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Cabarrus Magazine

The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte 1 of 24 Nonprofits to Receive $5 Million 'Day 1 Families Fund'

Dec 14, 2018 09:29PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Image courtesy of www.salvationarmycarolinas.org.

Jeff Bezos, creator and CEO of Amazon.com, recently gave the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte a $5 Million Grant.

The grant, Day 1 Families Fund, was created by Bezos in an effort to "shine a light and support the organizations that are doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter for young families in communities across the country," it's website states. 

Only 24 nonprofits receive the first Day 1 Families Fund grant, and the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte was one of them. 

Major Larry Broome, area commander for The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, took some time to answer a few questions about this exciting grant. 

Congratulations on receiving the grant! Did you have any idea this was going to happen?

The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte was invited to apply for the Day 1 Families Fund grant. Through our Center of Hope, we were recognized as an industry leader in helping families move out of homelessness. Director of Social Services Deronda Metz regularly speaks at national conferences on the topic. While we are thrilled to have been invited to apply, there’s still an element of surprise when it actually comes through. We are excited to put these funds to work helping families in need in Charlotte.

What's the first thing you're going to do?

These funds are allocated to help on the issue of homelessness in Charlotte. Our first steps are taking place now – planning and having conversations with key players about the best use of the funds to truly make an impact. Our goal is to begin to tackle the issue of family homelessness and create a space at the Center of Hope to house in-tact families. We are also looking to bring on additional staff and launch and expand a robust employment preparation program to help people find jobs and housing.

What's been the community response?

There’s an excitement in town regarding this unprecedented grant. We’ve had a number of productive conversations with leaders, and we are looking forward to seeing new partnerships and growing our existing ones.

What are your goals moving forward?

We know we can’t end family homelessness in Charlotte, but we do know we can end homelessness for one family at a time. Our goal with this grant is to move the needle; we want to make an impact in our community that will be felt for years to come.

Has a donation like this been made before? 

To our knowledge, this is the largest single investment The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte has received to tackle homelessness. But, it’s worth pointing out that these funds do not replace existing operating funding. Now, we will be able to expand and improve our services and facilities, but we still need the local community to support our ongoing operations.


How can we help the program? 

This grant does not mean that we no longer need the community’s involvement. Homelessness is an ongoing issue that needs your financial support and it needs your time. There are ample opportunities to give financially, to collect much needed items, to offer your expertise to a struggling family or to serve a meal. 

Anything else we need to know?

This grant is specifically for fighting homelessness through The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte’s Center of Hope. This does not impact The Salvation Army of Cabarrus County, nor does it impact the other Salvation Army programs in Charlotte. The problems we face in these communities are still significant, and they’ll still require the partnership with faithful donors moving forward.


Learn more about what the Salvation Army does by visiting their website

The Day 1 Families Fund will be awarding grants annually. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.

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