3 Things About the Men’s Shelter I Bet You Didn’t Know
The Men’s Shelter of Charlotte is well known as the only emergency shelter for men experiencing homelessness in our community. But we do so much more than provide shelter. Here’s three things I bet you didn’t know:
1. MSC focuses on Housing – MSC is one of our community’s largest housing providers. We don’t own or manage apartments. In fact, not every man we house moves into an apartment. We believe that the shelter is more appropriate than the streets and that most other forms of housing are more appropriate than being in a shelter. Since July 1, 2o13, our staff have helped more than 300 men move out of the shelter and into more appropriate housing – 43% into their own apartment, 26% reunited with family, and 31% connected to supportive housing programs that can meet their longer term needs.
2. MSC Focuses on Unique Needs – only a daily basis our staff assist men with a broad range of issues. We help men receiving terminal diagnoses deal with end of life issues. We help men reconnect with mothers they haven’t spoken to in many years. We help men address the various problems that keep holding them back from getting that job or finding a place to live. We help men find jobs, secure retirement benefits, and take care of their children. Often, we also get to celebrate. Just recently I was talking with a couple of our men and one shared that he received a letter from social security that day saying he was officially retired and would start receiving his social security check. He had worked hard all his life and we took a moment to celebrate that now he could retire with a place of his own.
3. MSC Relies on a Lot of Partners – whether volunteers, nonprofits, or local government, very little of our work is done by MSC alone. MSC counts on well over 100 houses of faith and over 3,000 volunteers to serve meals, manage our commissaries, and work with men in our Housing & Employment Resource Center. We have dozens of nonprofit partners who help us help our men. We rely on Crisis Assistance Ministry for furniture, clothing, and volunteers to move men into their new places. We rely on RHA to provide mental health outreach and treatment. We are fortunate that on Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving, the Charlotte Rescue Mission hosts our men to a day of fellowship and great food. Our local government partners, especially the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, provide substance abuse treatment, testing for communicable diseases, and housing subsidy funds. We also connect the men we serve with the expert services of many of our fellow United Way partner agencies.
Now you know.