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.

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


1 Official conference program, page 1., accessed May 1st, 2018.

2 Ibid, pages 1-4.

3 Ibid, page 5.

BCHC Participates in UNCW Grant Writing Class for Nonprofit Organizations

Barbara Serafin, left, with Joe Staton and Betsy Duarte at the March 2018 UNCW Grants for Nonprofits class. Photo: Justin Pope

Three members of BCHC, Betsy Duarte, Barbara Serafin, and Joe Staton, attended a class especially for nonprofit organizations on the topics of identifying grant opportunities and writing grants. The class was presented in a single session on March 15, 2018 by UNC Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and QENO (Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations), and led by Grants Specialist Althea Lewis and Nonprofit Advisor and Grant Consultant David F. Morrison.

The UNC Wilmington Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Photo: BCHC

Class materials included introductory information about grants, sources for grants, and specific tips for preparing grants that are accepted.

Introducing Grants
Grants were introduced simply as proposals (“Grant Proposal”) submitted in response to RFP or RFA opportunities (“Request for Proposal” or “Request for Applications”) that are requests to obtain funding in a form that does not have to be paid back. The RFP/RFA specifies the approximate amount of funding available, the deadline(s) for applying for the funding, who offers the funding, and who may qualify to receive it.

Applicants are expected to read completely and understand any RFP/RFA, and comply completely with their requirements in order to avoid needless disqualification of the application.

Getting down to the details of what grants represent: An organization offering funds has one specific purpose that they want to fulfill, and an organization applying for funds has its own, possibly different, purpose. Aligning these two in “the matching game” is an important part of the process. The applying organization must describe the specific part of their purpose that overlaps with the purpose of the grant, and not simply request money for their own aims (no matter how brilliant or how needed they may seem), either in a LOI (“Letter or Intent” / “Letter of Inquiry”) or in the application itself.

The Matching Game. Image: UNCW/QENO.

Funding Sources
Within the class, we focused on locating funding sources likely to be of benefit to the target audience (Eastern North Carolina Nonprofits). We talked about both potential sources and “sources for sources”.

Sources for Sources included: (The U.S. Federal Government grants website, with search feature) (A nationwide searchable listing of grants offered) (The Rural Health Information Hub)

Resources. Image: UNCW/QENO.

Specific potential sources that we identified: (The Kate B. Reynolds Trust). With grants available only to nonprofits and government agencies, and only within North Carolina. Funding for things like capacity building, direct services, program planning has a grant maximum of about $50,000. Their deadlines work on a rotating basis each August and February. (The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation). With grants available to North Carolina nonprofits, government agencies, schools, and churches. Funding areas have included things like community economic development and social justice programs. Deadlines and details are currently not posted at this writing. (Cape Fear Memorial Foundation). With grants available to nonprofits only in Duplin, Columbus, Pender, New Hanover, and Brunswick counties of NC. Their funding focus is on health education and improvement. Grants up to $200,000 have been awarded in the past. Their LOI deadlines are June and December, and their Application deadlines are July and January. (The Landfall Foundation). With grants available to nonprofits only in Pender, New Hanover, and Brunswick counties of NC. Their funding areas for up to about $7500 are arts, education, and health & welfare. Their LOI deadlines are June and December, and their Application deadlines are July and January.

Grant preparation tips
Some highlights on the tips on grant preparation:

  • Use your “Need Statement” or “Problem Statement” to make a compelling case that your specific project is needed and important.
  • Make sure that your goals are specific and measurable, with specifically described benefits.
  • The Budget and its justification can be the hardest items in an application, making them good candidates to do first.
  • Make certain that all instructions are followed.

The BCHC members who attended the class have contact information for experts who have expressed a willingness to help look over grant applications before submission to help them achieve success. The class has been helpful already in the information that it provided, and hopefully it will be helpful in the future to help BCHC secure needed funding for operations and special programs.

Brunswick County Homeless Coalition
P.O. Box 7411
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
(888) 519-5362


February 1, 2018

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release:

Who: Mike’s Garage Band
Benefiting: Brunswick County Homeless Coalition,
Organizers: Southwest Brunswick Newcomer’s Club,
What: Benefit Concert for Brunswick County Homeless Coalition (BCHC)
Where: BSRI facility at 101 Stone Chimney Rd, Supply, NC 28462
When: March 23rd, 2018 from 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Why: To enjoy good music and help out those less fortunate

Ocean Isle Beach, NC, February 1, 2018 — On Friday March 23, 2018 the musical fundraising evening featuring “Mike’s Garage Band” takes place at BSRI in Supply. In support of the local charity Brunswick County Homeless Coalition, this event is presented by Southwest Brunswick Newcomer’s Club.

