Several miles north of Uptown tucked in an accessible residential area is Hope House Foundation and more specifically, the actual Hope House.
Stepping inside Hope House, signs of hope are everywhere -- in the decor, the cheerful faces of the staff and the brightness that the home exudes. The home provides shelter and acts as a much-needed reset button for women looking to make changes and set a different course for their lives.
Hope House provides housing and support services for single unaccompanied women or women with children experiencing situational homelessness. The home has 12 beds in a pleasant congregate living environment to encourage transformative life choices. Hope House helps women from various backgrounds, age groups, and from all walks of life.
“You don't have to wait to be an adult to change the world,” is something said often and taken to heart in the Twer family.
JJ Twer, 11 (through Urban Ministry Center’s Room in the Inn program) has been serving and sitting down to have dinner with Charlotte’s homeless neighbors since she was just two years old.
“[JJ] talks to them; she asks about their families,” JJ's mom Paige Twer said. “She has read to them. She has had conversations with them that at first makes me want to go and interrupt, but instead I listen and I see how she connects with them.”
Last year for JJ's 10th birthday she wanted to do something with purpose. She decided that she just could not imagine feeling forced to live on the streets during the upcoming cold winter months. And that’s how JJ’s Scarf Project was born. Paige thought they might take a dozen or so scarves and tie them to trees in Uptown Charlotte to be found.
Charlotte Rescue Mission's Rebound campus for men just on the outskirts of Uptown bustles with a hopeful energy for its residents, one-time homeless men struggling with addiction to alcohol or drugs. A screen with the week's schedule is filled from wake-up at 5:45 a.m. until lights out at 10:30 p.m. with meetings, devotions, activities and chores to keep the 150 residents invested in their treatment.
In almost all discussions about homelessness in Charlotte you’ll hear about Urban Ministry Center and with good reason. What began as The Soup Kitchen founded by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in 1979 changed locations in December 1994 to became today’s Urban Ministry Center (UMC).
I met Lesley Faulkner as we volunteered together with our daughters for one of our church’s Room in the Inn nights. It was a Friday night in December and my first time with Room in the Inn. (Since 1996, the Urban Ministry Center (UMC) has partnered with colleges and congregations of many faiths to open their facilities to provide shelter and food for homeless people during the winter months, Dec. 1 - March 31). We prepared dinner and dined with our guests. I quickly learned about her involvement with Urban Ministry Center and how deeply she cares about these neighbors. She’d met one of our Room in the Inn guests earlier in the day during her weekly front-desk shift at UMC.
Teaching Fellows Institute (TFI) recognizes and honors the Charlotte area’s outstanding teachers and provides opportunities that further develop their leadership and professional expertise in order to retain outstanding educators in the profession. Teachers will share best practices, explore the art and science of teaching, and be encouraged to become educational advocates and community leaders.
During #GivingTuesdayCLT, TFI raised enough funds to train teachers in how to code the Raspberry Pi 3, a goal three years in the making!
Each week we'll SHARE easy ways to jump in and make a difference right now.
Did you know that Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history. (History.com)
Most of my adult life I’ve compartmentalized homelessness as something that I don’t have direct experience with (gratefully) and an issue that is someone else’s. The solutions are also out of my control and therefore -- regrettably -- have become ‘not my problem.’
Throughout the month of February, SHARE Charlotte will explore homelessness in Charlotte by looking at the work of some of our nonprofit partners and their volunteers. You may see a lot of terms that are helpful to know. See our glossary to help navigate the issue.
Charlotte is thriving, growing by leaps and bounds. Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the country ranking 10th in population growth among U.S. cities with at least 50,000 residents, 2015 census estimates showed. Traffic seems to increase daily and brand new, expensive apartment buildings are going up all over town.
We have so much great news to share from our nonprofit partners about their amazing work. But, we'd love to hear from you. Let us know if you have stories you'd like to tell and we'll make you a guest blogger!!