Robert Moves Home
“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 kitchen in his own apartment.
Robert, who holds a B.A. in Sociology, hails from Ohio and came to Charlotte with his cousin and extended family looking for job opportunities. He worked for years installing sheet rock until a foot injury forced him into exploring a new career as a truck driver. That is, until his injured foot took a turn for the worse. After a necessary surgery, Robert contracted an infection, worsening his condition.
He found his way to Men’s Shelter of Charlotte. Once getting his basic needs met, he had the support to take care of his medical needs and connected with our Employment Team. Our staff provided regular transportation for Robert to Goodwill’s Opportunity Campus where he enrolled in a six-week Construction Services class to obtain career-advancing certifications. He has since graduated.
During this time at the shelter, Robert put together a housing plan with help from our housing team. With limited income, Robert thought creatively and decided to share an apartment with another shelter guest. Sharing the apartment meant sharing the rent, a way to create affordability. Robert is also receiving a temporary rent subsidy through our Rapid Re-Housing program.
Now housed, Robert can fully recover from his foot injury and looks forward to accepting one of the job offers he’s already received through his program with Goodwill.
Robert reminisces on his time at the shelter, “There are real people over there, caring people, who are all so helpful.”
Father’s Day, June 21, is the 2nd annual Father’s Day Wallet Drive
Remembering that men experiencing homelessness play many roles in our community
Picture above is Sutton, who donated several wallets in the inaugural Father’s Day Wallet Drive last year.
Wallets as a symbol of identity.
Men’s Shelter of Charlotte remembers while its clients are experiencing homelessness – it is not an identity. The men are fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, friends, and play many roles in our community.
Donate wallets Friday, June 19 – 22
You can celebrate this special day by donating new or gently used wallets for the 2nd Annual Father’s Day Wallet Drive. Last year these wallets were a popular item with our clients. Wallets are a perfect symbol of the path home with the formula: Income + Housing + Supports = An End to Homelessness.
Hold a Drive for Wallets
Meet Derek and Fred.
The pair volunteers at the shelter at least 3 days a week. Some days you will find them greeting guests and passing out drinks during lunch. Other days they will organize and sort donations in the commissary.
One thing is for sure – Derek’s smile is contagious. He brings energy and compassion to melt your heart.
“We are fortunate that Men’s Shelter of Charlotte allows us to spend a few hours each week with the men.”
Thank you, Derek & Fred, we’re truly lucky to have them!
He’s a regular in the kitchen and has a true passion for serving others.
“It’s an easy way to show the men the community cares about them,” Larry said.
Years ago, he delivered clothing to the shelter with his church and he was hooked. Larry began helping his church with meals and soon took over leading monthly meal service for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte.
When he retired about 6 years ago, Larry made an even bigger commitment to serving at Men’s Shelter of Charlotte. He volunteers 1-2 times each week in the kitchen.
Our kitchen manager, Bob Breed, said Larry will do anything to help and often comes to the rescue!
“Its days when we’re shorthanded just before lunchtime – we’re scrambling to get ready and Larry appears. He pitches in and lends a hand wherever we need it, and everything goes smoothly after that,” Breed said.
Larry says he enjoys working with the other volunteers and being there to encourage the men.
Thank you, Larry, for your dedication to ending homelessness. #NationalVolunteerWeek
Church volunteers more than 30 years at shelter
Group is one of ten to receive the award.
St. Matthew Catholic Church was honored with the Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service during a breakfast celebration on Tuesday, April 14th. This year marks the 37th anniversary of the program that showcases North Carolina’s most dedicated volunteers.
30 years of Service
For over 30 years, St. Matthew has provided meal services – critical to the stability and well-being of our clients. But their support doesn’t stop there. The Men’s Shelter of Charlotte Ministry team, led by Tom Ellis, exemplifies “best practices” and always finds ways to adapt to changing needs at the shelter.
First Group to support Housing and Employment Resource Center (HERC)
In 2013, St. Matthew became the first congregation to support the Housing & Employment Resource Center (HERC). The team consists of 10-12 volunteers who regularly rotate their service on Wednesday evenings to support our clients with job and housing searches.
Volunteers from the church provide weekly support in the commissary to pass out toiletries and clothing. The church also has 4 separate meal service groups that provide lunch or dinner on a monthly or quarterly basis.
12,000 items collected through drives for the basics
Aside from volunteering, St. Matthew also has a commitment to providing basic necessities for the men. All church members are invited to get involved through quarterly drives for socks, underwear and t-shirts. Last year, the group donated more than 12,000 items!
St. Matthew was one of 10 recipients to receive the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. It honors the true spirit of volunteerism by recognizing individuals, groups and businesses that make a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service.
Thank you for your service, St. Matthew Catholic Church! #NationalVolunteerWeek
Photo credit: Barrie Terrell/United Way of Central Carolinas