Beer and wine will be on sale, but food will not be sold, so please bring a substantial appetizer and/or dessert to share with others at your table. For those reserving tables, coordinate who brings what to create your own feast!
Admission for the evening is $20.00 per person. All event fees minus event costs will be given to Brunswick County Homeless Coalition.

Tickets are on sale now and seating is limited. For tickets by phone, or for additional information, call Kathy Hill of SWBNC at (703) 638-4653, or visit to learn more.

“This is a great opportunity to experience Mike’s Garage Band, and to show your support for The Brunswick County Homeless Coalition and the services that they provide to the in-need population in Brunswick County” reports Joe Staton, representing BCHC. “We are very grateful to Mike’s Garage Band, who donate their performance to charities and those in need, and to Southwest Brunswick Newcomer’s Club for organizing the event and selecting Brunswick County Homeless Coalition to benefit.”

About the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition: About The Southwest Brunswick Newcomers Club:
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. ​BCHC’s mission is to serve as an advocate for the homeless and those in need by increasing awareness and education of issues, and by exploring, promoting, recruiting, facilitating and providing resources to meet these needs. BCHC’s vision is to ensure that needed resources are easily accessible by the homeless and those in need in order to decrease the incidence of chronic and transitional homelessness. Find more information at The newcomers club was formed in September 2006 to assist in the social, cultural and service orientation of persons new to the southwest area of Brunswick County, North Carolina. Through a variety of activities, the club facilitates in developing new associations and friendships, as well as assisting newcomers to Southwest Brunswick County identify with their community. We also hope to promote interest in local civic, cultural, service and philanthropic programs. We are a non-profit organization that does not exert political or religious influence. More information at

Eight adults and a minor child were charged by police in El Cajon, California, for breaking a city rule against the public sharing of food. The city’s rule was intended to help curb the spread of Hepatitis A, a viral disease plaguing areas of California, and those charged were, in part, protesting the rule’s effects on the poor and the homeless, according a BBC report dated January 15, 2018.

Police cite residents for feeding the Homeless in public. Photo: Facebook / Homelessness News San Diego

Excerpt from the BBC report:

Nine people in California have been charged after they handed out food to the homeless, violating a rule about sharing food in public places.

The group were protesting an emergency ordinance in the city of El Cajon which was introduced in response to California’s hepatitis A outbreak.

They handed out food, clothes and toiletries on Sunday before police arrived and issued citations.

Local media report that El Cajon City Council passed the ordinance in October. It prohibits food sharing on any city-owned property. The authorities say it is a safety measure against hepatitis A, but opponents argue it unfairly penalises the city’s homeless.

Police wrote a citation for a child who was among the volunteers, according to NBC San Diego. “I was passing out food and this guy was like can you step aside please,” 14-year-old Ever Parmley said.

Hepatitis A can be spread by touching contaminated foods or objects. There is a vaccine for Hepatitis A.

One of the protest signs, El Cajon, CA. Photo: Facebook / Homelessness News San Diego

An El Cahon councilman spoke out on the issue, expressing the opinion that feeding the homeless outside in parks during the hepatitis outbreak is not a good idea, and that those wishing to help should take hungry persons home with them to feed them and offer them sanitary facilities.  Relief work is typically done in a neutral, public location for safety reasons.

The full story can be read on the BBC website.

Quoted portions are Copyright © 2018 BBC. Images copyright Facebook / Homelessness News San Diego. Opinions expressed in this article belong to the person or organization expressing the opinion.

Below is an excerpt from a Jan. 2018 article in SFWeekly about San Francisco, CA’s efforts to address the homelessness problem that has been growing at an alarming rate in that city.

The city’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, organized in 2016, issued a report in October of last year identifying key goals.

The report says “Our vision is to make homelessness a rare, brief, and one-time event. Our aim is a significant, sustained reduction in homelessness in San Francisco.” and describes a “‘Housing Ladder’ that consists of temporary shelter, followed by rapid rehousing and rental subsidies, and permanent supportive housing until individuals are able to stay housed on their own,” echoing many measures also being evaluated by the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition.

