Jamell had a difficult childhood after losing his mother and only parent at age 10. He grew up on the streets of Brooklyn, and ultimately found himself in Charlotte with the hope to start a better life. His hopes changed dramatically in May 2018 when he tragically lost his hand in a workplace accident. Nine months and multiple surgeries later, Jamell’s gained a state-of-the-art “bionic” hand made by Apple. He is now safely sheltered and working with Joe Hamby, our Director of Income Services, to find a meaningful career that will lead him out of homelessness.
Jamell’s quote to Joe when reflecting on his accident and situation,”…you live your life, you’ll cope with this. Life goes on and you’re still a part of it. You’re not alone.” Now, that’s resiliency.
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.