Friday, September 17, 2010

Giving People Opportunities to Grow

I am a new intern at Coastal Community Foundation and am fortunate enough to be part of this great organization as well as another. I recently began interning at Crisis Ministries in the grant writing department. Crisis Ministries is a homeless shelter-among other things-in downtown Charleston. Saying it has been an eye-opening experience doesn’t even begin to explain it.

I walked out of the office a little after noon on Tuesday—right when the soup kitchen was opening for lunch. Seeing the line of people waiting and, as I was driving away, seeing the people walking up to the Center brought up so many emotions. It was heart breaking to know that all of those people have little to nothing—no place to call home, nowhere to go at the end of a hard day. It also made me feel optimistic knowing that there was a place for the homeless community to go and have a hot meal, a bed to sleep in, a safe place to go. It made me feel good knowing there are still people in this world that want nothing more than to help those less fortunate.

But this is reality. There are people out there that do not have homes. They do not have jobs or money. However, places like Crisis Ministries help these individuals take the necessary steps to feel safe while obtaining an education, getting employed, and becoming self-sufficient.

The Homeless Employment and Learning Program (HELP) opened the doors to the newly renovated HELP Center on Thursday, September 16. The HELP Center offers adult education classes, GED prep and GED testing as well as targeted job searches and help with the entire process of finding employment.

The work that all of the Crisis Ministries' employees do truly makes a difference in the community. And the work that Coastal Community Foundation does helps the nonprofits be able to continuously serve the community. I couldn't ask for better places to learn what it means to give back and serve a community of people that are truly deserving.

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