Homelessness Improvement: S.F. Sets Ambitious Goals to Move People Off Streets
By spending $250 million a year, the city vows to eradicate several categories of homelessness in an accelerated time-frame. But can we really have no large-scale encampments by July 2019?
by Peter Lawrence Kane, Wed Jan 3rd, 2018. © 2018, SF Weekly and SFMC.

Finding somewhere to sleep in the San Francisco homeless crisis. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons / JCruzTheTruth)

San Francisco is not the only city grappling with the presence of tents on its streets and sidewalks. In Brussels, where approximately 2,600 individuals lack adequate shelter, camping tents are forbidden — but one canny do-gooder wants to help people make it through the Belgian capital’s wet, chilly winter with foldable, reusable cardboard tents manufactured at a prison.

That’s hardly an ideal solution in the long-term, of course, and no matter how cleverly it might be designed and packaged, cardboard makes for a less-than-dignified wall to keep out the elements. But it indicates the creative lengths people will go to to make life a bit easier for the unhoused in the face of municipal resistance.

San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, organized in 2016, has goals to change this sorry state of affairs, and they’re more ambitious than distributing cardboard. After the 2017 Point-in-Time Count estimated there were some 7,500 people experiencing homelessness citywide — of which 2,100 were considered chronically homeless, i.e. “people who have been living on the streets or in shelter for a year or more and have disabilities or health conditions that make it difficult for them to gain and retain housing” — the department’s 68-page October report reiterated a few key goals.

“Our vision is to make homelessness a rare, brief, and one-time event,” it reads. “Our aim is a significant, sustained reduction in homelessness in San Francisco.”

To do so, the department breaks up the homeless population into various demographic components, with specific targets for each. Among the notable ambitions are a commitment to making sure all families with children have shelter by December 2018 and permanent housing by December 2021, a 50-percent reduction in chronic homelessness by December 2022, and, perhaps the loftiest, eliminating large-scale street encampments by July 2019. There are other, more inward-facing goals as well, such as “Implement performance accountability across all programs and systems by December 2019.”

Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, says the city has done good work on a few fronts so far, particularly in finding permanent housing for veterans, although funding commitments from Obama administration helped.

There is also concern that, as the July 2019 deadline for getting rid of large-scale encampments looms, pressure could mount to simply sweep them away for the sake of the timetable. Friedenbach notes that the city struggles with the minority of unhoused people who are severely mentally ill, and for whom neither shelters nor navigation centers are viable options. Still, the department report lays out in great detail the investments the city is making to meet its goals, which includes a “Housing Ladder” that consists of temporary shelter, followed by rapid rehousing and rental subsidies, and permanent supportive housing until individuals are able to stay housed on their own.

“From our perspective, any pre-development land that’s just going to be sitting there for a few years — let’s use it so homeless people have some safe and dignified space to be able to sleep,” Friedenbach says. “We need a diverse system. For some folks, the more institutionalized shelters are very comforting for them. They like having security guards, that feels really safe, they like having all the structure. It can feel more relaxing. For other folks, that feels really oppressive, and it’s not going to work — and the looser structure of a navigation center is better. And we just need more capacity in terms of beds.”

Quoted material is © 2018, SF Weekly and SFMC. You can read the full article on their website.

Annual banquet calls attention to hunger and homelessness
By Brian Slattery
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Copyright © 2017 The Brunswick Beacon. The Brunswick Beacon is your source for local news, sports, events and information in Brunswick County, North Carolina and surrounding areas.

LELAND — Harold Jones, a member of the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition, spoke at last year’s annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet.

At this year’s event in Leland on Saturday, he provided an update.

“Last year I talked about being homeless. Now I’m here to tell you today I am a homeowner in Southport,” he said.

Jones said he is working three jobs to reach a combined 40 hours a week.

“If you want things in life you have to work for them,” he said. “Nobody owes you anything.”

Jones said he once had a “poor, pitiful me” attitude but has learned to be positive.

Terry Allebaugh of the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness speaks Saturday at the sixth annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet in Leland. (Photo: BCHC)

The coalition brought its sixth annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet to the Brunswick senior center in Leland on Nov. 18.

Homelessness prevention organizers and volunteers met to share information on prevention and assistance efforts.

The gathering also included first-person accounts from people who have been homeless and received help from the homelessness prevention community.

Following an opening prayer from Fran Salone-Pelletier, Jones sang “Amazing Grace” as part of the invocation.

Joe Staton talked about the stigma that comes with being homeless, which makes it difficult for some people to seek or accept help.

