Wise Family Shelter

What it is

The Wise Family Shelter is part of the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati (IHN). The Wise Family Shelter provides shelter and compassion to families experiencing temporary homelessness.

How it works

Wise Temple classrooms are transformed into cozy bedrooms, and the program room into a welcoming living room space. Wise Temple is one of many local congregations that provides families a safe place to stay while IHN helps them to find permanent housing and financial stability. Without congregations like Wise Temple, it would be difficult for some families to stay together.

How YOU can help

Volunteers work together to provide food, fun, and a comfortable, home-like environment for families during their stay at Wise Temple. This is the perfect opportunity for families with children of all ages to do a mitzvah! Newborn babies to grandparents make the best volunteers.

Questions? Contact Alex Burte, Membership/Program Manager 513.793.2556.

A Personal Look

To see it is to understand it. For nearly three decades, Wise Temple has hosted families experiencing temporary homelessness. Yet, if you’ve never seen it in action, it may be hard to understand this powerful mitzvah. These videos will help you visualize how you can help, will dispel any misconceptions, and will inspire you to participate.

Behind the Scenes

See a hosting in action and hear from longstanding volunteers and guests we serve.

Ashley's Story

Hear from Ashley, a recent guest at the Wise Family Shelter, who talks openly about the powerful way this Shelter and the IHN program impacted her family.

Steve's Story

Hear from longtime volunteer Steve Zimmerman about how easy, rewarding and important it is to volunteer at the Wise Family Shelter.

You are the most important part of this program! Be a part of this incredible, life-changing mitzvah! Check back soon for the dates of our next hosting.

Shelter Jobs

Set Up

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM Sunday

Prepare Wise Temple spaces for our guests – transforming classrooms into cozy bedrooms and the program room into a welcoming living room space.

Evening Host

5:15 PM – 8:00 PM nightly

Serve as primary host to both volunteers and guests during the evening. Ensure everything is running smoothly. Manage issues and concerns if they arise.

Cook and Serve Dinner

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM nightly

Purchase or prepare a meal. ​Sit with our guests to share the meal and friendly conversation.

Play and Talk

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM nightly

Sit with our guests to share the meal and friendly conversation. Play with the guests’ children. Games, puzzles and art supplies are provided, or you may bring a favorite game or activity to share. This is a volunteer opportunity for children of all ages accompanied by an adult.

Overnight Host

8:00 PM – 7:00 AM weekdays
8:00 PM – 8:00 AM weekends

This is the easiest role, as guests are settling into their rooms for the night when you arrive. You will have the comforts of home in a private classroom that has been transformed into a cozy bedroom.

Serve as primary hosts to volunteers and guests during the night and early morning. Ensure that everything is running smoothly. Manage issues and concerns if they arise. Set up breakfast for guests to enjoy. Ensure that all guests are awake and ready to board the bus in the morning.

Clean Laundry

Flexible hours

Wash and dry bed linens, towels and blankets. Pick the laundry up after 8:30 AM Sunday and return it to Wise Center prior to the next hosting week. This job is shared among several volunteers.

Take Down

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM Sunday

Restore Wise Temple spaces, readying them for religious school.