Basic & Emergency Needs/Homelessness

The Challenge

  • Thirty-nine percent of Winston-Salem households live in asset poverty.
  • An estimated 2,100 people experience homelessness annually in Forsyth County.
  • There are 147 homeless children in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School system (2011).
  • Over 54 percent (28,311 children) children are enrolled in free or reduced lunch programs in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools (2011).

United Way's Goal

  • Strengthen the coordination among emergency financial assistance providers and enroll eligible individuals in government benefit programs.
  • Strengthen the coordination among emergency financial assistance providers and enroll eligible individuals in government benefit programs. Eliminate chronic homelessness and decrease temporary homelessness by providing individuals and families with safe and affordable housing.

2012 Results

  • United Way invests over $1.4 million in programs that help our community's residents in need of assistance with basic needs.
  • United Way administers Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds for mass shelter. Priorities have been given to programs such as those offered by agencies including The Salvation Army, Experiment in Self-Reliance, Samaritan Ministries, Bethesda Center and Family Services.
  • Since 2006, the Ten Year Plan and collaborative partners have created 580 units of housing, representing over 80 percent of the Plan's goal.

United Way’s Partners

American Red Cross, Northwest North Carolina chapter; Bethesda Center for the Homeless; Catholic Social Services; Experiment in Self-Reliance; Financial Pathways of the Piedmont, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina; and The Salvation Army

 

 

Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness

GIVE

Your donation to the Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness will help us reach our community's vission to end chronic homelessess in ten years and improve the system for all people experiencing homelessness.

Current projects include:

The Ten Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness

The Housing Assurance Fund

A specialized emergency assistance fund to assist individuals who have been chronically homeless maintain permanent supportive housing. The Fund provides financial support in case of emergency to individuals to ensure that they can continue to pay their rent and utilities for at least one year.

Project Homelessness Connect

One stop, one shop event held each April to provide a wide array of services including medical care, housing, food, clothing, and other supportive services.

Housing Resource Center

The Housing Resource Center is a one-stop shop to help people who are experiencing a housing crisis access key services.

Congregational Outreach Committee

The Congregational Outreach Program helps people who have been chronically homeless reconnect to our community by developing mentor groups of 3-5 people to help individuals develop positive relationships and life skills.

Supportive Housing

Our goal is to develop 600 units of supportive housing for individuals who are disabled and either have been or are at risk of becoming homeless. 

 

ADVOCATE

Let your voice be heard! You can join the Ten Year Plan Advocacy Committee. Click here to send an email that you are interested in working with this committee or call one of the following:

  • Your City and County officials to let them know you appreciate their support of the Ten Year Plan goals to end chronic homelessness.
  • Your State Representative to let know that their support for the Housing 400 Initiative which provides supportive housing for people with disabilities and are at risk of homelessness is important.

Also let your State Representatives know that access to community mental health services in a priority as these services are often the key to helping people obtain and maintain permanent housing.

Let  your Federal Representatives know how important the National Housing Trust Fund is as well as the HUD programs for supportive housing.

For more information on current initiatives, please contact:

 

VOLUNTEER

We cannot achieve our vision of a community without chronic homelessness without your help. Please consider volunteering today. Volunteer projects include:

Congregational Outreach

If you and your congregation are interested in leaning more about how you can become involved in helping a chronically homeless person transition back into permanent housing, please click here.

Housing Resource Center

The Housing Resource Center is a one-stop shop to help people who are experiencing a housing crisis access key services. Volunteers are needed to help individuals naviagte the center and complete forms as well as people or groups to provide and serve a light snack.

Project Homeless Connect

One stop, one shop event held each April to provide a wide array of services including medical care, housing, food, clothing, and other supportive services.

Point in Time Count

Twice annually (January and July), volunteers are needed at night to help us count people who are sleeping on the streets. As a part of the count, volunteers bring individuals gift bags with clothing and food. Shifts run from 9 p.m -12 a.m. and from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. Training and support are provided.

Ten Year Plan Commission and Committees

The Ten Year Plan has several committees that need volunteers in areas that include advocacy, congregational outreach, development, and housing. If you are interested, please let us know.

Streets to Home

Streets to Home is a United Way Breakthrough Initiative to eliminate chronic homelessness and reduce temporary homelessness.

The Challenge

  • In 2008, over 2,988 people received emergency shelter in our community because they were homeless.
  • Of that group, 110 were chronically homeless (unaccompanied individuals with a disabling condition who have been homeless for one year or four times in the past three years).
 
United Way's Response
  • Provided seed funding for SOAR, a project to help chronically homeless individuals apply for disability benefits.
  • Funded the Housing Assurance Fund which provides financial “back-up” to chronically homeless people to assure their rent and utility costs are paid.
  • Created new “housing first” case management positions to get individuals into housing prior to providing them with other programmatic assistance. This approach has been proven to be highly effective in helping homeless individuals obtain and maintain housing over a long period of time.

Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness

The Results

  • 18% decrease in chronically homeless individuals since last year.
  • United Way funding for Streets to Homes was used to leverage $1.6 million to build Hunter’s Hill, a 12-unit supportive housing project.
  • 47 participants utilized the Housing Assurance Fund to remain in housing.

United Way’s Partners

Experiment in Self-Reliance, Legal Aid Society of North Carolina, Bethesda Center for the Homeless, CenterPoint Human Services, Crisis Control Ministries, Disability Advocates, and Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness.