Information comes from the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has received approval to help people buy food through the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) program in 27 counties that were declared a federal disaster after the storm. In Brunswick County, you should apply in person at Odell Williamson Auditorium between Sept. 28th and Oct. 6th, 2018. (9/28 8:30am-5pm, 9/29 9am-5pm, and 10/1 through 10/6 9am-5pm).

More Storm Information
More storm recovery information is available on the following page: brunswickhomeless.com/florence-recovery/

D-SNAP/Emergency Food Stamps: Eligibility

To be eligible, people must:

  • Live in one of these counties: Bladen, Beaufort, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, New Hanover, Moore, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Wayne and Wilson. (Other counties may be added later.)
  • Have suffered losses/damages related to Hurricane Florence, such as damage to property, loss of income or food loss.
  • Have proof of identity and proof of residency (if available).
  • Have income and resources below certain levels.
  • Not currently be receiving help buying food through the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) program.

Note: Those already receiving FNS can also get extra help buying food, but do not need to fill out a D-SNAP application. Your additional benefits should appear on your card by Thursday, September 27th, 2018.

Amount
The assistance amount depends on household size, but a family of one would receive $192, a family of four would receive $640, and larger families would receive more.

Application information
The application window is Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, through Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. All application sites will be closed Sunday, Sept. 30. People who want to apply for help buying food must do so in person. People are encouraged to apply in the county they live in, but can apply in person in any of the 27 counties, regardless of which county they live in. Expect wait times when you get to the office. Counties will do everything they can to process applications quickly, but many people are expected to apply.

Brunswick County applications will be received at Odell Williamson Auditorium/Brunswick Community College Main Campus, 50 College Road NE, Bolivia, NC 28422 according to the following schedule:

Fri., Sept. 28 … 8:30 – 5pm
Sat., Sept. 29 … 9-5pm
Mon., Oct 1 … 8:30-5pm
Tue., Oct 2 … 8:30-5pm
Wed., Oct 3 … 8:30-5pm
Thu., Oct 4 … 8:30-5pm
Fri., Oct 5 … 8:30-5pm
Sat., Oct 6 … 8:30-5pm

You can complete your application ahead of time and bring it with you if you want to. (English application, Spanish application). If you are eligible, you will receive your one-time debit card the same day you apply, so you will only need to visit the office once. You will be able to use your card to buy food within three days of receiving it. More information about what you need to bring with you to apply and how you can use your benefits to buy food is available in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.

Source: www.ncdhhs.gov/after-hurricane-florence-help-buying-food, www.ncdhhs.gov/hurricane-florence-d-snap-locations

This article was updated Sun Sep 23 13:33:56 EDT 2018 to include emergency hotline numbers, Sunday distribution sites, and Fire Department Distribution information, on Mon Sep 24 10:54:58 EDT 2018 to include FEMA information, Tue Sep 25 10:24:29 EDT 2018 to update donation needs, Wed Sep 26 12:38:04 EDT 2018 to add D-SNAP information/Local and Regional Resource Links/additional 9/26 - 9/28 distribution sites, Fri Sep 28 13:09:57 EDT 2018 to add additional county & BFA distribution sites and road information, and Mon Oct 1 16:39:57 EDT 2018, Fri Oct 5 16:59:22 EDT 2018, and Fri Oct 12 20:08:40 EDT 2018 to add distribution sites.

FEMA Disaster relief: Call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 to determine whether you are eligible, or visit the website disasterassistance.gov to check eligibility for federal, state, local, and voluntary organizations’ assistance. FEMA has also published a disaster information page: www.fema.gov/hurricane-florence

Hurricane Relief: Emergency Supplies Distribution – Brunswick County

Friday 10/12/2018

  • WAVES OF PRAISE Worship Center, 3000 George II HWY., Southport, NC 28461, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, 2:00pm – 7:00pm
  • BRUNSWICK BAPTIST CENTER, 1041 Old Ocean HWY., Rd. 17 Business, Bolivia, NC 28422, Wednesday & Friday 11:00am – 4:00pm

Tuesday 10/16/2018

  • THE BRIDGE, 1180 Mt Pisgah Rd SW, Supply, NC 28462, Tues.16th & Thur.18th 11:00am – 4:00pm

