Why Become a Member Congregation?
It happens every day. The knock on the door. The ring of the phone. “Can you help me?” For most congregations in Central Virginia this is a routine occurrence. “Is this for real? What can we do? How much can we help them? How often? Where else can they go?” These are big questions for faith organizations to answer. These questions are answered multiple times a day by Interfaith Outreach Association.
One of the greatest things IOA does for faith communities today is the processing of requests for assistance. Interfaith Outreach is made up of 83 member congregations, who pool together their resources to assist the needy. Interfaith Outreach carefully screens each client requiring proof of household income and household expenses for the last 30 days to create a 30 day budget for the family and to verify the financial need. Client information dating back to 1990 is stored on our computer database which allows us to reference the history of each client. Payments are made directly to landlords and utility companies. Thousands of references to other agencies that can offer assistance to the needy are made on a routine basis.
When the needy approach St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Lynchburg for assistance, most are sent directly to Interfaith Outreach Association. “Interfaith Outreach is able to do in 20 minutes what it would take me a day and half to accomplish,” said the Reverend Todd Vie, Priest of St. Paul’s Church.