Note: This is an archived article about a past event. There may be more current information about a related recent event at the following link: http://brunswickhomeless.com/banquet
The Sixth Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon
Observing National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov 11-19, 2017), The Brunswick County Homeless Coalition invites you to attend the Sixth Annual Hunger & Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon
on Nov 18th in Leland, NC. There is no cost to attend; a lunch of homemade soups and bread will be provided.
This year’s program will be held at BSRI’s Brunswick Center in Leland, NC, located at 121 Town Hall Dr. NE, Leland, NC, 28451, at the corner of Village Road and Town Hall Drive. [Click or tap for Driving Directions.] The program, scheduled to run from 10am to 2pm, is entitled “Ending Homelessness in Brunswick County.” Doors open at 9:30am.
Besides the delicious soups, you will hear the powerful stories of local formerly homeless men and women, information from local leaders about what’s being done to address the problem (and how you can help), and a presentation from special guest Terry Allebaugh, Community Impact Coordinator for the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness.
You are invited to pre-register for the event on the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition website’s registration form to help us prepare for the appropriate number of guests. There is no cost to register or attend; donations of any amount are appreciated and directly go to help the hungry, homeless, and at-risk population of Brunswick County.
National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week in an event held each November which began at Villanova University in 1975. It’s an annual program across the country to draw attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness. Held at more than 700 locations each year, with hundreds of thousands of participants,
this event has raised millions of dollars for local service providers across the country. Participating groups spend the week holding a series of educational, service, fundraising, and advocacy events. The Sixth Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon is Brunswick County’s registered National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week event, held to raise awareness and work toward solutions here at home.
The Sixth Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon is organized by the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition. The Coalition meets the second Tuesday of the month at the BSRI Senior Center in Shallotte, NC. You can find out more at the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition website.
Your help in getting the word out about this event is very much appreciated. The more people that are able to attend, the more support can be gathered and the more resources can be mobilized against the fight against hunger and homelessness right here at home.
Person to person, word-of-mouth publicity is very effective–and today, with e-mail and social networking, it has a potentially much larger reach. The sharing buttons at the bottom of this page can help you to share and spread the news using Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and e-mail.
There are also promotional printables and promotional graphics in the form of printable 8.5×11″ flyers and .jpg graphic files. You are encouraged to download these and share them online, and print them to post publicly, to share with friends and family, or to share with your civic, church, or worship group.
At their October 19th, 2017 Town Council meeting, the Town of Leland showed their support of the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition by inviting us to receive an official proclamation of Hunger and Homelessness awareness week, November 11th – 19th, 2017.
Town Councilman Mike Callahan read the proclamation as Mayor Brenda Boseman presented it to Barbara Serafin and Joe Staton of the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition.
Support from area governments and leaders is essential in the fight against poverty-related issues like hunger and homelessness, and the BCHC would like to richly thank the Town of Leland for all their recognition and support. Leland is host this year to 2017’s sixth annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon, scheduled for November 18th at 9:30am.
Brunswick County Homeless Coalition was on hand for Seniors Helping Seniors on October 13th, 2017 at BSRI’s Stone Chimney Road center. BSRI hosts the Seniors Helping Seniors event during the autumn season of each year as an opportunity to showcase area businesses and organizations of interest to seniors. Lots of area businesses, groups, and organizations were present for the information, the fellowship, the entertainment and the food. At the BCHC table, about 75 people stopped specifically to talk with us and learn more about problems and solutions here in Brunswick County.
At their September 5, 2017 meeting, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners officially proclaimed the week of November 11th – 19th, 2017 as “National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.” A copy of the proclamation was presented to Barbara Serafin, representing the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition.
BCHC appreciates the tremendous support that the Board of Commissioners has shown, and appreciates this proclamation. Commissioner Pat Sykes is also scheduled to present the board’s proclamation at the BCHC’s Sixth Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet in Leland on Nov 18, 2017, in observation of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
Advocates: Brunswick County needs homeless shelter
By Makenzie Holland StarNews Staff
Posted May 24, 2017 at 10:52 AMUpdated May 24, 2017 at 10:59 AM
Several local nonprofit organizations and churches care for Brunswick County’s homeless population.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY — Glenna Clemmons’ single bedroom apartment has one poster hanging on the wall. A small couch and recliner take up most of the living room, while an old TV sits nearby.
Though her apartment is small, Clemmons values the luxury.
For 20 years, Clemmons worked in commercial fishing with her boyfriend, a life she described as hard but rewarding.