Wednesday 10/17/2018

  • BRUNSWICK BAPTIST CENTER, 1041 Old Ocean HWY., Rd. 17 Business, Bolivia, NC 28422, Wed.17th & Fri.19th 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • St James AME Zion Church, 27 Old Town Creek Rd., Leland, NC 28451, Wed.17th & Thur.18th 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Thursday 10/18/2018

  • THE BRIDGE, 1180 Mt Pisgah Rd SW, Supply, NC 28462, Tues.16th & Thur.18th 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • St James AME Zion Church, 27 Old Town Creek Rd., Leland, NC 28451, Wed.17th & Thur.18th 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Friday 10/19/2018

  • BRUNSWICK BAPTIST CENTER, 1041 Old Ocean HWY., Rd. 17 Business, Bolivia, NC 28422, Wed.17th & Fri.19th 11:00am – 4:00pm


Hurricane Florence Hotline and Recovery Numbers
As published on WECT-TV6
• If you are unable to get what you need from a distribution site, you may call your county’s hotline/recovery number, listed below.

Brunswick County: 910-253-5383
New Hanover County: 910-798-6800
Pender County: 910-259-1210
Columbus County: 910-640-6610
Bladen County: 910-862-7813

D-SNAP (Emergency Food Stamps)
The D-SNAP (Emergency Food Stamps) benefit period from Hurricane Florence is closed in all counties declared a federal disaster after the storm. In Brunswick County, the application site was Odell Williamson Auditorium between Sept. 28th and Oct. 6th, 2018. Past information is available online.

Donations and Volunteers

Brunswick Family Assistance continues to coordinate donations and volunteer efforts in Brunswick County. Those wishing to donate or volunteer should contact Brunswick Family Assistance at 910-754-4766 or 910-231-9182.

RELIEF DONATION NEEDS identified as of 9-25-2018: Residents continue to be in need of basic necessities; some families have lost everything and must rebuild from scratch. The following items have been identified as especially needed as relief supplies.
  • Nonperishable foods (Must be sealed and within freshness/expiration date)
  • Diapers
  • Toiletries & feminine items
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Paper towels/toilet tissue
  • Clothing, undergarments, shoes, socks, towels, and sheets (Must be new/unused)
  • Gift cards from stores such as Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes Home Improvement, and Food Lion

Before donating, it is suggested to contact BFA at 910-754-4766 or brunswickfamily@yahoo.com to ensure that the goods being donated meet citizens’ needs. BFA is receiving donations at the Brunswick Beacon. Items donated for storm relief should be new/unused items.

Note: NO WATER is needed at this time. If you or your hurricane relief distribution location needs water, please contact BFA to arrange to get it.




Local and Regional Resource Links


Road Conditions
The North Carolina and South Carolina departments of transportation offer interactive online maps reporting current road closures and conditions.

North Carolina Roads: https://tims.ncdot.gov/TIMS/RegionSummary.aspx?co=10
• Road or Lane Closures are indicated by Yellow diamond symbols; select a symbol to see the reason for the closure.

South Carolina Roads: https://scdot.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=f89dbb607181411b86e999ed2897fb21
• Road or Lane Closures are highlighted in purple; select a highlighted area to see what the problem is.

Both maps allow pan and zoom to find the travel area of interest.

WARNING:  Driving over flooded or damaged areas of a roadway or street is NOT SAFE. Turn Around, Don’t Drown(R).



Information sources: If you know of a relief distribution effort or resource that you believe should be listed here, please leave a comment or contact relief@brunswickhomeless.com.

Previous Disaster Relief Sites (archived information):
Saturday 9/22/18: Brunswick Family Assistance, 4600-10 Main Street, Twin Creek Plaza, Shallotte, NC 28470, 11:00-4:00 or while supplies last. , Saturday 9/22/18: Town of Shallotte/WVCB 1410 AM/Others (info), Mulberry St Park in Shallotte, 10:00-2:00 or while supplies last.

Sunday 9.23.2018: Spring Lake Park (210 Pine Road in Boiling Spring Lakes), 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Sunday 9.23.2018: Northwest District Park (1937 Andrew Jackson HWY NE in Leland), 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Sunday 9.23.2018: South Brunswick Middle School (100 Cougar Drive, Boiling Spring Lakes), 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. , Sunday 9.23.2018: Town Creek Park (6420 Ocean Highway East in Winnabow), 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday 9/24/18: Soldier Bay Church, 3905 Whiteville Road NW Ash, NC 28420, 11:00-4:00 or while supplies last. , Monday 9/24/18: Bolivia Baptist Church, 4013 US 17 Business (17 E. Bolivia, NC 28422), 11:00-4:00 or while supplies last.

