BY DEBBIE PAGE
debbiepage.iredellfreenews@gmail.com

The Homelessness Coalition, a group of community partners and agencies shepherded by Statesville Police Department Community Resource Coordinator Pam Navey, is working to impact and improve the lives of the homeless population as well as housing and food insecure residents.

The group meets monthly via Zoom to share resources, provide assistance, and plan events and programs to assist those living on the streets or on the edge of homelessness living week to week in area motels.

“There are plenty of ways to serve our community,” said Navey.

RECENT EVENTS

♦ A need for a wheelchair ramp arose for 9-year-old Tariq Lowery, who required a hip replacement after being injured in the June 28 drive-by shooting on Wilson Lee Boulevard. Brad Borders and volunteers from Purple Heart Homes stepped up to provide a temporary ramp for the family to assist in Tariq’s care.

♦ Rob Harris of Southside Baptist Church, LEAD Certified Peer Support Karen Lowe, and other volunteers recently took 59 kids to enjoy swimming and a cookout as part of a community recovery effort after the recent shootings.

♦ Harris and Lowe also helped with a cookout event at the Brookwood Inn on June 26. Christ Church and Cochran Street Bible Church teamed up with a passionate 11-year-old named Maggie, who has a heart for displaced families and created a ministry to fill bags with age-appropriate essentials for adults and children to distribute at the event.

♦ Christ Church served hamburgers, hotdogs, watermelon, chips, and cookies to 110 kids and their families at the event. Entertainment included face painting, a dunking booth, and other activities. Cochran Street members brought their mobile stage to provide live praise music, and church volunteers distributed clothes to families in need.

♦ The Watchmen of the Streets also had an event on July 10, meeting at Aldi in Statesville to distribute supplies and then fanning out to various homeless encampments to visit and provide food, toiletries, bug spray, tarps, tents, and flashlights. Contact Heath Burchett
at habitmissions@gmail.com to help with future events throughout the region.

UPCOMING EVENTS

♦ This year Christmas in July will be held on Sunday, July 18, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Fifth Street Ministries campus (1421 Fifth Street). The organization will host a drive-thru lunch for $10 per plate. Additional donations will be accepted and appreciated.

Each pick up will include a guest story so that community members can learn more about the mission of Fifth Street and the guests served by the nonprofit. Guests will also be helping the day of the event along with other volunteers.

The Fifth Street Christmas in July fundraiser is ongoing through July 21 with an online auction at https://www.biddingowl.com/auction/home.cfm?auctionID=27569&bblinkid=252615491&bbemailid=32575647&bbejrid=2026446098.

♦ Harris, Lowe, and Cochran Street Bible Church are also working with community volunteers Delalicia Parks and Tasha Smyre on a two-day event on Saturday, July 24, and Sunday, July 25, at Harris Park to reach out to a hurting community.

The free kid-oriented Saturday activities (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) will include children’s resource tables with interactive activities, field day events, giveaways, and food and special treats.

On Sunday (noon to 5 p.m.), music, gospel singing, bands, and dance and poetry performances will provide entertainment for the whole community.

♦ Fifth Street Ministries is also gearing up for a Back to School event on August 14. They have book bags but are in need of school supplies for all ages to fill them. They are also looking for some funding for bounce house type amenities and special treats and for volunteers for face painting. Contact Lynn at Fifth Street at 704-872-4045 or drop off donations at 1421 Fifth Street.

♦ Cochran Street Bible Church will also be having a Back to School Bash on August 21, featuring a carnival, games, and lunch. The church is collecting donations of new underwear, socks, shoes, and T-shirts in various sizes to donate to the kids at the event. Contact Sheri Martin for more information at 704-682-1543 or at csbcstatesville@gmail.com.

♦ On Saturday, August 28, a Stop the Violence event is also planned at Harris Park. Details will be forthcoming.

NEEDS

Fifth Street Ministries and Project Re-entry Employment Specialist Wendy Martin are looking for bikes for homeless people and those released on probation. They need reliable transportation to get to jobs or for other needs. Fifth Street can store the bikes and distribute them, according to Executive Director Michele Knapp.

Call 704-872-4045 to arrange to drop off bikes at 1421 Fifth Street.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To get involved with the Homelessness Coalition, contact Navey at pnavey@statesvillenc.net.

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