The Salvation Army Center of Hope serves more than 2,000 unduplicated individuals experiencing homelessness in Mecklenburg County each year. Among those, nearly a third have one or more disabilities, and many are survivors of domestic violence or trafficking. These are the county’s most vulnerable residents, with little to no income and high barriers to housing. If employed, they often account for workers in the service industry – a sector decimated by the pandemic.
“The demand for service was great prior to the pandemic,” said Deronda Metz, social services director for The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte. “But we predict the demand will continue to climb as the full economic fallout is felt in the coming months.”
Recognizing the increased need, Wells Fargo has announced a $50,000 contribution to support the work of The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, particularly at the Center of Hope.
“Wells Fargo is proud to continue our support for The Salvation Army and we look forward to working with them to address homelessness in Meklenburg County, which is one of many challenges being magnified as a result of COVID-19,” said Kendall Alley, Region Bank president for Charlotte. “We understand that now, more than ever, we need to be here for our local communities through proactive action and collaboration.”
During this time, the Center of Hope has added to its staff and increased staff hours to address this crisis. It continues to work with partners to provide safe non-congregate lodging for families to social distance and individuals experiencing homelessness to isolate or quarantine if awaiting results or receiving a positive test.
“It’s a coordinated effort,” added Metz. “In the face of a crisis like this – one the likes of which we have never seen – it’s critical that we work together. We can’t do it alone and we are so thankful for committed corporate partners like Wells Fargo.”
Metz serves on the local Community Recovery Task Force and is in constant collaboration with the city, county, and other social service providers.
“This funding helps us continue to be a frontline player in this coordinated public health response system,” she said.