Tuesday 9/25/18: Town Creek Baptist Church, 832 Green Hill Rd. NE Leland, NC (Town Creek Area), 11:00-4:00 or while supplies last. , Tuesday 9/25/18: Sharon United Methodist Church, 2030 Holden Beach Rd. SW Supply, NC 28462, 11:00-4:00 or while supplies last.

Wednesday 9/26/18: Beulah Baptist Church, Pastor Doug Adams 670 Hickman Rd. NW Calabash, NC 28467 (Little River Area), 11:00-4:00 or while supplies last. , Wednesday 9/26/18: Pastor Barbara Bell’s Church, 4124 Mt. Misery Rd. NE, Leland, NC 28451, 11:00-4:00 or while supplies last.

Thursday 9/27/2018: First Baptist Church of Shallotte, 4486 Main St., Shallotte NC 28470 (Also providing free meals while supplies last), 11:00-4:00 or while supplies last. , Thursday 9/27/2018: Navassa Community Center, 334 Main St., Navassa, NC 28451, 11:00-4:00 or while supplies last.


Friday 9/28/2018: Brunswick Baptist Association, 1041 Old Ocean HWY., Bolivia, NC, 11:00-4:00 or while supplies last. Friday 9/28/2018: Waves of Praise Worship Center (Water and food), 3000 Unit 4 George II Highway, Boiling Spring Lakes, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 3-7 p.m. Monday, 10/1/2018: New Hope Clinic, 201 W. Boiling Springs Rd., Southport, NC 28461, 11:00am - 4:00pm Monday, 10/1/2018: WAVES OF PRAISE, 9 East Boiling Springs Rd, Boiling Springs, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur, Fri, 10:00am -4:00pm Tuesday, 10/2/2018: SOLDIER BAY CHURCH, 3905 Whiteville Rd., Ash, NC, Tues, Wed, Thurs. Fri., 11:00am – 3:00pm Tuesday, 10/2/2018: NAVASSA COMMUNITY CENTER, 334 Main St., Navassa, NC 28451, Tuesday & Thursday 11:00am -1:00pm Tuesday, 10/2/2018: WAVES OF PRAISE, 9 East Boiling Springs Rd, Boiling Springs, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur, Fri, 10:00am -4:00pm Tuesday, 10/2/2018: THE BRIDGE, 1180 Mt Pisgah Rd SW,Supply, NC 28462, Tues. & Thur., 11:00am - 4:00pm Wednesday, 10/3/2018: SOLDIER BAY CHURCH, 3905 Whiteville Rd., Ash, NC, Tues, Wed, Thurs. Fri., 11:00am – 3:00pm Wednesday, 10/3/2018: WAVES OF PRAISE, 9 East Boiling Springs Rd, Boiling Springs, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur, Fri, 10:00am -4:00pm Wednesday, 10/3/2018: BRUNSWICK BAPTIST CENTER, 1041 Old Ocean HWY., Rd. 17 Business, Bolivia, NC 28422, Wednesday & Friday, 11:00am – 4:00pm Wednesday, 10/3/2018: St James AME Zion Church, 27 Old Town Creek Rd., Leland, NC 28451, Wed & Thur., 1:00pm – 5:00pm Thursday, 10/4/2018: SOLDIER BAY CHURCH, 3905 Whiteville Rd., Ash, NC, Tues, Wed, Thurs. Fri., 11:00am – 3:00pm Thursday, 10/4/2018: NAVASSA COMMUNITY CENTER, 334 Main St., Navassa, NC 28451, Tuesday & Thursday 11:00am -1:00pm Thursday, 10/4/2018: WAVES OF PRAISE, 9 East Boiling Springs Rd, Boiling Springs, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur, Fri, 10:00am -4:00pm Thursday, 10/4/2018: BRUNSWICK BAPTIST CENTER, 1041 Old Ocean HWY., Rd. 17 Business, Bolivia, NC 28422, Wednesday & Friday, 11:00am – 4:00pm Thursday, 10/4/2018: St James AME Zion Church, 27 Old Town Creek Rd., Leland, NC 28451, Wed & Thur., 1:00pm – 5:00pm Thursday, 10/4/2018: THE BRIDGE, 1180 Mt Pisgah Rd SW,Supply, NC 28462, Tues. & Thur., 11:00am - 4:00pm Friday, 10/5/2018: SOLDIER BAY CHURCH, 3905 Whiteville Rd., Ash, NC, Tues, Wed, Thurs. Fri., 11:00am – 3:00pm Friday, 10/5/2018: WAVES OF PRAISE, 9 East Boiling Springs Rd, Boiling Springs, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur, Fri, 10:00am -4:00pm Friday, 10/5/2018: BRUNSWICK BAPTIST CENTER, 1041 Old Ocean HWY., Rd. 17 Business, Bolivia, NC 28422, Wednesday & Friday, 11:00am – 4:00pm
Sunday 10/7/2018

