Feb. 22, 2013. The numbers are in and it’s both good news and bad for the Hospitality House. Demand for services stayed on the rise during 2012 with 20 percent more people seeking food, shelter and crisis assistance than the previous year; however, that increased demand was met with record success.
Hospitality House exited 89 percent of their Transitional Housing clients and 74 percent of their Emergency Shelter clients into housing. Unfortunately, the demand was also met with reduced or delayed federal, state and local government funding.
Due to program reorganization and government bureaucracy the North Carolina Emergency Solutions Grant and the Housing and Urban Development Emergency Food and Shelter Program funding have been delayed since August 2012. “It truly is amazing what our staff has been able to accomplish in the face of constantly arising challenges,” states Hospitality House executive director Lynne Mason. “While only 20% of our $1.2 million dollar annual budget comes from federal and state grants, the prolonged delay in receiving these funds has necessitated dipping into and ultimately depleting our reserves.”
Even in the best of times, Hospitality House is tasked with raising $40,000 in community contributions every month to provide the life-changing programs that benefit the High Country. Last year, the average cost per night for food, shelter and supportive services was $32 per person. Based on these latest numbers, Hospitality House is launching “The 500 Club,” seeking 500 donors to give $32 a month for twelve months.
“It’s in times like these that we really need our neighbors and local community members to step-in and help to fill the funding gap,” says Hospitality House director of development Todd Carter. “Although our donor base is larger than ever, the economic downturn continues to take a toll as the average business, civic and individual contribution amount declined by 25 percent last year.”
Anyone wishing to join “The 500 Club” can do so online at www.hospitalityhouseofboone.org or call Todd Carter at 828.264.1237 ext. 107.