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Spare Change for Real Change Charity Profile
Real Change from Spare Change is a community-wide, collaborative initiative designed to educate, encourage, and empower Chapel Hill and Carrboro, NC citizens, and the University of North Carolina community to evoke real change for those in need.
Real Change from Spare Change raises funds for street outreach to homeless individuals and supports educational efforts on poverty issues in our community. Real Change from Spare Change sends a powerful message to all in our downtown... do not give money directly to panhandlers, there's a better way to help!
Real Change from Spare Change is an initiative of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership (www.downtownchapelhill.com). Our mission is to bring the resources of the Town, University, and the downtown community together to maintain, enhance and promote downtown through economic development.
If you don’t give your change to a panhandler, what can you do with it? Although it may seem small, donating your spare change can make a difference when it comes to funding basic human needs. The funds raised go to the Housing for New Hope's street outreach team in Orange County, NC (www.housingfornewhope.org). Outreach workers help clients get medical attention, mental health services, navigate the human services system and get into a healthier life style and permanent homes. Funds also support community education to teach people that there is a better way to help those in need.
Since 2007, outcomes have been significant - 67 homeless households have obtained permanent housing.
Of these, more than half were chronically homeless. These are the street homeless that are seen on Franklin Street, Highway 15-501, and other points of traffic density. HISTORY:
In April 2007 Housing for New Hope began the PATH Street Outreach Program in Orange County. In November 2007, Real Change from Spare Change was launched to help fund the outreach program. The street outreach team includes social workers, formerly homeless individuals known as Peer Specialists, and Housing Support Specialists. Since the spring of 2007, the PATH Street Outreach program has outreached to over 700 homeless individuals. PATH has helped over 50 individuals access supportive mental health services, over 15 individuals get alcohol and/or drug treatment, and over 200 people begin the path to safe, supportive housing...all in Orange County.
Real Change from Spare Change contributes 90% of all funds raised to Housing for New Hope's Street Outreach Team. The remaining 10% is used to increase education efforts. Since November 2007, we have raised nearly $30,000. All contributions are tax deductible.
We partner with many organizations to educate the community on responsible giving, homelessness issues and provide hands-on ways for the community to participate:
--Sponsor of the Talking Sidewalks Literary Magazine
--Host public forums in the community. One forum featured Housing for New Hope street outreach workers and formerly homeless individuals. The other event, “Homeless to Housing” convened a panel of local professionals for a brown bag lunch discussion on the actual path that a homeless person would take from the initial outreached moment until they get into stabilized housing in Orange County.
-- Work closely with UNC students and classes to create a video PSA, create print marketing tools, conduct an evaluation of the initiative, hold fundraisers, and conduct research.
--Coordinate the donation of 10 bicycles, helmets, locks and a bike rack to IFC's Community House in the spring of 2009. The bicycles are used by men staying at the Community House to get to/from work, attend classes, search for jobs, and visit family & friends. The need for these bicycles came from the constant struggle these men had for reliable, safe transportation; particularly during third shift, or to places that the bus system didn't reach. Thank you to the overwhelmingly generous donations of these items from Performance Bicycle and The Recyclery. Both organizations responded quickly and extremely generously to our call for donations!
-- Sponsor collection drives like the 'Come Out of the Cold! Donation Drive in January 2010. The drive collected much needed items to help homeless individuals in Orange County during the Federally mandated Point in Time count. We collected 143 blankets & sleeping bags, 133 jackets, 79 toiletry kits and almost 250 hats/gloves/scarves. Thank you to everyone that contributed to help those in need in our community!
-- Sponsor the printing of the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness's Pocket Guide to Services - that features community services and housing opportunities for those in our community that need help. This guide is a great tool for anyone to print out and have available for when they see someone in need or panhandling!
--Sponsor the Homeless Near & Far Concert in April 2010. The concert, born from a UNC student's class assignment, showcased the musical talents of local bands and the homeless community, and raised awareness about homelessness in our community! The event featured keynote speakers, great music, great food, local organizations and much more. All funds raised went towards the Community Empowerment Fund.
-- Assist in the coordination of the annual Project Homeless Connect event in Chapel Hill to help those that are homeless (or at risk of experiencing homelessness) in getting a wide-range of services in one location, in one day. The event was held on Thursday, November 4, 2010 at Hargraves Community Center from 9:00 AM to 3:30 AM. Visit www.phc-orange.org for complete details.