“I Understand Charlotte From a Better Perspective”

May 1, 2023

Before she moved to Charlotte a year ago, Rosie’s perspective on homelessness was based on what she’d seen during her life in London. “Homelessness is very spread out there,” she says. “It’s harder to see. My impression of homelessness was that it was usually related to one of three groups – either mental health, substance use or occasionally ex-military. Coming here has completely shifted that narrative for me.”  

Rosie’s husband is the general manager of the professional soccer team Charlotte FC. When his work brought them to Charlotte, she started volunteering at Roof Above. She thought at first she might apply her decade of experience with nonprofit advocacy and fundraising, but she’s now become a Tuesday morning fixture in the laundry room at our Day Services Center. “Finding Roof Above has really grounded me in Charlotte,” she says. “It’s made me feel part of the community. I have a sense of purpose, and I understand Charlotte from such a better perspective than if I had come here on a work visa.”  

She’s realized there are many more types of people experiencing homelessness than she previously realized. “I’ve learned that mental health issues or drug use or bad health are often the consequence – not the cause – of homelessness. And I’ve seen it’s much easier to become homeless in America.” 

For Rosie, the simple act of doing laundry is a brief, meaningful way to connect with people. “I enjoy spending time at Roof Above. I have lovely conversations. I laugh. It’s uplifting, actually, to relate to people on a human level. It makes me feel that I am serving neighbors in a real, tangible way.”