Did you know that approximately 552,830 people in the United States are homeless? As of 2018, NC alone had an estimated homeless population of 9,268. And those numbers are pre-pandemic, which has increased housing instability across the nation.
Started in 2017, Hope Vibes was originally founded in response to the need of homeless women in the Charlotte area not having access to feminine hygiene products. They helped provide basic hygiene needs to the homeless population in the Charlotte metro area by collecting items from the local community to pass out on the streets and in shelters. All this in addition to raising awareness of the homeless crisis through public speaking opportunities at K-12 schools, universities, and other local platforms.
Through their work providing hygiene supplies, the Hope Vibes team recognized the immense need for access to showers and laundry among the homeless community. In response to this discovery, Hope Vibes embarked on a journey to fund and develop a mobile shower and laundry center. On November 11 of 2020, the first Hope Tank was finished and mobilized for use in Charlotte. In an attempt to keep up with the needs of the homeless community and honor social distancing protocols, the Hope Vibes team is conducting 1-2 Serve Days per week in the Hope Tank. Due to the time required to do a load of laundry, these serve days allow 10 people to leave with clean laundry and provide as many showers as they can accommodate in an outing.
During COVID-19, Hope Vibes has noticed an increase in homeless neighbors who need services. In response to pandemic health directives, they also had to close out volunteering to the public and restrict Serve Days to the leadership team. Currently, they are allowing people from the general public to participate in Serve Days at a limited capacity, which means they, unfortunately, have to put a cap on the number of volunteer registrations for Serve Day to try to keep everyone safe. According to Co-founder and Director Adrienne Threatt, Hope Vibes is getting emails from people and communities in surrounding areas expressing a need for what Hope Tank can provide. Because of the high demand, Adrienne is hoping to build another Hope Tank to expand their ability to serve the local community.
Especially with the increase in individuals experiencing homelessness needing services and requests for Hope Tank, financial support is critical to continue their mission. Their greatest need right now is financial donations and partner businesses. Another way to make an immediate impact without leaving the house is to purchase high-demand items such as underwear and other hygiene products from their Amazon Wishlist to be shipped directly to Hope Vibe’s headquarters.
Visit their website to learn about how to give hope daily with Hope Vibes: https://www.hopevibes.org/