  • Kendall Chapel AME, 4362 River Rd., Winnabow, NC 28479, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Monday 10/8/2018
  • WAVES OF PRAISE Worship Center, 3000 George II HWY., Southport, NC 28461, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, 2:00pm – 7:00pm
  • City of Northwest Town Hall, 4889 Vernon Rd. NE, Leland, NC 28451, Mon & Wed. 11:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesday 10/9/2018
  • WAVES OF PRAISE Worship Center, 3000 George II HWY., Southport, NC 28461, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, 2:00pm – 7:00pm
  • THE BRIDGE, 1180 Mt Pisgah Rd SW, Supply, NC 28462, Tues. & Thur. 11:00am - 4:00pm
Wednesday 10/10/2018
  • WAVES OF PRAISE Worship Center, 3000 George II HWY., Southport, NC 28461, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, 2:00pm – 7:00pm
  • BRUNSWICK BAPTIST CENTER, 1041 Old Ocean HWY., Rd. 17 Business, Bolivia, NC 28422, Wednesday & Friday 11:00am – 4:00pm
  • St James AME Zion Church, 27 Old Town Creek Rd., Leland, NC 28451, Wed & Thur. 2:00pm – 5:00pm
  • City of Northwest Town Hall, 4889 Vernon Rd. NE, Leland, NC 28451, Mon & Wed. 11:00am – 4:00pm
Thursday 10/11/2018
  • WAVES OF PRAISE Worship Center, 3000 George II HWY., Southport, NC 28461, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, 2:00pm – 7:00pm
  • THE BRIDGE, 1180 Mt Pisgah Rd SW, Supply, NC 28462, Tues. & Thur. 11:00am - 4:00pm
  • St James AME Zion Church, 27 Old Town Creek Rd., Leland, NC 28451, Wed & Thur. 2:00pm – 5:00pm


Beginning Monday, Sept. 24, citizens in the affected areas may continue to get water and MREs (Meals, Ready-to-Eat) at certain fire departments:
  • Boiling Spring Lakes VFD (3059 George II Hwy in Boiling Spring Lakes)
  • Northwest Fire Department (5029 Northwest Road in Northwest)
  • Navassa Volunteer Fire Department (336 N. Main Street in Navassa)
  • Waccamaw Volunteer Fire Department (4045 Whiteville Road NW in Ash)
  • Winnabow Volunteer Fire Department (161 Governors Road SE in Winnabow)

Brunswick County Homeless Coalition’s Direct Aid group today delivered a shipment of baby food, baby formula, diapers, and baby wipes (purchased new at local retailers) for the families staying in our temporary shelters.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and its effects on our area, Brunswick County’s storm shelters at the high schools stand in great need of supplies. Evacuees–people facing homelessness, whether chronic or temporary–some of whom have lost everything–are staying in these shelters as a last resort and are depending on us, their neighbors, for support.

Some of the identified needs:

  • Blankets
  • Towels
  • Boys’ and Girls’ clothing
  • Shoes (for kids and adults)
  • Large size clothing for women (2x & 3x)
  • Baby food, formula, and diapers

The central collection point for these items is the Brunswick Beacon office on Smith Ave. in Shallotte (around back). The collection point is staffed by Brunswick Family Assistance Agency employees and volunteers. For more detailed information, including exact needs and dropoff point hours of operation, you are encouraged to contact BFA in Shallotte at (910) 754-4766.

Baby food, baby formula, diapers and baby wipes donated September 21, 2018

According to information supplied by Commissioner Frank Williams, Brunswick Family Assistance will serve as primary point of contact for groups and individuals wishing to help with storm recovery in Brunswick County.

