UM SSW The Institute  

Open Table

Contact Info:

Denise Sulzbach, Director of Policy and Strategic Development,,
UM Institute for Innovations and Implementation School of Social Work

Open Table is faith-based model, founded by Jon Katov, for congregations committed to the transformation of a family or individual in poverty. The concept began in late 2005 with founder's chance encounter with a homeless man in Arizona. From that unplanned beginning, Open Table has now grown into a documented poverty transformation model and is rapidly expanding in states across the U.S. The Open Table model provides faith communities with a proven process to transform individuals and families in poverty. Table members, together with the individual or family being helped, establish goals and accountability, develop an overall plan and implement it. Table members network in their congregations and the community for resources to support the plan. Each Table is hosted by a congregation or two or more congregations who partner to launch a Table. Table members are generalists, work as teams and also provide leadership for certain aspects of the plan such as occupation, education, spirituality, health, transportation and other categories.

With support from SAMHSA, Open Table has partnered with The Institute and Rural CARES staff and stakeholders to unite Systems of Care and faith-based communities in an integrated process to that develops economic stability and wholeness for impoverished families served by Systems of Care who have economic and other challenges through the integration of the High Fidelity Wraparound and Open Table models. The goal of this Systems of Care and faith-based community integration project is to foster faith-based/community partnerships to help support families in reaching their full potential and increase resiliency attained through the High Fidelity Wraparound service delivery process. The approach will be developed and tested on Maryland's Eastern Shore in partnership with families served through the Rural CARES grant.

Resource: For more information, please go to