With this holiday season quickly approaching in difficult economic times, organizations around northern Mecklenburg are uniting to help those in need.
Members of the Hope House Foundation and the Salvation Army gathered in Huntersville late last month to announce a new collaboration between the two organizations.
Due to overcrowding in the Salvation Army's uptown Charlotte Center of Hope, the organization was looking for expansion opportunities. The center houses approximately 300 homeless women and children.
After gaining nonprofit status in 2005, Hope House Foundation, which operates a six-bedroom transitional home for Lake Norman's homeless women and children, was poised to take on a partner to get the facility staffed and operating.
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When Hope House board member Chris Anthony learned of Salvation Army's interest in building a similar facility in the area, he approached them, and a partnership was born.
The partnership will allow Hope House to utilize its newly renovated facility, a 4,000-square foot ranch house in suburban Huntersville, with staffing and operations managed by the Salvation Army.
It has taken almost three years of extensive renovations to be ready, said Dr. Lee Beth Lindquist, co-founder of Hope House.
"To fill all our 13 beds by Dec. 1, we looked for an expert nonprofit with impeccable credentials in operating homeless shelters, and we fortunately found a compatible connection with the Salvation Army," she said.
Hope House provides residents food and shelter for up to six months and teaches them skills in order for them to gain self-sufficiency. The facility offers job search training, medical and dental treatment, as well as conflict resolution, money management and child care services.
Joining together at Hope House is key to meeting the ever increasing needs of the homeless population in our community, said Salvation Army Major Todd Hawks.
"You can only put so many people in an emergency shelter, but a transitional home (such as this) gives individuals time to become independent," he said.