Shelter COO leading multi-agency team
for COVID rapid response
The Community Shelter has taken the lead in forming a county multi-agency COVID response team to provide rapid response to issues our neighbors are experiencing because of the pandemic.

“We expect to see many families experiencing inability to pay their rent, mortgage, utilities and other regular bills,” explains Melissa McKeown, Shelter chief operating officer and team leader. “While many landlords are waiving penalties for late rent payments, as an example, the rent still will have to be paid. Residents whose jobs or hours have been temporarily cut have no way to catch up on the amount owed, even when they go back to work."

McKeown explains that the response team is sharing information, referral forms and other documents as they try to match the best support to each situation. “We need this response to be low-barrier; we need to be flexible to meet individual needs.

“Money, of course, is the issue,” she said. “The need will amount to many thousands of dollars." Some agencies have limited funding for this specific need, but others, such as the Community Shelter, have applied for grants. “We think first about the individuals who are facing eviction, but the landlords also are impacted by non-payment. They’re counting on this income."

Other organizations on the team are Union County Community Action, Department of Social Services and Crisis Assistance Ministry.

At the Shelter, we worry about the approximately 600 households that became independent over the past six years after experiencing homelessness and a short-time stay in our emergency shelter. Many of these working individuals earn a below-average or even minimum wage income and have limited financial cushion.

They will need our assistance in avoiding eviction.
Bank of American gives Shelter $15,000 grant
The Community Shelter of Union County has received a $15,000 grant from Bank of America. The grant will help provide services to those experiencing hunger and homelessness in Union County, while improving economic mobility. 

“We are dedicated to addressing underlying homelessness and hunger problems and to guiding clients back to independent living quickly,” said Kathy Bragg, CEO. “By encouraging rapid rehousing, we can keep homelessness from becoming chronic for many residents.” 

“We appreciate Bank of America’s generous award and continued support of the community,” Bragg added.

The grant is part of Bank of America's philanthropic giving efforts in local communities. Awardees were selected for their commitment to addressing basic needs and workforce development for individuals and families, in particular during the coronavirus pandemic.  
Another mobile food pantry Friday, May 22 at 6 p.m.
Need groceries? Know someone who does? Please share this information.

The pantry is at the Shelter, 160 Meadow St. in Monroe, across from the Farmers Market on Skyway Drive. It starts at 6 p.m.

Participants will remain in their car. Our awesome volunteers will load the groceries!

The pantry is open to any Union County resident in need.
Here’s why shelter, food and rehousing are so important
We love collaboration!
Our recent collaborative mobile food pantry with Common Heart and Second Harvest of Metrolina was huge! More than 350 families receive a big box of staple groceries, plus fruit, fresh pizza and more. Our thanks to all the workers who made the pantry successful.
Here’s a link to our Amazon wishlist where you can order online and have delivered to the Community Shelter facility.
Want to help?

  • Want to provide a meal? Call Tara Bryant at 704-261-3491. If you’d like to donate a meal, but cannot cook it, we encourage ordering a meal from a local restaurant for delivery. A win-win situation!

  • Need food assistance? Call Victoria Maye at 704-261-3496.
  • Want to donate money? 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!