Article source: http://www.commissionerfrankwilliams.com/brunswick-family-assistance-to-serve-as-primary-point-of-contact-for-groups-individuals-wishing-to-help-with-storm-recovery/

Quoting Commissioner Williams’ web site:

“Numerous organizations and individuals have inquired about how they can help Brunswick County residents impacted by Hurricane Florence. It is important that volunteer efforts be organized and coordinated to ensure that they help those in need, and it is important that donations be made to legitimate organizations.

“Brunswick Family Assistance will be the primary point of contact for those wishing to help.

“Individuals/Groups: If you or your group would like to provide assistance, please contact BFA at 910-754-4766 or brunswickfamily@yahoo.com. Donating goods: If you would like to donate goods, please contact BFA at 910-754-4766 or brunswickfamily@yahoo.com to ensure that the goods being donated meet citizens’ needs. Donating financially: If you would like to contribute financially, please visit BFA’s website.”

Updated Mon Sep 24 2018 to indicate meeting location

Friends & Neighbors,

I hope that you are safe and comfortable after the storm that we’ve just experienced. If not, you can find information on our website at http://brunswickhomeless.com/ about ways to find assistance.

Because of storm preparation and evacuation related to Hurricane Florence, Brunswick County Homeless Coalition was not able to hold its monthly September meeting as it was scheduled. BCHC Meetings usually occur on the second Tuesday of the month.

The Brunswick County Homeless Coalition will hold our rescheduled September 2018 meeting at 5:30pm on Tuesday, September 25.

PLEASE NOTE: The venue for the meeting is not yet set. We are unable to confirm space at BSRI (our usual meeting location) because they are closed due to the storm until this coming Monday. As soon as we know where the meeting will be held, we will let everyone know. For now, please save the date.

UPDATE: The venue for the meeting will be the BSRI Brunswick Center at Shallotte, 3620 Express Dr., Shallotte, NC (our usual meeting location thanks to the kindness of BSRI). Please feel free to bring water or a drink to the meeting.

You may contact me as always with any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions. If you are a member of BCHC, please let me know whether you will be able to attend the meeting.

Thanks,

Joe Staton

Brunswick County Homeless Coalition
Publicity Committee
joe@brunswickhomeless.com
Mobile: (843) 474-1821

Commissioner Marty Cooke reads the official proclamation at the 8/20/2018 Brunswick County Board of Commissioners meeting as Joe Staton and Barbara Serafin of the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition attend.

At their August 20, 2018 meeting, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners voted to officially proclaim the week of November 10th – 18th, 2018 as “National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.” Commissioner Marty Cooke read the official proclamation, then presented it to Barbara Serafin, representing the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition.

Commissioner Marty Cooke presents the official proclamation to Barbara Serafin of Brunswick County Homeless Coalition.

Also in observance of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Commissioner Mike Forte is scheduled to speak at the BCHC’s Seventh Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon at the Brunswick Center in Shallotte on Nov 10, 2017. Commissioners Frank Williams, Marty Cooke, and Pat Sykes, and County Manager Ann Hardy have also worked to make previous Hunger and Homeless Banquet events a success. BCHC appreciates the tremendous support that the Board of Commissioners has consistently shown.

CBS News reports earlier this summer (2018) that a job paying minimum wage doesn’t pay enough for rent anywhere in the U.S., based on a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Excerpts below:

A minimum-wage worker would have to put in lots of overtime to be able to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country. And downsizing to a [one bedroom apartment] barely helps.

Even with some states hiking pay for those earning the least, there is still nowhere in the country where a person working a full-time minimum wage job can afford to rent a decent two-bedroom apartment, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

[Even a $15 an hour minimum wage wouldn’t help in the] overwhelming majority of states, the coalition found. Nationally, someone would need to make $17.90 an hour to rent a modest one-bedroom or $22.10 an hour to cover a two-bedroom place.

Renters across the country earn an average hourly rate of $16.88, the report estimated, a finding that illustrates how even folks earning more than the minimum wage scramble to pay for housing.

The findings are based on the standard budgeting concept of not spending more than 30 percent of one’s income on housing… The study bases its definition of “modest” rental housing on a weighted average of fair market rent estimates developed annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to calculate the agency’s housing assistance to poor people around the country.

“While the housing market may have recovered for many, we are nonetheless experiencing an affordable housing crisis, especially for very low-income families,” [says] the report’s preface. “In America today, nearly 11 million families pay more than half of their limited incomes toward rent and utilities. That leaves precious little for other essentials.”

