January 21st, 2021 -
Dignity matters. For people moving through homelessness, it can be the key to restoring health, housing, and stability. That's why dignity is at the heart of Project Outpour's mission. The Charlotte-based nonprofit provides shower access to men and women moving through homelessness, alleviating suffering and promoting holistic health and dignity.
"Being and feeling clean gives people a sense of dignity," says Laura Gorecki, Project Outpour's Chief Dignity Officer. "It gives the confidence to walk into public spaces, to seek assistance, to go on a job interview." Shower access also has practical physical and mental health benefits, relieving social alienation and preventing infections and other medical issues.
Three fundamental values guide the work of Project Outpour: Humanity, Love, and Connection. The team sees its service as a starting point for building relationships and a way to meet our neighbors where they are and work to bring about change from...
January 15th, 2021 -
Written by Amy Andrews
Like so many organizations, the past year has looked dramatically different for local nonprofit RunningWorks. This Charlotte-based organization has a keen focus on stopping the destructive cycle of homelessness through its values-led, mentorship-driven programming.
RunningWorks was established in 2012 and promotes volunteerism as a key component of rehabilitation as it promotes dignity and purpose for team members who are struggling through hard times. The goal is to foster self-improvement over the long term through the development of discipline, confidence, team-work and self-respect.
“Our main population is those who are experiencing homelessness, who are at risk of becoming homeless or are in poverty,” shared Matt Sharp, RunningWorks Chief Operating Officer. “Our clients, who we refer to as team members, have certainly been impacted by COVID as they were already food insecure, lacking basic resources and facing difficult...
January 7th, 2021 -
Written by Amy Andrews
Bright Blessings lives up to its name, as a bright spot in the lives of local homeless and impoverished children by helping them celebrate their birthdays. Bright Blessings has grown since its founding by Amy and John Cervantes in 2005 to now include programs like Bless-a- Baby, which provides baskets of newborn items for new homeless and impoverished mothers and babies.
“COVID has certainly affected what we are able to do now, as a great deal of our birthday care packages were delivered via CMS schools which are not in person right now,” shared Tisha Henderson, Executive Director, Bright Blessings. “We are still sending supplies to shelters, which have been each handling their celebrations differently.”
She added, “We have gotten really creative since April in ways to distribute supplies and serve our community. We are pumping out thousands of snack bags, hygiene kits and joy bags, which include fun activities like sudoku or cards to keep kids busy.”...
January 2nd, 2021 -
Homelessness is not a new problem, but it does come with new challenges as a result of the pandemic.
The challenge of enforcing social distancing in shelters that are more crowded than ever.
The challenge of finding ways for volunteers to safely lend a hand without actually getting hands-on.
The challenge of facing a harsh reality that some neighbors who used to provide support for the homeless, are now in need of support of their own.
While some of our homeless neighbors have been living on the streets for years and are considered “chronically homeless”, others have suffered a series of events that have left no other options for housing and are often referred to as “situationally homeless”- being forced to live without housing due to a life-altering event, such as job loss, domestic violence, medical emergency, or natural disaster (Shelters to Shutters). Situational homelessness is a status many in our city and across the nation have fallen victim to as...