Men's Shelter of Charlotte

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Mark your calendar, save your wallets

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
 
 
sutton donation wallets
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 

Do you have questions about donating wallets or organizing a drive? Call Jennifer Hall at (704) 334.3187 x103 or email:  Jennifer.Hall@MensShelterofCharlotte.org

What I’m Going To Do Today

I’m reading this really interesting book by Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty.

In it he describes a trip to Malawi anThe End of Povertyd visiting a hospital where hundreds of people are literally stacked up in a ward as they lay there dying of AIDS because they cannot afford the dollar per day lifesaving medicine.

I’m watching the news this week and seeing the devastation wrecked by earthquakes that continues to erupt in Nepal and surrounding parts of India. Impoverished people barely subsisting before and now losing everything, including life, as leaders struggle to get resources where they’ll do the most good.

I’m sitting at lunch yesterday listening to a fellow Rotarian share about his trip this week to the Philippines to help bring relief in the wake of a devastating typhoon.

I’m thankful for those who seek to bring relief to the poor throughout the world. I often wonder if I shouldn’t be joining them.

I’m driving to work this morning through a neighborhood near the shelter, a route I’ve driven hundreds of times. Sitting on the side of the road is a woman I’ve also seen hundreds of times but haven’t really noticed. She’s huddled up shaking from the obvious signs of addiction withdrawal. I wonder what it’ll take to save her life, if her life will be saved. I can almost see this woman, in her present condition, transported to Malawi, or the Philippines, or Nepal. Would her situation be better or worse? Would she be noticed more or less? I have no idea.

What I do know is that there is suffering around the world, including right here in our own backyards. I also know that the resources, wisdom, and desire to address these issues exist. There are smart people in this world, like Jeffrey Sachs, who have figured out what needs to be done to save lives, alleviate suffering, and reduce poverty. I’ve heard it so many times now that I don’t know who to credit this saying but on a local, national, and global scale we don’t have a resource problem, we have a priority problem.

I still have this guilt, maybe its desire, to go to Malawi, or the Philippines, or Nepal to help in some small way bring relief to extremely poor people who face severe poverty, devastation, and death in ways I can hardly comprehend. Then, as I pull into the parking lot at the shelter, I think about the woman sitting on the road in my own backyard and I know what I’m going to do today.

Rapid Rehousing & MSC’s Equation

I’m blogging early this week since tomorrow is Men’s Shelter of Charlotte’s Moving Men Home 2015 Community Partnership Breakfast and Fundraiser.  We’re so looking forward to gathering with about 600 friends to show how MSC continues to end homelessness in our community. 

This week the National Alliance to End Homelessness released a blog discussing the 3 components every Rapid Rehousing Program should have – Find Housing, Pay for Housing, Stay in Housing.  You can check it out here.

It was cool to see the National Alliance’s blog post validating what we do at MSC everyday.  Our team is constantly working to build relationships with landlords to find housing.  In addition to helping men increase their income to pay for housing, MSC offers some short-term rental subsidies to those who really need such help.  Finally, we strive to ensure every man moves out with at least 2, and preferably 5, supports in place to help him stay housed.

In other words, MSC’s equation dovetails perfectly with national best practices in Rapid Rehousing:  Income (Pay for Housing) + Housing (Find Housing) + Support (Stay in Housing) = An End to Homelessness!  So cool!

A smile that is contagious

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. 

Derek & Fred pic

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!

After delivering clothing, he was hooked as a volunteer

Meet Larry.

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.

Larry Bennet pic

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

 

 

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