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 brunswickhomeless.com 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.

The Sixth Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon

The Sixth Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet and Soup Luncheon

Basic Information

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.

2012: the First Annual Hunger and Homeless Banquet

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.

Publicity

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.

 

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  • If your computer can’t open PDF documents, you can get a free PDF reader from the PDFReaders.Org website.
  • If you have trouble downloading the .jpg graphic files–if they just show a larger version when clicked–then right click the larger version and select “save image” or “save picture”.

Brunswick County Homeless Coalition

PO Box 7411, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

1-888-519-5362 for info or assistance

brunswickhomeless.com

 
(L-R) Joe Staton of the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition, Leland Mayor Brenda Bozeman, Barbara Serafin of BCHC, and Councilman Mike Callahan participate in the reading and presentation of the proclamation. (Photo: BCHC/JAJ)

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.

Proclamation proclaiming November 11-19, 2017 as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. (Source: Town of Leland; Scan: BCHC/BJS)

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.

BCHC members at the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition table at Seniors Helping Seniors, Oct 13, 2017 at BSRI Center Supply. (L-R Ralph Carmody, Giselle Bawab, Joe Staton, and Barbara Serafin of BCHC)

 

Barbara Serafin invites someone to our November Hunger & Homeless Banquet.
Ralph Carmody helps someone learn more about the homeless and what we can do to help.
The 2017 Seniors Helping Seniors event.
Brunswick Conty Homeless Coalition’s table at the event contained information about who we are, what we do, how to get help or refer someone to get help, and upcoming events.
Rita, Giselle, and Ralph talk with the public at the BCHC table
Jim Fish and Debra Marlowe of BSRI give away door prizes to those attending the event

Brunswick County Homeless Coalition was pleased to participate in Resource Days, September 20, 2017 in Southport, NC, and September 30, 2017 in Leland, NC.

 

Ralph, Mark, Barbara, and Mary representing the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition.
Barbara and Marc with the Brunswick County Homeless Coalition banner sign.
The event and some of those in attendance.
A few displays from the event.
Mark and Paul talk with a representative from Habitat for Humanity.

 

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.

Joshua Barton

UNCW MPA Graduate Student

MPA Fellow

WHAT IS BCHC? AND WHAT DO WE DO?

Brunswick County Homeless Coalition had its beginning Nov. 2011, after a small group hearing a lecture at St. Brendan’s Church began questioning their role in social justice.  As of this writing, we have 25 members who have a passion to help the homeless and those in need residing in Brunswick County. We are a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.

We continue our mission  to serve as an advocate for the homeless and those in need by increasing awareness and educating residents in Brunswick County.  In 2013 we acquired a toll-free number to assist callers  to access government and community services to help them address their needs. After receiving grants and donations we are able to assist with and provide housing needs. We continue to advocate for affordable housing.

Let me paint a picture for you; During the end of January 2015 we participated in a Point In Time Count where eight members of Brunswick County Homeless Coalition along with other volunteers found 48 persons in Brunswick County that did not have a place they called home. On January 29th we found a family living in a garage with no heat or water; a senior citizen living in a hotel that Brunswick County Homeless Coalition housed for several weeks during the cold weather; at present he is in a trailer and enjoying a home that he has not had for years; and a veteran who remains in the woods and continues to be visited by Brunswick County Homeless Coalition members who assist with his needs.  Many school children did not have a place called home but moved from house to house to find warmth and food. A recent statistic is 253 students in Brunswick County schools (2014-2015 school year) have no place to call home; 16.4% of Brunswick County residents have income below the poverty level and  16,856  residents in Brunswick County are receiving food stamps.

In 2014, Brunswick County Homeless Coalition helped 64  families,($4,712)  who were struggling due to loss of jobs, evictions, chronic/acute illnesses, and not able to pay rent and heating bills; and for the first six months of 2015 we helped 116 individuals and families ($11,079) with housing, rent, electricity, food, and transportation. Funding sources include  grants, fundraisers (golf tournament),  donations we receive from nonprofit organizations, and private donations.

So our message to you is: if you are looking for a way to show your gratitude for a good life – support and join Brunswick County Homeless Coalition and help others as they struggle…become a volunteer if you have skill sets we need – writing grants and mentoring skills; answering the toll-free calls and linking individuals with resources; being an ambassador and visiting with community groups to share data and ask for support, and assist with fundraisers.

We would like to leave you with a simple prayer that we say at our monthly meeting:

                                             when I have food help me remember the hungry,

                                             when I have work help me remember the jobless,

                                             when I have a home help me to remember those who have no home at all,

                                             bestir my complacency into action,

                                             and awaken my compassion, Amen.

Thank You for assisting Brunswick County Homeless Coalition to talk and walk its mission to help those in need and the homeless.

Barbara Serafin, President, and Brunswick County Homeless Coalition Members.                                              10/2015                                           

Together WE CAN make a difference.