“People can be judgmental. If they see a homeless person they think he did something wrong,” Staton said.

Staton said he had a place where he was living and was in a relationship with a woman with two children. When their relationship ended, he said, he felt he did the right thing by leaving so she had a place to live. But it left him without any housing options.

Brunswick Family Assistance helped him get into an apartment, Staton said.

“One day it was a struggle scraping by,” he said. “The next day I was able to make a plan for the future because I had a base.”

Homelessness prevention organizers and volunteers share a soup lunch at the sixth annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet. (Photo: BCHC)

BFA executive director Stephanie Bowen said her agency helps assist people who are 130 percent below the poverty line. She gave an example of a family of four living on $25,000 a year.

In addition offering assistance with utilities, rent, medications and emergency shelter, Bowen said BFA offers a financial literacy program to teach budgeting and tracking expenses and a job skills training course to help people search for jobs and plan for applying and interviewing for them.

Bowen introduced Jaye Cuffee, who took the BFA financial literacy course when he learned his father owed $20,000 in taxes on the home Cuffee moved into with his wife and five children. He said he learned how to stay on top of bills, clip coupons and the importance of learning not to live paycheck to paycheck.

Brunswick County commissioner Pat Sykes attended the banquet to present a proclamation from the county board recognizing the week of Nov. 11-19 as National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week.

Sykes said she grew up in a family of eight children with an alcoholic father and her family was homeless at times.

“Back then our church family provided for us. Back then I had many hand-me-downs, but I’ve come a long way because of people like you,” Sykes said, thanking the volunteers and organizers.

Cecelia Peers, administrator for the Homeless Continuum of Care, which covers Brunswick, Pender and New Hanover counties, spoke about its efforts to get an accurate picture of homelessness in the tri-county area and help the homeless find transitional and permanent housing. It tracks homelessness through the school systems, an annual nationwide point in time count, a homeless assessment report and internal database.

Peers said homelessness people are those living in a place not meant for human habitation, emergency shelters, transitional housing or exiting a temporary residence.

Peers reported 400 Brunswick County students were identified as homeless from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017.

The last point in time count, conducted Jan. 25, identified 27 homeless people.

New Hanover County reported 76 people came to its shelter from Brunswick County in 2016. And 133 women and children were served in the New Hanover County domestic violence shelter from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

In addition to existing shelters and resources, Peers said, specific programs like Preventative Diversion can provide funds to help people remain in housing they already have so they don’t become homeless. A Rapid Re-Housing program offers short-term financing to help put people in housing as quickly as possible and a Homeless Veteran Strategy Team can help provide veterans with affordable housing.

The keynote speaker, Terry Allebaugh of the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness, discussed programs like Rapid Re-Housing, his work with military and veterans’ affairs and the change in methods for providing assistance.

Where once the objective was to get homeless people housing-ready, the coalition now strives to find stable housing as soon as possible and then provide support to help them be successful, Allebaugh said. The federal objective for ending homelessness would return a homeless person to permanent housing within 30 days of beginning assistance.

While it sounds over-ambitious if the effort cuts the average amount of time a person is homeless from 67 days to 60 days, Allebaugh said, they are seeing an improvement to build on.

“We want to define homelessness as rare, brief and non-recurring,” he said.

Allebaugh also recommended groups involved in homelessness assistance get the word out by organizing a community summit and declaring their own mission to end homelessness. They could also prioritize the needs for the area, like an emergency shelter for Brunswick County.

Allebaugh encouraged the attendees to take the efforts public by making presentation to the county, city and town councils and ask former homeless people to share their stories.

“It is powerful. There is nothing like a person’s story to share this information,” he said.

Homelessness resources in Brunswick County

Hope Harbor Home is for single women and women with children who are victims of domestic violence to assists in moving on to permanent housing.

Gateway Landing, which offers a 12-month, faith-based residential program for men with life-controlling issues like substance abuse.

Brunswick County Streetreach, which coordinates interfaith sheltering during winter and access to shelter during summer.

Brunswick County Homeless Coalition assists county residents who are homeless or at risk of homelessness with resources and crisis support.

Brunswick Family Assistance helps low-income residents with food, clothing, emergency financial assistance and access to health services and other resources.

A Housing Crisis Hotline (910-444-4998) is available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays to screen people for diversion or shelter

The Brunswick Homeless Task Force committee meets at 9 a.m. the third Monday of the month in the second floor training room at the Brunswick County Administration Building. Meetings are open to anyone in Brunswick County who is interested in preventing and ending homelessness.

