NC Nonprofit Receives Grant to Fight Homelessness
Thursday, June 22, 2023
In North Carolina, five nonprofit groups are receiving a much-needed financial boost to help them with projects aimed at enhancing people's financial well-being.
From expanding affordable housing to promoting financial education and improving people's access to resources, the Coastal Carolina Credit Union Foundation is giving $78,000 in grants to five organizations. One is Housing for New Hope in Durham.
Russ Pierce, executive director of the organization, said the money will significantly assist the group in developing a supportive housing community.
"Coastal's gift comes at such a transformational time for the agency," Pierce explained. "We've been seeing here in Durham, over the last five years or so, we've seen a 300% increase in the number of people that are unsheltered. So we have more than 150 people in the community right now that are unsheltered and seeking housing or shelter space."
Pierce pointed out the $40,000 grant will help create 48 units of affordable housing. New Hope's latest point-in-time count, which took place in late January, found 375 people in Durham who were homeless, with 144 of them not in shelters, a 10% increase from the previous year.
Pierce argued the growing numbers highlight the need for more collaborative effort among organizations and local agencies working to prevent homelessness, by addressing some of the contributing factors of homelessness, from health services to job counseling.
Pierce noted in other cities, this type of supportive housing community has proven to be effective.
"You see reductions in the number of people being arrested from within this population, the number of people going to the emergency room, the number of people using emergency services and using the shelters," Pierce outlined. "And so, long-term, what you have is a much more humane, and I daresay a healthy, system supporting our most vulnerable neighbors."
He added Housing for New Hope provides assistance to more than 700 individuals and families each year, helping them work on getting more stable housing.
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