SHELTER UPDATE l August 20, 2020
  • Here’s how the Shelter helped James.
  • 32 households move from Shelter into their own homes.
  • Home Again needs furniture and supplies for small apartments.
  • Aramark donates $5,500 for COVID-related programs.
  • Can you help provide food to distribute to our neighbors in need?
  • Shelter distributes 232,056 pounds of food since March.
  • Can you, your friends or business provide a meal for our dining clients?
  • Donate here
Here’s how the Shelter helped James
James*, a 64-year-old disabled veteran, came to the Community Shelter on Valentine's Day. And then COVID-19 struck the county hard.

With complex medical issues and a history of breathing complications, James is highly vulnerable to the virus and was housed by the Community Shelter at a local hotel instead of the men’s dormitory for his health safety. James formed a close relationship with his peers at the hotel, and they became his literal “voice,” helping him make necessary phone calls. Due to his conditions, James’ impaired speech limits his ability to communicate easily.

While living at the hotel, his Shelter case manager met with him regularly, guiding him through the process of developing and implementing a feasible housing plan. And he was successful. James secured housing with Monroe Housing Authority and moved into his new home.

The Community Shelter assisted James with utility deposits and helped stock his new home with
Photo Illustration

*Not his real name

donated furnishings from the its Home Again program.

James was able to go from homelessness to independent living in just three months – all during the COVID crisis. We’re very proud of James and his success.
April - June
32 households move from Shelter into own homes
Despite the COVID pandemic, Shelter residents experiencing homelessness have worked very hard to improve their lives. And they have achieved success!

From April through June, 32 households living temporarily in the Community Shelter moved into independent living. The adult members worked our Rapid Rehousing program diligently, stabilizing their lives, jobs and housing.

And that wasn't easy during COVID. Housing is tight and clients were laid off due to businesses closing. But they persevered!

We’re very proud of them!
Home Again needs furniture, supplies
Imagine securing a job, saving money to move to a new home but not having any money to purchase furniture or supplies.

That’s the situation for many formerly homeless residents in our emergency shelter.

Thanks to the public, we often are able to supply households with used and donated furniture and new supplies to facilitate an earlier move. But we can only supply the goods if we have received them through donation.

Please consider helping a community neighbor move back to their own home.
Aramark donates $5,500 for COVID-related programs

Aramark’s Building Community recently donated $5,500 to the Community Shelter to purchase supplies and food needed to support our expanded COVID-19 programs.

Our board member, Laverne White, an Aramark employee, requested the maximum donation – and got it!

In her request, Laverne described how the Community Shelter ramped up its operations to provide more services and to keep clients, staff and volunteers safe during COVID.
We have a big need for foods to distribute in drive-thru pantries to those in need.
Here’s a link to our Amazon wishlist where you can order online and have delivered to the Community Shelter facility.
193,380 meals, 232,056 pounds of food distributed since March
Rice N Beans delivering Shelter foods with weekly meals

The Community Shelter of Union County’s collaboration with fellow nonprofit Rice & Beans has expanded.

Rice N Beans, a nonprofit organization in Charlotte, first brought its mobile food center to the Community Shelter in April to provide a hot meal to our unsheltered neighbors needing a hot meal.

Last month, Rice N Beans began delivering approximately 35 meals each week to a Monroe boarding house and one apartment complex whose occupants have limited income, typically are senior citizens and frequently do not have transportation. The volunteers also are delivering grocery bags of staple foods provided by the Shelter.

“We are very happy to see Rice N Beans expand its service to another Union County population in need,” commented Melissa McKeown, chief operating officer of the Community Shelter. “And to help us push more food supplies to that population."
We need meal providers - can you help?

Providing meals for our clients is a huge part of the services that we offer. We serve three meals a day in our dining hall. The number of diners varies with meal and day - our food service staff can give you a good number when you book a meal. Breakfasts are at 8 .m., lunch at noon and supper at 6 p.m.

Here are three ways you can help
  • Prepare a meal from home and bring to the Shelter.
  • Prepare a meal and bring up to four volunteers to serve the meal.
  • Financially sponsor a meal
  • Order a catered meal to be delivered to the Shelter (helpful for our local restaurants)
Serving groups are limited to four volunteers in the kitchen, and all must wear masks and gloves.
For more general information on serving, visit For more information or to book a meal, contact our kitchen staff at (704) 261-3491 or email
Available meals
Saturday August 22 breakfast
Sunday September 6 breakfast and supper
Monday September 7 breakfast and lunch
Sunday October 11 supper
Wednesday October 21 supper
Thursday October 29 supper
  • Your financial donation allows us to use the funds in the most-efficient way. Click DONATE or send a check to 160 Meadow St., Monroe, NC 28110.

Please stay safe!