HOM (Homemakers of Mercy)
Helping Families Move Beyond Homelessness
On any given night, well over 6000 people in Charlotte have no place to call home. There are currently over 4700 children who are homeless enrolled in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system. The numbers are staggering.
Over five years ago, The Salvation Army, Charlotte Housing Authority, and the churches of St. Gabriel and St. Matthew shared a vision of the Sisters of Mercy of what could happen if we joined forces in addressing the issue of growing homelessness in Charlotte. Supportive Housing Innovative Program – SHIP – set sail.
The Vision Statement
A venture of collaboration of partners: The Salvation Army (TSA), Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA), St. Gabriel Catholic Church and St. Matthew Catholic Church, who share a concern for those who are homeless; to work together to provide transitional housing; to provide the necessary social services to help residents maintain their personal dignity while becoming self-determining.
The SHIP program is for single women and their children who are homeless.
CHA purchased a local apartment complex to renovate and allocate 60 of the site’s apartments for the program. The idea was to create a mixed-income rental community. The SHIP program residents move in with the utmost respect of their privacy. The apartments are available to them for up to three years.
The Salvation Army screens and selects families from the Center of Hope, a year-round emergency shelter for women, children and families who are homeless. The Salvation Army provides supportive services that include case management, vocational and educational training, and therapeutic services.
St. Gabriel and St. Matthew Catholic Churches provide resources, donated goods and volunteers to furnish and prepare homes for the families.
In order to accomplish our goal of providing housing for 60 families, it takes an enormous amount of help from our community. Furniture must be collected, stored, sorted and moved. To set up 60 apartments, we need at least 60 of each; kitchen tables with chairs, sofas, chairs, end tables, coffee tables, dressers and lamps. In addition, we collect/purchase all the necessary items for the kitchen and bathroom.
Volunteers from St. Matthew and the Men’s Club from St. Gabriel drive trucks on the 3rd Saturday of the month to collect furniture from parishioners and others. We store the goods at the house on Sharon Road which is owned by St. Gabriel Church. Along with the furniture, we store housewares and decorative items.
Food is also collected. Each apartment gets a large tub full of staples to get the residents started with their new lives. When the residents move in, they have a home cooked meal waiting for them and a ‘Welcome Home’ cake.
How You Can Help
- Volunteer to pick up household items and furniture
- Help set up the apartments
- Donate furniture and housewares. (See current items needed in column at right or below). We do not accept: TV’s or TV cabinets/entertainment centers/armoires. Mattresses, bed frames, or any bedding. Sofa beds or futons. Clothing. You may call Crisis Assistance Ministry for pickup of these items. 704-522-4978.
- Monetary donations to purchase items not donated
- Spread the word. Tell your family, friends and neighbors
- Be a prayer partner
- Check the weekly church bulletin for currently needed items
To volunteer or donate, or for questions please contact HOMfurniture.email@example.com or 704-362-5047 ext. 601.
Thank you for all you have done and continue to do. Without your help, we would not be able to continue this ministry. Because – “There Is No Place Like Home”
HOM Request List
The HOM Ministry currently has a need for the following items to help furnish apartments. For donations or to schedule a pickup, contact HOMfurniture.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Drinking Glasses
- Bath Towel sets
- Kleenex and Napkins
- Baking pans
- Tables, all kinds
View a video about the HOM Ministry (begins at the 10 minute mark)
Read an article about HOM in the National Catholic Reporter