COVID-19 Help!

This global crisis has taken the world by surprise.  By mid-afternoon on March 25, students without waivers to remain in a dorm will be asked to pack up all of their belongings and leave their dorms.  UPDATE: In response to the governor's stay at home order, the deadline for students was moved up to March 23.  It's hard to say how long they'll be displaced, but they will not be able to return until at least April 30.  Some will need our help.

NOTE: If you or anyone in your household is 60 years of age (or older) or has a health condition that makes you more susceptible to COVID-19, please do NOT apply to become a temporary host.

As the situation progresses, we will add more opportunities for you to serve this community.

Emergency Temporary Housing

International Friendships, Inc. in Cincinnati (IFI Cincy) is partnering with USA Homestays, Crossroads Uptown, Bridges International, University Chinese Christian Fellowship, UC World Friends, and International Students, Inc. to pull together resources to help international students with the challenges presented by the Covid-19 virus.  IFI Cincy has taken point on the administration, organization, and execution of host vetting, training, matching, and support.

We have intentionally designed the hosting process with great respect for each person's connections to these ministries.  While we are required to do a background check of each potential host, we will NOT assume that you want to become a long-term IFI Volunteer or continue to receive our monthly emails.  Choose "Yes, please!" in the form below if you would like to continue being involved with IFI Cincy following this current opportunity.

Steps to Becoming a Host

Students and university officials need peace of mind and assurance that matching is done with the utmost care, even in a short period of time.  This is what it looks like:

  1. Submit form (at bottom of page)
  2. Provide one reference (let them know we'll be calling)
  3. Request a background check (we'll send you the link)
  4. Take a video training (made especially for this situation)
  5. Be matched (we'll help you make arrangements between your household and the potential students)
  6. Receive ongoing support (we won't leave you hanging)

You can make a difference.

Students at Ease

During this difficult time it's hard for students to know whom to trust.  To help the students feel more at ease, we will ask for a photo of your household (pets and all).  We may use your photo on social media and the student website to put a loving face on this housing opportunity.

What the students need

  • a bed/mattress (preferably not an air mattress)
  • reliable WiFi
  • space to study (dinner table works)
  • some transportation (possible trips to the grocery store)
  • a healthy, loving, trustworthy home
  • place to keep their belongings (have students check with U-Haul storage, if needed)
  • a home until at least April 30 (varies by student)

Good to know

  • Health.  We will ask each student if they have a cough or fever.  You will be able to let us know your preference for housing a student that shows symptoms that may or may not be COVID-19.  Testing each student is not an option at this time.
  • House Expectations.  USA Homestays is responsible for housing arrangements, financial arrangements, and follow-up after matching.  They will assist you in communicating house expectations (such as social distancing).  They will also check in with you and the student over time to see how everyone is doing.
  • Expenses.  We know most of you would do this for no cost, but providing a stipend from the students to you in this situation gives freedom for you to be more generous. USA Homestays will collect the stipend from the students then give it to the host family, enabling you and the student(s) you host to focus on your relationship.  This stipend will assist you in covering the cost for meals, lodging, utilities (WiFi/TV), and laundry.

Risk

Your health and safety is very important to us.  Prior to matching, we will ask each student if they have a fever or cough.  However, someone may not show any symptoms until 2-14 days after exposure.  With this evolving situation, there is a possibility that you or someone placed in your household has already contracted this disease.  By completing the form below, you are stating that you understand the risks and will not hold International Friendships, Inc., USA Homestays, or any partner organization listed above, responsible for contraction of this highly contagious disease.

 

COVID-19 Housing Form

 

  • Contact Information

  • Ministry Association

  • With which organization are you connected? Or, how did you hear about this hosting opportunity?
  • Please provide the name, phone number, email address and relationship to you for a person who is willing to give a recommendation for you. This should be a leader of your affiliate organization or your church (someone who knows you well).
  • Would you like to be considered an IFI Cincinnati Registered Volunteer, to continue receiving emails about service opportunities throughout the year?
  • Hosting Information

  • Note: If host is single, IFI will match a male student with a male host, and female with female. Are you...
  • Note: If host is single, IFI will match a male student with a male host, and female with female. Which can you host?
  • For example: I/We have one room with twin beds.
  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Some students in need of housing may have a cough or fever.

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

  • International Friendships, Inc. (IFI Cincy): https://cincy.ifiusa.org/
    • International Friendships, Inc. (IFI) works in cooperation with UCIS and the ELS program, and partners with local churches and US Americans to help international students and scholars meet practical needs and develop relationships around social, cultural and spiritual interests.
  • USA Homestays: https://www.usahomestays.org/
    • USA Homestays helps international students experience warmth, comfort and community in a US American home.  We place students to live with selected US American families so that the experience is culturally beneficial to both student and host.
  • International Students, Inc. (ISI): https://www.isionline.org/About.aspx
    • International Students Inc. (ISI) is a community-based organization that works with ELS, UCIS, US American volunteers and local churches to encourage and serve international students through providing exciting trips, fun socials, spiritual discussion groups, and Friday night weekly dinners. We welcome all international students and scholars from every country, religion and culture.
  • Bridges International: https://www.bridgesinternational.com/
    • Bridges International is a faith-based Christian organization on college campuses across the country. International students from various cultures and religious backgrounds are welcome! Activities include weekly meetings, social events, meeting new friends from other cultures, trips, experiencing US American culture, and spiritual conversations.
  • UC World Friends: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IFIChineseUC/
    • UC World Friends is a Christian hospitality network to welcome international students to University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati area. We offer temporary housing, friendship partners, English language practice, adventure trips and Bible study!