Mon, May 20, 2024

Business donations make a difference

Editor’s note: I was the Development Director for 5 years at a homeless shelter. During that time, we helped hundreds of men and women with food, clothing, and employment opportunities. Not once did anyone prefer to be homeless, they all wanted to become productive members of the community.

It’s a dirty subject that some might like swept under a rug, but homelessness is a reality in Augusta and cities on both sides of the river. The face of the homeless population isn’t what you might think. Yes, there are homeless men and women, some are old, some are middle-aged down on their luck, but more than a third of the population are students, according to the Richmond and Aiken County School Districts. That doesn’t count homeless students enrolled at CSRA colleges and universities.

Sam Leverette, owner of Brighter Side Roofing, has a deeper understanding than most about the challenges of being homeless, especially at a young age. As he explains on his website video, “I was a high school dropout at 16 and started a business out of necessity.”

Leverette’s way of giving back was to help Compass for Hope, an organization dedicated to helping the homeless with laundry trailers, mobile shower trailers, clothing, and toiletries. His donation supports a new laundry trailer for the homeless community.

The homeless population faces significant barriers to self-care and personal hygiene, including a lack of access to clean showers, laundry machines, and handwashing facilities. Having that access can help get jobs. After all, you rarely get a second chance to make a good first impression.

Compass for Hope considered the donation from Brighter Side Roofing a blessing. There are more business blessings for the organization, including a raffle from Recteq and consistent support from Taqueria El Rey.

The tiny home story that ABD’s Dana Lynn McIntyre reported brings another message of hope for the homeless population from the Bridge Builder Communities.

“The goal is to provide young adults with a chance of a better outcome than the one shown in current statistics. According to Bridge Builder Community, 50% of teens aging out of foster care are homeless within six months, only 53% graduate high school, 71% of women in foster care become pregnant by age 21, and 25% of former foster children go to prison within two years after aging out.”

Just one more reason to be the solution.

Editor’s Note:
Mitzi Oxford is a veteran broadcaster and features writer who also worked at the same television station in Columbus, Georgia as Augusta’s Brad Means! If you have a South Carolina story idea for Mitzi, please email her at mitzioxfordcreative@gmail.com.

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