A Los Angeles Perspective: Supportive Solutions for Charlotte

After moving to Charlotte from Los Angeles last year, Moore Place Director Tom Wukawitz was pleasantly surprised to see the way our community has come together to solve homelessness.  The scope of the problem is admittedly much larger in Los Angeles County, where approximately 60,000 people are experiencing homelessness. Still, he’s encouraged by the public-private partnerships he sees in Mecklenburg …

A Mother’s Love – Belinda’s Story

Roof Above would like to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. Whether you parent humans, animal babies, nieces and nephews, or you pour your maternal heart into your community, we honor you. May it be a day of beauty and blessings. Thank you, moms, for all you do! Belinda Benjamin is a mother to her core. She’s raised two amazing …

More than an Empathetic Caregiver

Chris is a nurse in our Scattered Site housing team. But he’s more than just an empathetic caregiver. He’s someone who knows what it’s like to sleep outside.   Raised in Pembroke, North Carolina, Chris came from a well-respected family. His father worked for the Town of Pembroke, and his mother worked for the Lumbee tribe, Chris’ community. As a teenager, …

Staff Spotlight: Pam Terry

Pam Terry connects deeply with one of Roof Above’s core values: Value Others. “I love that we say, ‘We honor the profound worth of each life.’ That’s the value that resonates with me the most. I really try to see the people we serve.”   As part of the Philanthropy Services team, she is responsible for the accurate and timely processing …

“I feel very fortunate that I get to do this work”

“I feel very lucky,” says Dan, who manages our Scattered Site Housing office. “I feel very fortunate that I get to do this work.”   Following a 30-year career in financial services, in 2018 Dan sensed it was time to go in a new direction. “I knew I wanted to do something different,” he says. At first, he saw himself going …

“I Understand Charlotte From a Better Perspective”

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 …

Perspectives on Ministry Through Hospitality

When Paul Winterhalter was a child, his father told him something he’s never forgotten: Whenever you leave a room in the house, make sure you leave that room a little cleaner than it was when you went inside.   In 2009, he moved to Charlotte from Pittsburgh and joined the staff at the Emergency Winter Shelter on Statesville Avenue, just as …

Churches Coming Together for a Common Cause

When Cheri Lindblom started volunteering with Room In the Inn 25 years ago, her daughters were just three and five. They are now 28 and 30. “I often say my girls were raised in Room In the Inn,” she says. “In actuality, I was the one who was raised in Room In the Inn. I have seen how one act …

Finding a First Home During the Pandemic

“There are angels walking this earth – and she’s one of them,” Mr. Washington says about his case manager, Connie. They’ve been working together since she helped get him into housing about two years ago – during the early days of the pandemic.  “It was so eerie on the streets back then,” he recalls. “No people. No nothing. It was …

Staff Spotlight: Ms. T

“I love what I do,” says Turquandra, affectionately known as “Ms. T.” As the supervisor of our Statesville campus, she oversees both the Howard Levine Men’s Shelter, with 164 reserved beds, and the Lucille Giles Emergency Shelter, with 116 unreserved beds. Whether it’s providing basic services like meals, showers and laundry or helping guests find housing and employment, she and …

Reflections From the Front Lines

By Hannah Stutts:  There are some dates that never leave your memory–your partner’s birthday, wedding anniversaries, the day a loved one has passed. February 18, 2021, is one of those dates for me but it marks a very different moment in time. It’s the date that began the eviction of the 200-plus individuals living in what became known as the …

Home at Moore Place is a “Lifesaver” For Kenny

Moore Place resident Kenny has two favorite words during football season: ROLL TIDE! Sports have always been a healthy distraction for Kenny. They’ve helped him move beyond some of the difficulties he’s faced in life.   A lifelong fan of Alabama’s Crimson Tide, Kenny came close to achieving his dream of playing football under legendary coach Bear Bryant. But during Kenny’s …

Stories from The Rise on Clanton: Kanila

“If we can pull together as people, we could make this city shine like no other,” says Kanila, who moved into SECU The Rise on Clanton earlier this year. One of his favorite things about having a home again is being able to cook for himself. A recent evening found him frying pork chops and boiling green beans in the …

Stories of Success – Heather and Arynn

“I do a great job,” says Heather, smiling with pride. Every weekday, she rises at 5 a.m. She walks 20 minutes and catches a 6:40 a.m. bus so she arrives by 7 a.m. at Red Robin restaurant near Northlake Mall. Heather is responsible for cleaning the bathrooms, sweeping and mopping the floor, and taking out the trash so the restaurant …

Staff Spotlight: Meet Deborah

Deborah has always been a hard worker. Despite having a full-time job in finance, she knew her heart was tugging her to do something more. “I was looking for a way to help somebody without necessarily becoming a social worker,” she explains. So, seventeen years ago, she started working weekends at the Salvation Army Center of Hope.  Two years ago, …

Give a Gift for a Good Cause

Becca Smythe is passionate about helping kids grow and learn. She also has a heart for people experiencing homelessness. Becca noticed many children could use some help learning proper etiquette for using cell phones. So, she decided to do something – and to do it for a good cause!    She’s written a simple book titled Sammy Cell Phone. The content …

Unlocking Potential and Dreams Together

I have been thinking about the dual role housing plays in the work of Roof Above. For half of the Roof Above team, housing is the finish line. For those who work in our shelters and Day Services Center, the focus is on the moment when someone signs a lease and is handed a key. One life at a time, …

“I lived it. I got you. I understand…”

Jaleel knows his strength is in his story. “You’re not supposed to keep what you know inside,” he says. “It’s not meant for you. It’s meant for other people.” From serving in the Marine Corps to preaching in the pulpit, Jaleel brings a wealth of experience to his work as a Tenant Support Specialist at SECU The Rise on Clanton. …

Stories from SABER: Scott

Last week, we celebrated the volunteers who applied some coats of fresh paint to spruce up our SABER transitional housing. One of the residents who’ll get to enjoy that work is Scott.    As a teenager, Scott dreamed of becoming a professional basketball player. Standing six feet, nine inches tall, his height and talent helped him earn a full scholarship to …

From Shelter Guest to Staff

Dwayne President has found his purpose working at the North Tryon Men’s Shelter. “This is where I belong,” he says. “My life is a ministry.” He has turned his past struggles into his most precious asset: empathy.  “These guys know I’m authentic,” he says. “They know I don’t judge them. They know where I come from, and they know my …