How the coronavirus outbreak has affected those we serve and how we continue to address those needs
The pandemic created a new demographic of houseless and unemployed persons within the City and County. In addition to this group, we also noticed an increase of the current houseless population who were unable to access already stressed services, both private and governmental. In response, we created and expanded programs within our own service offerings.
Food insecurity prompted by school closures and supply chain deficiency prompted us to begin a daily hot meal program dubbed “Lunch is on Us”, serving over 400 youth and unemployed individuals daily since March of 2020. In late summer 2021, we are launching another similar initiative aimed to feed 600+ youth at six local at-risk locations as part of our Daily Summer Feeding program; another committed focus area intended to ensure food security while schools are out of session.
HB1 also established a free, Covid-safe Food Pantry for anyone in need during the Fall of 2020, which continues to serve 200+ families each week in low barrier, drive through format at our South End location.
Additionally, we hit the ground running with our van packed full of supplies, and began daily outreach to the ever-growing Tent City encampments - serving our neighbors tent by tent each and every day.
When the North End encampment needed to be evacuated, we were one of a handful of dedicated agencies that spearheaded and orchestrated the move and relocation to hotels. Today, HB1 continues to staff and serve 150+ guests at the hotel 24/7; all while continuing to focus on housing options, employment assistance, and numerous other services to help guide our houseless brothers and sisters in their path toward independent and sustainable living.
How the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted our business model and/or budget.
In addition to our expanded meal and food programs, we also shifted to provide support for those in the tent encampments. We pivoted to offer daily outreach services at encampments providing meals, clothing, tents, and other essential items to those in need. In February, we were on site to directly assist the relocation to the designated hotels. We increased our number of volunteers and staff to oversee the encampment hotel, as well as creating an onboarding process and administrative team to ensure efficiency and provide more capacity for support. We still continue our outreach trips throughout developing encampments in Mecklenburg County; supplying tents, tarps, ice, food & drinks, flashlights, batteries, clothes, and numerous other items still needed by our currently unsheltered community.
Lunch is on Us Program (April 2020-Present) 55,000+ hot meals provided
Food Pantry (March 2020-Present) 15,540+ families assisted with groceries in a low barrier drive thru format
Daily Encampment Support for Food Sustainability and Heat Relief (April 2020-November 2020) over 100,000+ lbs of ice provided
Homeless Encampment Outreach (March 2020-Present) 120+ assisted and supported daily
Encampment Relocation (April 2021-Present) Staff Hotel for 200+ guests
Our response to COVID 19 resulted in partnerships, education, and ongoing efforts searching to fill gaps in available service offerings
Hearts Beat As One works daily to ensure that we are offering the most efficient services while identifying gaps currently unserved or underserved. In this effort, we established partnerships with other services agencies, municipalities, and organizations in order to maximize our reach and minimize duplication.
Hearts Beat as One is proud to be a partner agency in the 2025 Homeless and Housing Strategy initiative, as well as the newly formed Mecklenburg County Homeless Outreach Council.
What results are we committed to achieving?
Serving houseless neighbors seeking employment by providing temporary housing, clothing, interview and resume assistance, and connecting with capable agencies and partners for additional services.
Ensuring that our neighbors are in stable housing, seeking or securing jobs, as well as providing low barrier options and focusing on marginalized and minority communities.
Providing or enabling transportation for those employed or for medical or other essential needs.
Providing or enabling mental health and/or medical services
Expansion of our Employment Enablement and Transportation Assistance program. After observing a major gap in transportation options for individuals that require transportation outside of public transit offerings, We hope to offer passenger van transport during 2nd and 3rd shift hours as well as expand ride share options (when available)
Expanding our food pantry services by providing healthy meals and food to families across seven identified high-risk geographic areas in Charlotte.
Special thanks to the following sponsors who have helped make the work of Hearts Beat As One possible in the past year!
Special thanks to the following supporters who have helped ensure the continued operation of our Food Pantry and other specific operations!
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Donation Address PO Box 18232 Charlotte, NC 28218
Physical Address 3520 Dewitt Lane, Suite 102 Charlotte, NC 28217