Alamance County residents seek safe haven at Allied Churches
In Alamance County, 18 percent of residents are below the poverty line, which is .8 percent higher than the national average. With 18 percent of the county living in poverty, homelessness is an issue.
“In my opinion as long as there is more than one we have a homeless problem in Alamance County,” said Kim Crawford, the Executive Director of Allied Churches.
Single moms and their kids are the fastest growing homeless group in America, according to Crawford. Janice Coble and her daughter Mae-Me are residents of Allied Churches. They checked into the homeless shelter at the beginning of February. Coble came to Alamance County from Arkansas to flee an abusive relationship. Weeks after arriving in North Carolina, Coble lost everything in a house fire. Those two incidents back to back forced her to turn to Allied Churches.
“Some people would be ashamed to say they stay at the shelter. I, like, jump up and down,” Coble said. “’I’m like, yes, I stay at the shelter. You can laugh at me if you want to.”
“I think the people that come through our front door are some of the bravest people I’ve ever met, because they actually have to come in and say hey I’ve got nothing,” Crawford said.
In 2014, Allied Churches housed 484 people. Today, there are 57 people staying at the shelter. Of the total residents, 24 percent are single moms with children. Residents at Allied Churches are required to actively look for jobs and stable housing. Coble recently got her social security card and is able to search for jobs.
“I have to do everything I can to ensure her [daughter] a good life,” Coble said.
Although Coble currently faces tough times, she has dreams for the future. She said wants to have a stable job and place to live and looks forward to the day when she can smile and say she made it.
Allied Churches houses residents for an average of 45 days. The shelter said the best way to help is to give money. To donate money or inquire about volunteer opportunities, call 336-229-0881.