparation, College and Career English, and tutoring.
  • Bring youth groups to our SleepOut for Homelessness, an experiential event for youth.

That’s just the beginning of the list. Our work together is so much more effective than any list can convey.

We couldn’t do this work without interfaith collaborations!

To honor these partnerships, we just launched an Interfaith Initiatives Committee.

This is a group of Keystone staff members charged with tending to our partnerships with churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other faith-based organizations.

This group, representing all our departments, will work together to communicate as a whole, to strengthen existing partnerships, to develop new ones, and to ensure that our interfaith collaborations will help as many people as possible.

Our Executive Director has launched several interfaith projects in her spare time, simply because she likes bringing people together. Those include an award-winning multi-county Interfaith Day of Service, an Interfaith Martin Luther King Advocacy Fair, and an Interfaith Health Fair. She believes launching this Interfaith Initiatives Committee will make the work with faith-based organizations much more dynamic and cohesive.

One of our projects will be to produce an Interfaith Collaborations newsletter to keep our faith-based partners informed of the results of our collaborations. See the first edition HERE.

The Interfaith Initiatives Committee will develop additional interfaith programs, as well. We want to offer you speakers who can visit your institution to talk about ALL of what Keystone Opportunity Center does–or be your expert to speak about the social issues of homelessness, food insecurity and education needs. And there’s more to come.

Please meet the members of Keystone Opportunity Center’s Interfaith Initiatives Committee:

The need is great. There is more work to be done. 

Together, we can do more than any of us can do alone.

In fact, in this video, Robert Doar, a fellow in poverty studies at the American Enterprise Institute asserts, “We cannot succeed in helping poor Americans without the support we get from faith-based organizations.”