No one person or agency can do it all. That's why partnerships are so important to our efforts. In fact, we consider them the key to our success in reaching out to restore lives in our community.
The Community Coalition of Partners Ending Homelessness is a vital part of the partnership to end homelessness and consists of a broad base of community partners who work diligently to prevent homelessness and to meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Guilford County.
The Community Coalition members plan, develop and implement collaborative services designed to provide needed care and create systemic change within the community. Members of the Community Coalition work together to address the larger picture and identify gaps in the services, unmet needs, and what future services might be required. The Community Coalition speaks as one voice and through mutual support and recognition of each member as part of a larger whole, a community attitude is created. This community is then better able to meet the needs of homeless people and foster the systematic change necessary to break the cycle of homelessness by responding to the needs of the community.
The members of the Community Coalition meet on the second Thursday of every month at 9:30 a.m. The meetings are held at the Unitarian Universalist Church located at 5603 Hilltop Road in Jamestown.
Community Coalition Membership
Membership in the Community Coalition of Partners Ending Homelessness is open to any organization, business, government entity and/or individual who is:
- Interested in helping men, women and children experiencing homelessness in Guilford County;
- Committed to collaboration and coordination through the Community Coalition to implement the community-developed plans related to homelessness in Guilford County;
- Understands homelessness is a community-wide issue that cannot be solved by one organization, agency or entity and therefore helping our homeless neighbors requires participation by all segments of the community;
Members of the Community Coalition will:
- Demonstrate commitment to helping those experiencing homelessness in Guilford County as part of the solution required to fully meet the needs of the community.
- Join with others who, through mutual support and recognition, are working to develop and implement systemic change and services that close the gaps in the current homeless system of care
To join the Community Coalition today, please complete the application form and mail the completed form along with membership payment.
Community Coalition Success Story for June, 2014
When you meet Crystal, it would never occur to you that her life was anything other than the picture of ideal. Bubbly, outgoing, with a cheerful nature and an obviously strong faith, this young woman has a bright future. Yet, less than a year ago, she found herself homeless, unemployed, and with few prospects.
Society paints a picture of homelessness featuring someone living on the street, with poor hygiene and suffering from either severe mental health or struggles with substance abuse. While this picture does represent a small segment of the homeless population – just 12% according to the Point in Time Count conducted by Partners Ending Homelessness on January 29, 2014 – the vast majority of those who experience homelessness look quite like the person next door. Frequently, homelessness is caused by an “everyday” life issue that would be manageable for individuals with a higher income and stronger support system. Tragic life occurrences, like the loss of loved ones, job loss, domestic violence, divorce and family disputes can, and do, frequently cause episodes of homelessness.
The girl next door, Crystal is representative of those individuals for whom “everyday” issues precipitated an episode of homelessness. A bright student who received high marks and was just a semester away from her Medical Assistance degree, Crystal experienced a life-changing trauma that caused a bout of severe depression. As a result, Crystal dropped out of school, lost her job, lost her housing, and found herself at Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Weaver House Singles Shelter where she met Audrey Thornton, Beyond GUM Employment Specialist.
As Crystal worked to emerge from homelessness, Thornton was her mentor and cheerleader. Crystal shared that while the overall support she received from GUM was outstanding, “Ms. Thornton was such a great source of support.” Indeed, Thornton worked with Crystal to connect her with GUM’s Emergency Assistance Program to provide financial assistance for utility deposits, allowing her to move into a new apartment. Thornton also provided the support and encouragement to help Crystal obtain employment in a new field.
Crystal experienced homelessness, yet it has not defined her. Like many of the clients served by Greensboro Urban Ministry, homelessness was just a bump on her road to success. A success which this dazzling young woman is certain to have thanks to Thornton, Greensboro Urban Ministry, and the larger support of the community, which provides resources to ensure that our programs can continue to offer support and assistance.
To learn more about the work of Greensboro Urban Ministry, visit their website: http://greensborourbanministry.org/