Special Year for Homeless World Cup

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of coaching the Street Soccer U.S.A. national team at the Homeless World Cup in Glasgow, Scotland.  It is always an amazing experience being at the Homeless World Cup, but this year was a little more special.  For the first time, the U.S.A. team was able to implement a curriculum called the B.A.L.L program.  …

Celebrating Moore Place Expansion

On Wednesday, June 15, Moore Place opened 35 new apartments to house chronically homeless citizens of Charlotte. These remarks are from that celebration. Thanks to Rachel Fesko for photographing the event. Good morning! My name is Caroline Chambre Hammock, and I serve as the Associate Executive Director for the Urban Ministry Center. In 2012, I had the great pleasure of welcoming you …

Room In The Inn Volunteers Make a Difference

As the brand new “Inn Keeper” for Room In The Inn, I have been truly overwhelmed with the generosity and compassion that our community provides to our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Room In The Inn is Urban Ministry Center’s emergency shelter program which operates each winter, December – March, since 1996. This past season I was privileged to organize 132 participants …

HousingWorks Tenants Recognized for Volunteering

Some time ago, Moore Place tenant Kenneth Dill began volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank.  What began as a notion to volunteer a couple of days each week developed into so much more.   From the start, Kenny recognized the significant impact Second Harvest was having within Charlotte and beyond.  “There’s over 900 agencies in North and South Carolina that we …

Street Soccer Stars Shine Despite Homelessness

They called him, “Captain America.” Street Soccer 945 player, Thomas Yon, stood proud in a patriotic jersey, branded with the infamous star-centered shield as he defended the goal for the United States at the 13th Annual Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam two weeks ago. Thomas joined eight other U.S. team members, both male and female, at this eight day, international …

Morgan Ferone: Young Woman of Distinction in our Eyes Too

We met Morgan Ferone in June when she began her two month internship as a Covenant Presbyterian People in Mission Scholar. She jumped in right away, learning every volunteer job possible and training to be a facilitator for our Walk in My Shoes education program. Morgan was always on the move and when she wasn’t needed in the showers, laundry, …

Trinity Episcopal School: A partnership 15 years strong

  “I remember this because her words touched my heart.” As nine-year-old Joanne finished, I turned to look at Tabby—the inspiration for the poem—sitting at my side. Tears were in her eyes. We were at Urban Ministry Center and Trinity Episcopal School’s end of the year party. It was a chance for three Moore Place tenants and three neighbors to …

Making a House a Home

Karen stood over the rocking chair I had motioned her to see. “This is nice,” she said, tapping it slightly with her hand to see how it moved. She paused and looked at the chair intensely, crossing her brow. “Okay, yeah. I’ll take that, I guess.” Nonchalance is Karen’s signature: the time I brought her some donated housewares, among which …

HousingWorks Tenants Give Back

As a member of the HousingWorks team, I’ve had many opportunities to witness transformations that are nothing short of miraculous.  We have seen tenants experience dramatic improvements in health, mental wellbeing, and familial relationships.  Often, these changes develop rapidly when individuals gain the safety and stability of housing.  The contrast between a life of survival and a life of stability …

WIDWID: Why I Do What I Do

  Why this place?  Why these people?  Why me?  One of my favorite projects this year was collecting first-person reflections from volunteers, staff and board members of the Urban Ministry Center.   Liz Peralta Development Team, UMC “When I was a volunteer here, a neighbor asked if I would call his children’s doctor.  I invited him to use my phone …

250 Shots at Helping the Disadvantaged

Making an impact on one individual’s life is a fulfilling thing. It can pleasantly linger in someone’s memory for decades depending on the situation and what was accomplished. Each year has roughly 250 work days in it, so last year the VISTA program allowed me 250 opportunities to strongly impact individuals’ lives. During the last 12 months I served as …

Room In The Inn Provides Launching Pad for Family

Room In The Inn (RITI) has just resumed for the 2013-14 season. Founded in 1996, Urban Ministry Center coordinates RITI during the coldest months of each year, providing emergency shelter for those experiencing homelessness. The program relies on the time, talent and resources of nearly 5,000 volunteers from 130 houses of faith, YMCA’s, colleges, and other organizations. It’s one of …

HHH: Passion to Advocate for the Homeless

Every Thursday afternoon, a group of people meets in the common room of Moore Place; they all have different stories and paths that brought them to the group but they all share the same passion to fight homelessness. These people form the advocacy group, Helping Homeless to Housing (HHH). HHH is a community meeting facilitated by volunteers Angie Forde and …