WHAT IS BCHC? AND WHAT DO WE DO?
Brunswick County Homeless Coalition had its beginning Nov. 2011, after a small group hearing a lecture at St. Brendan’s Church began questioning their role in social justice. As of this writing, we have 25 members who have a passion to help the homeless and those in need residing in Brunswick County. We are a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.
We continue our mission to serve as an advocate for the homeless and those in need by increasing awareness and educating residents in Brunswick County. In 2013 we acquired a toll-free number to assist callers to access government and community services to help them address their needs. After receiving grants and donations we are able to assist with and provide housing needs. We continue to advocate for affordable housing.
Let me paint a picture for you; During the end of January 2015 we participated in a Point In Time Count where eight members of Brunswick County Homeless Coalition along with other volunteers found 48 persons in Brunswick County that did not have a place they called home. On January 29th we found a family living in a garage with no heat or water; a senior citizen living in a hotel that Brunswick County Homeless Coalition housed for several weeks during the cold weather; at present he is in a trailer and enjoying a home that he has not had for years; and a veteran who remains in the woods and continues to be visited by Brunswick County Homeless Coalition members who assist with his needs. Many school children did not have a place called home but moved from house to house to find warmth and food. A recent statistic is 253 students in Brunswick County schools (2014-2015 school year) have no place to call home; 16.4% of Brunswick County residents have income below the poverty level and 16,856 residents in Brunswick County are receiving food stamps.
In 2014, Brunswick County Homeless Coalition helped 64 families,($4,712) who were struggling due to loss of jobs, evictions, chronic/acute illnesses, and not able to pay rent and heating bills; and for the first six months of 2015 we helped 116 individuals and families ($11,079) with housing, rent, electricity, food, and transportation. Funding sources include grants, fundraisers (golf tournament), donations we receive from nonprofit organizations, and private donations.
So our message to you is: if you are looking for a way to show your gratitude for a good life – support and join Brunswick County Homeless Coalition and help others as they struggle…become a volunteer if you have skill sets we need – writing grants and mentoring skills; answering the toll-free calls and linking individuals with resources; being an ambassador and visiting with community groups to share data and ask for support, and assist with fundraisers.
We would like to leave you with a simple prayer that we say at our monthly meeting:
when I have food help me remember the hungry,
when I have work help me remember the jobless,
when I have a home help me to remember those who have no home at all,
bestir my complacency into action,
and awaken my compassion, Amen.
Thank You for assisting Brunswick County Homeless Coalition to talk and walk its mission to help those in need and the homeless.
Barbara Serafin, President, and Brunswick County Homeless Coalition Members. 10/2015
Together WE CAN make a difference.