Brian Slattery is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or

Copyright © 2017 The Brunswick Beacon. The Brunswick Beacon is your source for local news, sports, events and information in Brunswick County, North Carolina and surrounding areas.

Leland gathering raises awareness and funds to fight homelessness, hunger

Saturday, November 18th 2017, 8:41 pm EST

By: Ben Smart, Reporter, WECT

Roy Tucker, Coalition to Reduce Poverty in Brunswick County, addresses 2017’s 6th Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon (SOURCE: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – About a hundred people gathered at the Brunswick Center in Leland for the Sixth Annual Hunger & Homeless Banquet Saturday.

Community leaders, experts, formerly homeless people, and concerned citizens were among the attendees.

The purpose of the event was to educate the community about homelessness, but also to raise funds for the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition, which put on the event.

According to data provided at the event, there were 322 sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in Brunswick County in a count January 2017.

The Brunswick County Homeless Coalition assists about 300 people struggling with homelessness every year, according to the Co-President of the coalition.

Volunteer Joe Staton faced homelessness four years ago, but eventually got back onto his feet. Now, Staton volunteers with the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition.

“When I moved to Brunswick County I was homeless. And through a process of getting help… I was able to get an apartment, somewhere to live,” said Staton. “So now I volunteer to try to give back something and help the ones who still need it.”

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.

Organization raises awareness for the homeless

Saturday, November 18th 2017, 1:10 pm EST

By: Jenna Kurzyna, WWAY

Brunswick County Homeless Coalition’s annual banquet (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Ending homelessness and hunger in one county is the mission for the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition.

This weekend the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition held their 6th Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon.

This event was to educate and raise awareness about poverty-related problems.

The event was free and hosted at the Brunswick Center at Leland.

The banquet and soup luncheon invited formerly homeless individuals to talk about their past struggles and learn about solutions.

Joe Staton who now volunteers with the coalition used to be homeless and said the help he received from them was life changing.

“A lot of people don’t know that Brunswick County has a homeless population at all, but they do and we work directly with them. When I came to Brunswick County I was homeless, and I received the help and I know there’s a lot of people out there needing it,” Staton said.

The Brunswick County Homeless Coalition is made up of volunteers and wants to continue to educate the community about the hunger and homeless problems in the area.

WWAY TV, LLC. © 2017 All Rights Reserved.

L-R Jim MacCallum, Paul Witmer, and Joe Staton. Click or tap to play video on Youtube. (PHOTO: ATMC TV)

ATMC TV’s November 2017 “Our Hometown” show features, during its latter segment, an interview with Paul Witmer and Joe Staton of the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition. The subject matter covers the definition of homelessness, aspects of our homelessness problem with respect to Veterans and others, and the Coalition’s annual event on November 18th, 2017, spotlighting awareness of and solutions to poverty- and homelessness-related problems here in Brunswick County.

Our Hometown, hosted by Jim MacCallum, features in-depth stories about local people, places and events in Brunswick and Columbus Counties. Our Hometown airs every day at 8:30am and 7:00pm on ATMC TV.

The Homeless Coalition appreciates very much this opportunity to raise awareness, and we give a heartfelt thanks to Jim and to ATMC TV.

Your turn: National Hunger & Homeless Awareness week
Thursday, November 9th 2017, 1:18 pm EST (Source: WECT). Copyright 2017 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved.
By: Joe Staton, Brunswick County Homeless Coalition

Click or tap to watch the video. (Photo source: WECT)


How many persons are homeless in Brunswick County?

How do you define homelessness?

How can we help homeless veterans find housing?

Is there a single path to end homelessness?

What is rapid rehousing and how does it work?

Are there really more than 400 homeless students in the Brunswick County School system?

Does Brunswick County need a homeless shelter?

(Photo Source: WECT)

The answers to some of these questions may alarm you. National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is held each year during the week prior to Thanksgiving.

The Brunswick County Homeless Coalition takes this opportunity to enhance our efforts to raise awareness about the issue and what is being done locally to work toward meeting the needs, advocating for and working toward ending homelessness.

The best thing we can do is get more people involved.

Please go to the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition website at to learn how you can get involved. While you are visiting our site, please consider registering for our annual event on Saturday, November 18.

As we move toward the Thanksgiving season, and start to count our own blessings, please consider sharing some of that compassion with our neighbors who aren’t as fortunate as us. Together, we can make a difference.