Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network, Inc.






The mission of the Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network (MIHN) is to provide shelter, meals and comprehensive assistance to homeless families with children and to increase community involvement in direct services and advocacy.

MIHN Hospitality code


1.    It’s nice to hear your name, so learn the names of our guests too.
2.    Labeling people creates invisible barriers. Remember that guests are guests, not “the homeless.”       Labeling—whether spoken, or printed on a posted sign—creates divisions and can foster an “us”       and “them” syndrome.
             a.    While you are a volunteer you will be exposed to many different cultures, different                             socio-economic backgrounds, religions, lifestyles/personal views, and parenting styles.                     We strive to not judge these differences, but to be supportive, caring, and                                         understanding.
             b.    We strive to encourage self-empowerment and independence.
3.    Personal questions can be tough to answer, so don’t put guests in awkward positions by asking        personal questions. If guests need to talk, give them the chance, but don’t pry.
             a.    Lend a supportive ear, demonstrate care and empathy
             b.    If necessary, notify staff of any concerns in your shift report
4.    We all like to keep some things to ourselves. All information about guests is confidential. Don’t          discuss guests’ situations with other people.
5.    Everyone can use a little privacy. The shelter is now the temporary home for our guests. We are        a group living situation with 5 families under one roof. The only private areas guests are                  awarded are their bedrooms and bathrooms.
             a.    Volunteers should only go upstairs or enter a bedroom by invitation or in an emergency                     situation.
6.    Sometimes we need to spend time alone. Respect guests’ needs for quiet times alone or with            family.
7.    We all have bad days. Depression, sadness, and hopelessness may come. Allow guests the space        to deal with their emotion. Be prepared to forgive outbursts without judging guests ungrateful.
8.    We understand and care for our children. Allow guests to do the same. Avoid contradicting              guests’ instructions to their children. Always ask parents’ permission before giving things to              children.
9.    Parents need a break. Offer to tutor, play with, and plan activities for interested children while          their parents take a break.
10.    Adult guests should be treated like adults. Although our guests are in situations that may               make them temporarily dependent on others, remember that they are adults who are capable           of making their own decisions.