Announcing the Ninth Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon
Announcing the Ninth Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon: November 2020.
Announcing the Ninth Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon: November 2020.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, we offer thanks for all we have, and many choose to donate time and resources to others. In that spirit of giving, The Brunswick County Homeless Coalition (BCHC) invites the public to the eighth annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon, November 16, 2018, from 10am-2pm, at the Brunswick Center at Calabash, 10050 Beach Dr., Calabash, NC. The doors open at 9:00am. The focus of Brunswick County’s registered event observing National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is “Making Generosity Count.” This year’s banquet is sponsored by Rotary Club of Shallotte, NC. Speakers include government officials, community leaders and individuals who have themselves faced homelessness, featuring special guest and keynote speaker Stephanie Bowen, executive director, Brunswick Family Assistance Agency.
Come learn about and contribute to solutions to homelessness. Admission is free. Tax-deductible donations are welcome. Visit our website at http://brunswickhomeless.com/ (brunswick homeless dot com) to reserve your space and help us plan. Walk-in admissions the day of the event are also welcome. The more people attending the event, the better to spread our message—so please invite (or bring) a friend.
The National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness annually sponsor Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. In 2019, during the week of November 16-24, hundreds of colleges, high schools, and community groups across the country will come together to raise awareness about the pressing issues of hunger and homelessness.
Brunswick County Homeless Coalition (BCHC) is a group of volunteers from faith-based ministries, not-for-profit organizations, local agencies and concerned citizens coming together for the greater good of Brunswick County’s homeless and in-need population: advocating, educating and providing resources for those who are homeless or in need. BCHC meets on the second Tuesday of the month at Brunswick Senior Resources, Inc. in Shallotte, NC. We welcome your attendance and participation.
Brunswick County Homeless Coalition
Hunger and Homelessness: The Causes and Cures
By Elisabeth Duarte
Oct., 2019; Brunswick County, NC–There is a common misconception that people become homeless as a result of mismanaging money, making poor decisions, or through drug or alcohol abuse. While some of these factors can contribute to homelessness, none of them are the sole cause of it.
Guests at the 2018 banquet discuss solutions specific to Brunswick County, NC
What the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition, a private nonprofit 501(c)3, and a staff of volunteers that assists people in Brunswick County, North Carolina, has observed, is that many people may be just one event away from becoming homeless. Many of these events are beyond one’s control, like natural disasters such as hurricanes or floods, to more mundane things such as unexpected illness, or injury or losing a job, that can take us from safe and secure to hungry and homeless.
For Jose Ruiz, for example, it was when he and his pregnant wife, Suzie, discovered black mold in their rented double-wide mobile home in the spring of 2019. This was the event that caused them and their five-year-old son, and unborn child to become homeless. Their landlord wasn’t able to eradicate the mold, and they couldn’t stay in the house as it was, so they called the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition’s 888 number (1-888-519-5362) and filled out an intake form over the phone with a volunteer. They were placed in a motel for several days until they could secure other housing.
Stephanie Bowen, Executive Director for Brunswick Family Assistance Agency, at the 2017 Hunger and Homeless Banquet. Photo Credit: Jessica J, BCHC
For Veronica and her two preschool age children, the event was a tornado that preceded Hurricane Dorian that took the roof right off their rented mobile home, and the rain that followed that destroyed the home’s contents. The family was forced to relocate. But where would they go? Veronica called the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition’s 888 line and a volunteer arranged for short-term emergency shelter while she considered her options.
A third request was from a family of five, a single mom and her four children, whose air conditioner unit had quit working and their single wide trailer was unbearably hot without the window unit working. The Brunswick County Homeless Coalition discussed it at their monthly meeting, took up a collection and Paul Witmer, BCHC’s Veteran Advocate and Joe Staton, President, purchased a unit and Joe personally installed it with the help of a neighbor.
Joe Staton, President, Brunswick County Homeless Coalition, works this past summer to install an air conditioner for a client family in Supply, NC. Photo credit: Elisabeth D., BCHC
Many calls that come in are requests for help with rent or power bills which allows tenants to stay in their existing homes. “The Coalition’s goal is to keep people in safe, stable, permanent housing where possible or to help them find it if necessary”, says Staton.
Left: Barbara Serafin and Betsy Duarte work to prepare the soup line for the Seventh Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon in Shallotte, NC. Photo Credit: Kate P., BCHC; Right: Volunteers serve homemade soups to those attending the Sixth Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon in Leland, NC. Photo Credit: Jessica J., BCHC
Stephanie Bowen, Executive Director of Brunswick Family Assistance, said that with a budget of $70,000 and a huge volunteer effort , she was able to distribute water, food, and clothing to those in need in a county hard hit by Hurricane Florence. Ms. Bowen says she could “never have accomplished this mammoth task without the tireless efforts of hundreds of volunteers throughout the county.”
Ms. Bowen will be the keynote speaker at the 8th Annual Hunger & Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon at the Brunswick Center at Calabash on Saturday, November 16th from 10:00 am – 2:00 p.m.
The Rotary Club of Shallotte is sponsoring the event this year.
Please come out to learn more about bringing volunteers and donations together to help solve a serious problem in Brunswick County.
Are you a “people person” with good organizational skills?
Do you have strong communications skills and leadership initiative?
Do you have time to give back to your community?
The Volunteer Coordinator is a key volunteer position for BCHC. The Volunteer Coordinator:
· Maintains the membership contact list and skills inventories
· Notifies members of monthly meetings and special events via email
· Contacts and tracks volunteer assignments for events and tasks
· Communicates with the board of directors and volunteer leaders
· Attends bimonthly membership meetings
Helpful skills and experience would include:
· Creating spreadsheets
· Use of word processing programs
· Use of e-mail
To volunteer, please contact Brunswick County Homeless Coalition.
Brunswick County Homeless Coalition
During 2018, the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition responded to about 232 calls for assistance, with about 147 callers assisted with paying utilities/eviction prevention, 14 with paying rent or mortgage, 21 needing emergency shelter, 31 receiving referrals to specific agencies for other assistance, and 19 veterans in need of veteran-specific assistance.
Our direct aid is funded entirely by private grants and donations like yours. Please consider donating any amount to help our neighbors in need.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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:
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.