Seven years ago, Clemmons’ boyfriend died and she lost everything. After a lifetime of labor, she became homeless.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.3 percent of Brunswick County’s 126,953 residents live in poverty. When people become homeless or face eviction, they often turn to nonprofit organizations for assistance. The county government relies heavily on nonprofits to take care of the homeless since the county has no permanent emergency shelter.
Nonprofits are funded differently, though most rely on charitable donations, grants and other contributions to function. These groups and a network of local churches care for the county’s homeless on a daily basis, though the strain of handling numerous cases each day is beginning to show.
Need for services
When Clemmons no longer had a place to call home, she traveled and stayed with family in Tennessee, California and Louisiana before returning to Southport. With nowhere else to turn, Clemmons said somebody told her about Brunswick County Streetreach. The organization and founder, Donna Phelps, helped her into an apartment.
Phelps said the lack of available housing options for the number of people she deals with daily that are in a crisis situation highlights a need for more options.
“This county has reached a point now that there needs to be some type of emergency shelter,” Phelps said. “There really does. I’m not saying a full-time shelter because honestly most of our people are not chronic homeless, they’re situational homeless, under-employed, evicted, or victims of domestic violence, we don’t have the chronic homeless like Wilmington has. So our situation is really different, but we still need some type of recourse other than just calling us.”
Brunswick Family Assistance, another nonprofit agency, handles at least one family or individual a week that is homeless, said Stephanie Bowen, executive director. She said the agency handles multiple calls on a daily basis from families that are at risk of becoming homeless because they can’t afford rent, which averages $846 a month in the county.
BFA has a rental assistance program and the organization will often facilitate a landlord/tenant agreement to keep the individual or families in their home.
Bowen said emergency sheltering is another challenge entirely.
“As far as people seeking emergency shelter, the biggest limitation we have here in Brunswick County is we do not have a homeless shelter,” Bowen said. “So what we typically do is we try to divert them from having to go over to Wilmington because most of the time that’s not an option for people…if they have a job or school here, they can’t get to Wilmington’s shelter, so we try to find other options for them.”
The agency often exhausts resources when trying to find suitable housing for people in need.
“A lot of times what we find is there’s not a whole lot we can do,” Bowen said.
From Nov. 1 to March 1, Phelps relies heavily on a motel system that charges a discounted rate to house the homeless.
This past winter Streetreach had between 11 to 17 different individuals each week staying in the motels.
Over the summer months, Phelps relies on churches that open their doors and allow the homeless to stay overnight.
When Streetreach began sheltering in 2011, Phelps had 12 churches to work with.
“That worked out beautifully, each one housed for a week then we moved to the next site,” she said.
As the years went by, Phelps said the number of churches willing to house the homeless dwindled. Now, she only has four churches willing to provide shelter, though several offer food, clothing and other amenities.
Joe Staton has lived in Brunswick County since 2012. He moved in with his aunt and uncle in Ocean Isle Beach after living in a homeless shelter in Florence, South Carolina.
Staton became homeless after he and his wife separated.
“I didn’t have anywhere to stay because I was struggling with PTSD, trying to get military disability,” he said. “I didn’t have a job, any income at all. So I found a homeless shelter that would take me in just because I was a veteran.”
Staton eventually received assistance from BFA, which set him up in an apartment and with counselors who helped him with social reintegration.
Had there not been a transitional shelter available for him in South Carolina, Staton said he would’ve been “sleeping under a bridge.”
She leads the Brunswick Homeless Task Force, created about a year ago, which has been bringing different agencies in the area together, including county government, to coordinate and understand the size and scope of homelessness in Brunswick County.
Staton, Bowen, Phelps and Barbara Serafin, co-president of the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition, cited the need for an emergency shelter, as well as more transitional and affordable housing options, to prevent homelessness and have an emergency resource in a crisis situation.
“We need to let people who are in trouble, who are homeless or at risk from homelessness, know that there’s somewhere for them to stay,” Staton said. “That we care about them and they’re important and still a part of our society.”
Reporter Makenzie Holland can be reached at 910-343-2371 or Makenzie.Holland@StarNewsOnline.com.
The Homeless Coalition serves as an advocate for the homeless by increasing awareness and by providing resources to meet their needs.
By Michael Trescak Your Voice Correspondent
CALABASH (May 15, 2017) — The Veteran’s Affairs Committee of the Calabash Elks Lodge 2679 recently made an $800 cash donation to the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition. The Coalition was selected because they serve, among others, our increasing population of homeless veterans in Brunswick County.
