Affordable housing: how will you respond?

Housing ends homelessness. Yes, it is that simple…and yet it is quite difficult when there isn’t enough affordable housing to meet the demand. The pre-assembly event on affordable housing allowed attendees to learn about homelessness and the ways congregations might get involved in solutions. Jenny Simmons (Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina) was joined by Terry Allebaugh (North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness) and Donna Carrington (Community Empowerment Fund of Durham) to give insight into issues of homelessness in our state.

It is estimated that on any given night there are 9,314 individuals experiencing homelessness across North Carolina. Since we are called to care and be in relationship with our neighbors, we can and need to be a part of the solution. Some churches can support the work of agencies already ending homelessness with housing through volunteering or financial contributions. Some can advocate for affordable housing efforts in our local communities. Others can use their land to build affordable housing. Certainly, we all, in our everyday language and in our worship, can say “people experiencing homelessness” instead of “the homeless.” It may take a little longer but a situation should not and does not define a person. How will you respond?

Contact the synod’s Social Justice and Advocacy Ministries to learn more about ways your congregation can get involved.

StoryJenny Simmons (Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina), member of St. Mark’s, Asheville.
Photo—Deacon GeoRene Jones, synod Coordinator for Social Justice & Advocacy Ministries.