In just 22 counties–parts of AZ, CA, CO, OR, and WA–a one-bedroom apartment is affordable to a minimum wage worker, in part because each of those counties has a higher minimum wage than the federal standard of $7.25 per hour.

You can read the complete article on the CBS News website. The linked article is copyright (c) 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.

St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church on Moore St. in Southport, NC. Photo: brunswickcountyncevents-wordpress-com.

On the afternoon of May 17th, 2018, St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church held a conference in Southport, NC: “Face of Homelessness”.

Barbara Serafin, Paul Witmer, and Rita Canfield were among those representing BCHC. Paul Witmer observed that most of the conference presenters’ assistance programs were contingent on clients already being present in housing, highlighting need for assistance for those in housing crisis who are at or near homelessness already.

BCHC would like to thank St. Phillip’s, the Southport Oak Island Interchurch Fellowship, and everyone who participated in the conference for focusing attention on and fostering cooperation over issues related to poverty and housing in Brunswick County. Together, we are making a positive difference.

Annual Conference

Bringing It Home Conference 2018. Photo: BCHC
L-R Joe Staton, Barbara Serafin, and Paul Witmer of BCHC

On April 30th and May 1st, 2018, members from the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition (BCHC) attended the second annual “Bringing it Home: Ending Homelessness in NC” conference at NC State University’s McKimmon Center in Raleigh.

The conference is sponsored by the NC Department of Health and Human Services, the North Carolina Housing Coalition, and the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness, to “[bring] together state and national leaders to share best practices, discover successful strategies, build relationships through networking, and celebrate the positive impact we are making on ending homelessness in our state.”1

This was BCHC’s second year attending the conference. Representing BCHC in Raleigh were Barbara Serafin, BCHC co-president; Joe Staton, BCHC publicity committee leader; and Paul Witmer, BCHC veterans committee leader.

Joe Staton, who often works with data on the publicity committee, attended classes that focused on collecting and sharing data and making reports and decisions based on that data. “Probably the most important thing I learned is the federal and state standards for data quality in our record keeping,” Staton said. “Data has to be accurate, timely, consistent, and uniform. If you don’t have good data quality, that means you aren’t making good decisions based on data: You’re guessing based on assumptions. This is knowledge that we can really put to work to make better decisions and have a greater impact.”

Paul Witmer, who works directly with veterans who are sometimes in very difficult situations, attended training in working with landlords to foster the availability of affordable housing, and in getting specific help to clients, like Rapid Rehousing, foreclosure prevention, SOAR, and other programs. “The most important things that I learned really were who to contact; the points of contact for getting help for the people who need it,” said Witmer. “Going forward, our three most important areas are organizational assignments, commitment, and outreach.”

Terry Allebaugh of the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness and Barbara Serafin of the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition at the 2018 Bringing It Home conference. Photo: BCHC

Barbara Serafin, who heads the 1-888 calls committee in addition to her duties as co-president of the organization, was trained in crisis response and trauma sensitivity. “When someone asks for help, they’ve already been traumatized. We need to be sensitive to their trauma, not make things more difficult for them,” said Serafin. “When we take a phone call, we shouldn’t just do an intake to give money or other help–we should investigate what they can do to reduce their risk, to make sure that they have a specific plan in place to avoid entering or returning to homelessness.”

 

Training Sessions Benefiting BCHC

BCHC Attendees
Training Session Information2
Welcome and Opening Program

  • Satana Deberry, Executive Director, North Carolina Housing Coalition
  • Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, MPH, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • Jessica Holmes, Chair, Wake County Board of Commissioners
  • Denise Neunaber, Executive Director, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

 

Reducing Barriers and Creating Housing-Focused Shelters
Kay Moshier McDivitt, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Washington, DC
Emergency shelters play a key role in housing crisis response systems. This intensive training will provide an overview of the key elements shelters need to make the shift to low-barrier, housing-focused programs as they look to serve more households and reduce unsheltered homelessness in their communities.
Developing and Strengthening Rapid Rehousing Programs
Ben Cattell Noll, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Washington, DC
Rapid rehousing is a vital component in any housing crisis response system. With rapid rehousing programs, communities help to make homelessness brief by quickly connecting individuals and families to financial assistance and services to stabilize in housing. This intensive training will review the core components of effective rapid rehousing programs and discuss how to address common challenges in implementation.
Putting the Pieces Together: Housing Crisis Response Systems

  • Emily Carmody, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness
  • Denise Neunaber, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

Housing crisis response systems underwent many changes over the past several years. From coordinated entry to system performance measures, communities are moving towards operating as a system to make homelessness rare, brief, and one-time only for the people they serve. This intensive training will provide an overview of why the system is changing and what to expect on the horizon for your community.