The Homeless Coalition is a group of volunteers from faith-based ministries, non-for-profit organizations, local agencies, and concerned citizens coming together for the greater good of Brunswick County’s homeless and in-need population. The mission of the Coalition is to serve as an advocate for the homeless and those in need by increasing awareness and education in Brunswick County, and by exploring, promoting, recruiting, facilitating, and providing resources to meet these needs.
The mission of the Veteran’s Affairs Committee of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, Lodge 2679, is to provide occasional funding, fraternal activities and general support for our local veterans, various veteran’s programs, and our military located throughout Southeastern North Carolina, as well as for our retired and wounded warriors in the Fort Bragg area of Fayetteville, and Camp LeJeune area in Jacksonville.
For more information about other ways our Elks Lodge supports our veterans and the military community, http://www.CalabashElks.Org and click on the Veterans Affairs tab.
The StarNews welcomes and will consider publishing Your Voice articles contributed by readers, nonprofits and clubs. Community Page submissions should be 300 words and accompanied by a good-quality photograph. Contact Community News Editor Si Cantwell at 343-2364 or email@example.com.
From February 2016 until May 2016, Jeremy Croom and Joshua Barton worked with Brunswick County Homeless Coalition in the beginning stages of formulating a Strategic Plan for the organization. Both are graduate students in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program at University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW). Utilizing a model taught to them in their Strategic Planning class, Jeremy and Joshua met with BCHC three times over the semester for Strategic Planning Sessions. The first session was held on February 15, 2016 and focused on Mission, Vision, and Values of BCHC. The second session was held on March 16, 2016 and focused on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) of BCHC. The third and final Strategic Planning Session occurred on April 6, 2016 and focused on identifying Strategic Issues that BCHC must address. After each session, Jeremy and Joshua shared data sheets summarizing the sessions and the work that BCHC accomplished at each session. BCHC will take all the information they learned during the sessions and proceed in constructing a Strategic Plan for the organization. On May 2, 2016, Jeremy and Joshua presented their final project to their Strategic Planning class, summarizing the Strategic Planning sessions and what was learned by themselves and BCHC. Three members of BCHC attended the presentation as representatives of BCHC, Ms. Barbara Serafin, Ms. Elaine Fox, and Mr. Robert Butler.
For the past several years, BCHC had been a source of financial and human support for the homeless. We’ve tried to forestall and prevent homelessness by providing funds to pay for power bills, rent, and other necessities for those at risk of losing their homes. We’ve also placed people in motels where no temporary shelter beds were available. As there is no overnight homeless shelter in Brunswick County, we’ve been an advocate for building one here to provide emergency housing for the homeless.
Recent events and research are also leading us in another direction. Last year, the Brunswick County fire marshal set out new rules that will again allow local churches to house the homeless in emergency situations. This action by the County somewhat relieves the pressure for a local shelter. On the research front, a March 30, 2016 guest opinion published in the Wilmington Star News sets out the case for more emphasis on a quicker transition to permanent housing with supportive services. The author, Katrina Knight, should know. She is the executive director of Wilmington’s Good Shepherd Ministries, the primary homeless shelter in New Hanover County. In her article, she states “ We can keep adding shelters and shelter beds and allowing the ranks of homeless individuals and families to swell, or we can invest in housing strategies that shorten the length of people’s crises and return them more quickly to housing and stability in the community. “ One such strategy, rapid re-housing (RRH), is to place homeless families in long-term housing with adequate support services as soon as possible. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation reported that more than 85% of rapidly-re-housed homeless families never fall back into homelessness.
Whereas RRH beds in the United States increased by nearly 60% from 2014 to 2015, North Carolina lags both the nation and many of our neighboring states in its support for rapid re-housing. From 2014 to 2015 the supply of RRH beds in North Carolina decreased by about 20%, while RRH beds increased by 90% in Georgia and 131% Tennessee.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness set out three core components for a rapid re-housing program: (1) Identify and recruit landlords by understanding and addressing their perspectives ; (2) subsidize rent and move-in expenses, and; (3)identify and co-ordinate with agencies willing to provide support services .
BCHC already addresses the second core component through our financial support programs. How should we spend our time and resources on the first and third components as well? Let us know your opinion. Come to our next meeting on the first Tuesday of each month at the Brunswick Senior Resource Center at 3620 Express Drive, Shallotte (exit route 17 north at Smith Street) to learn more and express your view.
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