Month: January 2011

Melissa makes it count

Melissa Willis is an expert on homelessness.

From News & Record:

“A cold rain that sometimes turned to sleet throughout the day likely kept people away from corners where they usually panhandle, volunteer Melissa ‘Byrd’ Willis, 25, said.

Willis, who was homeless when she was in her teens, said the annual [homeless] count is important because the funding can help improve services.

‘I’ve lived it. I’ve been in their shoes,’ Willis said. ‘I know how it feels to be outside and trying your best every day to try to make things better for yourself.'”

I met Melissa when she was 16 and homeless. Today, she is a friend who I respect and admire, and who inspires me by her love for God and people, and her ministry to the homeless and poor.

The only experts on homelessness are people who’ve been homeless. I’m not an expert, just a grateful, blessed friend of experts — like Melissa.

Love you, Bird. ♥

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Note: The article “Volunteers scour streets” is available on A1 of the Thursday, January 27, 2011 e-edition of the News & Record (requires registration).

Mark: “I’m in MY house”

 

Mark

I just got off the phone with Mark. He started his new job earlier this week and moved into his apartment today. When Audrie and I met him while doing StreetWatch in 2009, Mark was living in a homeless camp. He eventually left the camp and had several different housing arrangements before returning to the camp briefly recently. But tonight is the first night that Mark will spend in his very own place since 2004. He’s excited and grateful. He said to me, “I’m in MY house.” ;) I’m grateful to his new employer and landlord, Ed, for giving Mark this opportunity. And to God, the giver of all good things.

 

If you’d like to help Mark, here are some things he mentioned that he needs:

  • dishes, glasses, utensils
  • pots and pans
  • TV
  • towels
  • lamps
  • welcome mat

» Keep reading “I’m in MY house” at StreetWatch on Facebook.

» Previously:  (Video) StreetWatch: Mark, back at the homeless camp, looking for work

Guilford County homeless providers receive $1.4 million

HUD recently awarded renewal funds for existing homeless programs as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Continuum of Care Grants. Homeless service providers in Guilford County received a total of $1,449,318 — a modest increase of $8,244 overall from 2009. Most homeless service providers received the same funding as last year. With non-profits scrambling to find money in a depressed economy, the HUD grant awards are welcome news.

Here is a list of the Guilford County providers who received renewal funding, along with the amount each received this year and last year:

HOMELESS SERVICE PROVIDER PROGRAM NAME 2009 HUD AWARD 2010 HUD AWARD
Alcohol and Drug Services of Guilford, Inc.

Project Home Front

SHP

$34,996

$34,996

Family Service of the Piedmont, Inc.

Clara House: emergency shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence in Greensboro

SHP

$70,218

$70,218

Greensboro Housing Authority

Grace Homes: housing program for chronically homeless single adults with physical, mental or substance abuse disabilities in Greensboro

S+CR

$0

$21,996

Greensboro Housing Authority Home at Last: permanent
supportive housing program for homeless people in Greensboro

S+CR

$121,548 $0
Greensboro Housing Authority

Housing Opportunities: permanent supportive housing program for homeless people in
Greensboro

SHP

$477,369

$477,369

Greensboro Housing Authority

Mary’s Homes: scattered site
single-family homes in High Point for homeless, substance abusing mothers in recovery, and their children

S+CR

$316,152

$423,948

Greensboro Urban Ministry

Partnership Village:
transitional housing for formerly homeless individuals and
families in Greensboro

SHP

$59,850

$59,850

Joseph’s House, Inc.

Joseph’s House Young Adult Independent Living
Program:
permanent, supportive housing program for homeless young adults in Greensboro who are: 1) chronically homeless, or 2) victims of domestic violence, or 3)
disabled

SHP

$43,730

$43,730

Mary’s House, Inc.

Mary’s House: transitional
housing for mothers in recovery from substance abuse, and their
minor children; located in Greensboro

SHP

$135,982

$135,982

Open Door Ministries of High Point, Inc.

Arthur Cassell Memorial Transitional Housing
Program:
transitional living facility in High Point for homeless recovering addicts and alcoholics

SHP

$48,919

$48,919

Open Door Ministries of High Point, Inc.

HMIS – High Point: homeless management information system

SHP

$13,750

$13,750

The Salvation Army

Case Management/After-Care

SHP

$19,274

$19,274

The Servant Center, Inc.

Servant House: transitional housing program for disabled homeless men in Greensboro

SHP

$47,586

$47,586

Youth Focus Inc.

Youth Focus Transitional Living Program :
serves homeless young women in Greensboro ages 16-21

SHP

$51,700

$51,700

$1,441,074

$1,449,318

NOTES (from HUD.gov):

  • S+CR: Shelter Plus Care Program provides rental assistance for hard-to-serve homeless persons with disabilities in connection with supportive services funded from sources outside the program.
  • SHP: The Supportive Housing Program helps develop housing and related supportive services for people moving from homelessness to independent living. Program funds help homeless people live in a stable place, increase their skills and their income, and gain more control over the decisions that affect their lives.

» Click here to see all 2010 grant awards of HUD’s web site.