Employment and income are key components to ending homelessness for our guests. Therefore, we are grateful to companies like JournalBooks that employ shelter guests.
As Tim O’Boyle, JournalBooks President, states, “Not only have we gained some hard working, dedicated team members, we have been able to demonstrate to our team that we care about the community and run a ‘judgement-free’ organization.”
Recently, JournalBooks hired Grady, a shelter guest, for a full-time custodian position. “The day I agreed to an interview at JournalBooks was the best decision of my adult life,” Grady reflects.
Tim urges other businesses in Charlotte to look to Men’s Shelter of Charlotte as an employment resource. He affirms that, “by giving Grady and other men from the shelter an opportunity, we are helping them on their way to permanent housing and we are gaining valuable employees.”
Men’s Shelter of Charlotte offers a robust employment program and establishing employment partnerships is a critical piece of program services. JournalBooks is one of 37 employment partners that offer hope and stability for our guests. If you are interested in learning more about our Employment Program, email Joe Hamby, Director of Income Services.
Akil had a great day. He received his first pay check from a job he connected to through Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont’s Goodwork Staffing program. He took advantage of the shelter’s employment services and rides to Goodwill’s Opportunity Campus. Now Akil is working full time! He is that much closer to housing with this great job.
Proudly standing by his side is MSC’s Director of Income, Joe Hamby.
I know I’m not supposed to have favorites, but Mr. Hunt is one of mine.
He came to us at age 90, homeless for the first time after losing control of his finances. In describing the experience, he remarked, “That was a whole heap of a mess I never intended to get in to.”
Getting to know Mr. Hunt felt like going back in time. When talking with a woman, he would take off his hat and hold it over his heart. He would regale you with stories of being in the Air Force post-World War II and of being a librarian in New York City.
His kindness is matched by his stubbornness. Finding a housing option for him that maintained some level of independence was a must. And, we all rejoiced when he moved out earlier this month to a senior living apartment.
I shudder to think what could have happened to Mr. Hunt had Men’s Shelter of Charlotte not been there to meet him in his crisis, with shelter, food, and housing advocacy.
I also reflect, though, on the gift that Mr. Hunt’s presence provided us.
I met Mr. Hunt shortly after my grandmother’s death. Mr. Hunt’s story-telling and his sense of dignity reminded me of my grandmother, and was a comfort to me as I grieved. Watching other guest’s interact with Mr. Hunt was equally as beautiful, as various men spent time watching out for and talking with “pops.”
No doubt, all of us met each other in our time of need and in our humanity.
And that is what we do every day at Men’s Shelter of Charlotte: We meet each other in our humanity.
“Sometimes life gives you grenades disguised as lemons.” Former guest Charles recently wrote these words to Joe Hamby, Men’s Shelter of Charlotte’s Director of Income Services.
Charles was describing his “lemons” that began several years ago with relocation from Hurricane Katrina and more recently with job reduction and family strife. All of which exploded, leaving him with a yellow paper on his apartment door, evicted just 11 days before his 25th birthday.
Devastated, Charles spent a few nights riding the light rail and catching sleep in the ER waiting room, before he found his way to Men’s Shelter of Charlotte.
“I was struggling; but I wasn’t dead yet,” Charles goes on to write. So, he persisted, and took advantage of the additional services Men’s Shelter of Charlotte offers.
Through our employment team, he was connected to a local employer who offers innovative paid internships for motivated young adults. In fact, Joe gave him a ride to his interview, which included a pep talk before he went in. “Tell your story,” he advised Charles.
Charles successfully landed the internship. Additionally, through our housing program, Charles overcame his financial barriers, had an advocate to help navigate housing options, and gained access to a rental subsidy. Less than five months after his eviction, Charles’ experience with homelessness was ended.