Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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December 8, 2012

New director for Interfaith Hospitality Network

GOSHEN — The Goshen Interfaith Hospitality Network Board has named Phil Keller of Elkhart as the organization’s executive director.

Keller has been the interim director for five months.

Dr. Linda Hochstetler, president of the GIHN board of directors, said, “Phil has a real passion for helping people who are undergoing struggles and hardships. He is a real asset to the GIHN program and the families to whom we relate.”

Keller brings experience in counseling, education and in manufacturing.   

Keller is the former director of adult education Crossing Educational Center and was program administrator of a community-based organization that helps formerly incarcerated people build stable lives and reintegrate into their communities and society. He is a graduate of Grace College and Theological Seminary, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management and a master’s of ministry degree.

The GIHN collaborates with 20 local churches to provide emergency housing for homeless families in Elkhart County.

The program utilizes more than 500 volunteers who provide meals and act as hosts when families lodge in the respective churches.

Last year, nearly 3,600 “bed days,” or lodging, were provided to families with children ranging in age from newborns to high school students.

GIHN staff offer counseling and advocacy in an effort to secure housing, medical attention and educational opportunities for families who are in the program, many of whom have jobs but have met with unusual economic hardships. The goal is to guide guests towards a stable living arrangement.

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Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

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