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.
Ingersoll Rand and Apparo Transform Men’s Shelter of Charlotte’s Functionality in Five Days Massive scanning project allows the nonprofit to put more men in beds
At Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, each file represents someone’s life story. Over the course of five days, Ingersoll Rand volunteers and their family members, facilitated by Apparo, transformed Men’s Shelter of Charlotte’s functionality by digitizing 4,000 client files to improve the efficiency of Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, enabling men to receive quick assistance so that their stories include a warm bed and assistance. The project took shape after Ingersoll Rand initially offered to assist with selecting a scanner for the shelter, but quickly decided the company wanted to leave a greater impact in Charlotte.
“We cannot thank Ingersoll Rand and Apparo enough,” Liz Clasen-Kelly, Executive Director of Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, said. “We did not have the know-how, the time or the resources to handle a project of this magnitude. What would have taken our organization at least an entire year, Ingersoll Rand completed in five days. In our eyes this project is priceless because it saved us money and time, all while making Men’s Shelter of Charlotte much more efficient.”
The 100+ volunteers committed more than 450 hours to implement the conversion of 150,000 pages and create the new platform, which has been customized for Men’s Shelter of Charlotte to facilitate access. The files are critically important because they contain information about the men served at the shelter. Each file is someone’s life story.
While the Ingersoll Rand volunteers were busy scanning, Apparo made sure the project remained within the new scope and was completed on time.
“Apparo facilitates skilled-based volunteer projects that bring together valuable expertise and resources from the corporate sectors to nonprofits in need,” said Kim Lanphear, CEO of Apparo. “The impact of this project on Men’s Shelter of Charlotte is tremendous, and makes us incredibly proud.”
In addition, the project resulted in an e-signature tool that decreases the time required for intake and getting men experiencing homeless from a cot to a bed.
“Men’s Shelter of Charlotte is a great organization with a long history of providing housing and shelter, a focus of Ingersoll Rand, in the Charlotte community for those who need it most. We are thankful that Apparo brought us together,” said Josh Van Dyke, Vice President for IT- Americas at Ingersoll Rand. “It was such a great project for us – our volunteers, who represented many different parts of the business, embraced the cause, selflessly gave of their time and demonstrated the Ingersoll Rand values of respect, teamwork, and innovation. In their own words, they enjoyed working together to give back to the local community and were honored to support such a worthwhile organization and purpose.”
This project recently received the Ingersoll Rand President’s Award for Inspiring Progress, which recognizes outstanding employee contributions in key areas of the company’s vision.
Apparo, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, connects nonprofits and corporations in the Charlotte, N.C area, delivering technology solutions that multiply nonprofit effectiveness. Considered the go-to provider of technology strategy, implementation, consulting and support services for nonprofits, to date Apparo has served more than 425+ local nonprofits, providing them with $13.5 million worth of technology solutions. To learn more, visit apparo.org.
About Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR) advances the quality of life by creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments. Our people and our family of brands — including Club Car®, Ingersoll Rand®, Thermo King® and Trane® — work together to enhance the quality and comfort of air in homes and buildings; transport and protect food and perishables; and increase industrial productivity and efficiency. We are a global business committed to a world of sustainable progress and enduring results. For more information, visit http://www.ingersollrand.com.
“Forty-seven days in shelter, and now I’m housed! I feel blessed and grateful.” That’s the sentiment from Robert as he proudly stands in his own kitchen. At home, Robert can fully recover from a foot injury and looks forward to accepting one of the job offers he’s already received through his program with one of our partners, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. Robert reminisces on his time at the shelter, “There are real people over there, caring people, who are all so helpful.”
Click here for Robert’s full story.
Who says teenagers aren’t engaged in community service?! Not us, that’s for sure.
Sixteen year-old Davis, a student at Charlotte Latin School had served a meal at our shelter with his dad and mom some time ago. He walked away from that experience with a different perspective for those experiencing homelessness. By coincidence, as Davis was helping with another community project (outside of Men’s Shelter), he ran into one of the men he served at the shelter. The man remembered Davis and thanked him for serving. This moved and motivated Davis to do something more.
This past summer, after talking with us, Davis set a goal to collect 100 “Intake Kits,” to include a drawstring bag, towel, shower shoes, and a lock. These kits would be provided to new guests at the shelter . . . items that are always in high demand, but low in supply.
He reached out to friends and family to raise dollars for this venture. While doing so, he also read our summer news about losing some federal funding that we’d been receiving for years – to the tune of around $88,000. From this he decided not only to raise dollars for the intake kits, but set his sights high for a goal of raising 10% of
the dollars we lost from that funding – or $8,800.
He personally solicited folks with a letter, face-to-face asks, and phone calls.
The outpouring of support was phenomenal, with Davis reaching both his goals . . . and receiving heart-warming letters from donors who supported him. 85 donors
contributed $10,325, which in turn was used to purchase the “intake kits” and the remaining $8,800 was given financially.
For Cedric, experiencing homelessness was a way of life. Twenty plus years of life, in fact. In and out of Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, our team patiently worked to cultivate and grow a trusted relationship with Cedric.
Struggling with severe mental illness, Cedric needed significant support. That support started with us and ultimately found him a home with Moore Place, permanent supportive housing created by Urban Ministry Center.