Today, The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte received a $5 million Day 1 Families Fund grant to launch a robust access-to-employment program and expand shelter options for families.
The goal of the Day 1 Families Fund awards is to shine a light and support the organizations that are doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter for young families in communities across the country.
The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, through its programs and efforts at the Center of Hope, is recognized as a leader in the fight to end homelessness. The Center of Hope has implemented national best practices such as low-barrier sheltering; utilizing a housing-first model; and offering on-site wrap-around services such as a health clinic, substance abuse treatment, and a Boys & Girls Club.
“This investment from Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos and the Day 1 Families Fund here in Charlotte – and across the nation – is going to make a tremendous impact in supporting families experiencing homeless,” said Major Larry Broome, area commander for The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte. “We are immeasurably grateful for this partnership in our aim to end homelessness, one family at a time.”
“Ultimately, our goal, with the help of this grant, is to reduce the demand for emergency shelter in our community,” said Broome. “We will be able to enhance our existing services, including the addition of housing navigators to help clients identify and apply for housing. We will also be able to add more robust programs, including GED classes, job training, resume building and more, to help our shelter clients increase their income.”
“One vital aspect missing in our community is dedicated shelter space to serve intact families,” added Deronda Metz, The Salvation Army’s director of social services. “These funds will allow us to evaluate our capital needs and determine an actionable plan for serving these families.”
The Salvation Army has a long, storied history of serving Charlotte’s homeless population, and as a result, it has been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally as a leader.
“This funding allows us to add even more strength to what we currently do for families and the flexibility to do much more, including collaborations across our community to tackle the deep-rooted, systemic problems that keep people in poverty,” said Metz. “We know we cannot end family homelessness on our own, but we can end homelessness for one family at a time and give them hope for the future.”
The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte is one of 24 nonprofits to receive the first Day 1 Families Fund grants, totaling $97.5 million. Recipients from around the country include: Abode Services, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Community of Hope, Community Rebuilders, Crossroads Rhode Island, District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH), Emerald Development & Economic Network (EDEN) Inc., FrontLine Service, Hamilton Families, Heartland Family Service, Housing Families First, JOIN, LA Family Housing (LAFH), Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), Primo Center for Women and Children, Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA), SEARCH Homeless Services, Simpson Housing Services, The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, The Salvation Army of Greater Houston, UMOM New Day Centers and Urban Resource Institute (URI).
Founded by Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos, the Bezos Day One Fund consists of two programs: the Day 1 Families Fund that provides grants to nonprofit organizations fighting homelessness, and the Day 1 Academies Fund that will fund and build a network of pre-schools in low-income communities across the country. The Day 1 Families Fund’s vision comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child should sleep outside. A small group of expert advisors provided input to the Bezos Day One Fund team to select these organizations. The Day 1 Families Fund will be awarding grants annually. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.