State and Federal Leadership Listening Session
Please join the NCCEH Board and membership as they host speed discussions with North Carolina leadership. Participants will share reflections on their community’s efforts in ending homelessness and what is needed in our state to make homelessness rare, brief, and one-time only. Event tables will be hosted by leadership from State and Federal agencies and advocacy organizations.
Landlord Development: Outreach Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Landlords

  • Jef Rawlings, Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action Agency
  • Jenny Moffatt, Homeward Bound

Homeless service systems depend on strong partnerships with landlords. This session will explore how to engage and recruit local landlords to support efforts to end homelessness. Topics include risk mitigation funds, landlord events, and landlord retention.

Creating a Trauma-Sensitive Environment

  • Deena Fulton, North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • Jennifer Tisdale, The Salvation Army of Wake County

Many individuals and families who access shelter have experienced traumatic life events before entering programs. This session will review key strategies for shelters and housing programs to use to ensure they are providing trauma-informed services.

The Foundations: Ensuring Quality Data

  • Cecelia Peers, Cape Fear Council of Governments
  • Nicole Purdy, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness
  • Andrea Carey, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

The first step in being able to use data as an agency and community is to ensure data entry is accurate. This session will review best practices for data entry and common mistakes that have a big impact.

Champions for Change Panel

  • Eric Edwards, Lisa Brand, and Ruebe Holmes, Champions for Change
  • Terry Allebaugh, North Carolina Caolition to End Homelessness, moderator

Formerly homeless panelists will share their stories of homelessness, how their lives were impacted, and how they are now involved as advocates in public dialogue and activities around homeless policy and practice.

Data and Real World Impact
Tia Sanders-Rice, Jasmin Volkel, Denise Neunaber, and Ben Bradley, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness
This session will explore how programs can use their data and reports to better understand program performance and evaluate their impact on homelessness.
Having an Impact: Housing and Homelessness Policymaking

  • Samuel Gunter, North Carolina Housing Coalition
  • Ehren Dohler, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

What’s on the horizon for federal and state policy? How do we make our voices heard in the process? This session will help participants understand the current policy landscape around housing and homelessness and how they can advocate to end homelessness.

Accessing Resources Beyond HUD

  • Emily Carmody, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness
  • Brooks Ann McKinney, Mission Health System
  • Jessa Johnson, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

There are many resources available to help people experiencing homelessness besides HUD programs. This session will explore how communities can access social security benefits through SOAR and housing and services through the Transitions to Community Living Initiative and other healthcare partnerships.

Beyond Reporting: Translating Your Community’s System Performance Measures

  • Denise Neunaber, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness
  • Courtney Morton, Mecklenburg County

System Performance Measures allow communities to view their progress towards ending homelessness from a wider system level. Learn the basics of these measures, what they mean for funding, and how they can be used to drive program and system decisions.

Feeling the Crunch: The Affordable Housing Crisis
and its Impact on Homeless and Housing Services

  • Samuel Gunter, North Carolina Housing Coalition
  • Terry Allebaugh, North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

Housing affordability is a growing challenge for communities across the state and country. This session will focus on mapping the affordable housing crisis, its causes, and how responses impact the work of homeless service providers.

Presenter biographies and slides for most sessions above are published on the NCCEH website. http://www.ncceh.org/2018-bringing-it-home-presentations/

Closing message from the conference organizers: “On behalf of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Division of Aging and Adult Services, the HUD Emergency Solutions Grant Program, the North Carolina Housing Coalition, the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness, and everyone who contributed…thank you for attending this year’s state conference on homelessness. State staff and agency partners worked to get as much information about promising practices to you as possible in hopes that you return to your programs with valuable information to serve those experiencing homelessness. The goal of ending homelessness in our state is truly a group effort, and we look forward to our continued collaboration as we work to make homelessness rare, brief, and one-time only in North Carolina. We hope to see you again next year!”3


Footnotes

1 Official conference program, page 1. https://nchousing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Bringing-it-Home-Program-2018.pdf, accessed May 1st, 2018.

2 Ibid, pages 1-4.

3 Ibid, page 5.