Capital Campaign Awards Grants to Five Organizations

St. Peter’s Capital Campaign Outreach Funds Advisory Committee completed their work in late September to distribute $178,856.71 in capital campaign remaining funds to five local organizations: St. Peter’s Soup Kitchen at Urban Ministry Center, Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte, YWCA, Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and SABER at Urban Ministry Center. Established in April by the Vestry and co-convened by the Rector and Senior Warden, this 15-person committee was charged with discerning how surplus funds from the recent parish capital campaign, for restoration and renovation of the church, might be both managed and employed for the sole purposes of outreach and social justice ministries.

On behalf of the Vestry, the advisory committee began meeting in April 2016, under the leadership of The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, Rector, and Irma Hoffman, Senior Warden, to discuss how decisions about fund distribution would occur. Committee members, with diverse voices and perspectives, unanimously expressed preference for community needs that had a one-time cost and where our funds could make an immediate impact, rather than ongoing operating or program development costs. From May through July, committee members engaged with a variety of local non-profit organizations to understand how a one-time gift might support their mission. Those ideas were presented to the larger committee in late July, during which time the committee narrowed the potential projects and proposed follow-up questions for the non-profit organizations where necessary. At the committee’s final meeting in September, the decision was made to award the gift of surplus capital campaign funds to organizations based on based on where the most immediate, enduring impact would be made. Amounts given to each organization were determined by submitted project costs and committee members’ perspective on which organizations were less likely to receive funds from other sources.

The committee’s final allocations of the surplus capital campaign funds were as follows:

1. St. Peter’s Soup Kitchen at Urban Ministry Center: $20,052.90
These funds were used to purchase a new tilting skillet for the St. Peters Soup Kitchen. This allocation was made in mid-July 2016 as the previous tilting skillet, used daily by soup kitchen staff and volunteers, had become undependable and in need of regular significant maintenance and repairs. This one-time gift was made earlier than others given the urgency of the request, and our parish’s historical connection to the soup kitchen, which was started in the basement of St. Peters in 1979 and moved to its current location in 1994.

2. Galilee Ministries of East Charlotte: $63,803.81
Funds will be used to offset HVAC system upgrades in the currently unused worship space, thus creating an additional 5,000 square feet of space for refugee programming and worship (currently, the former parish hall building is the main space used by various program staff and refugee visitors). The “Galilee Center” uses the propery of the former St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Central Avenue, is sponsored by the Diocese of North Carolina, and supported by a variety of community resources. Through partnerships, the Center provides various services to refugee families including language classes, citizenship classes, a community garden, kitchen, childcare, and houses Loaves & Fishes, Catholic Charities, and CPCC ESL teachers. The committee felt strongly about supporting Galilee Ministries given their important work with the growing Charlotte refugee community and their status as a mission of the diocese.

3. YWCA: $40,000
Funds will be used to offset expenses for capital improvements in Women in Transition housing spaces including new shower and toilet partitions, shower resealing, painting of door frames, and stripping and waxing of floors. The YWCA provides various wrap-around services to move women struggling with homelessness into a more stable setting through their Women in Transition and Families Together programs. In the Women in Transition program for single women, participants live in a dormitory-style; in the Families Together program, family participants live in a townhouse. Given the proven success of these programs in enabling women and children to move to stable housing settings and the immediate impact of capital improvements, the committee chose to offer support.

4. Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg: $30,000
Funds will be used to fund half the salary of a one-year Street Outreach Worker with the Housing First initiative. Housing First seeks to give stability to those struggling with chronic homelessness; no prerequisite is required to receive housing through the program. Research shows that while the chronically homeless make-up only about 10% of the overall homeless population, they utilize 50% of homeless resources. By ending chronic homelessness, the entire homeless service system experiences increased efficiency. The committee felt strongly about offering support given the transformative nature of the community-wide endeavor to end chronic homelessness by December 31, 2016, and St. Peter’s desire to be a part of such work.

5. SABER at Urban Ministry Center: $25,000
Funds will be used to update the Toxicology Testing Lab at the Urban Ministry Center, which will be used by the SABER program (previously testing samples had to be walked down the hall to a non-laboratory sink). SABER (Substance Abuse Education and Recovery) was started in 2006 and combines therapy and life-changing skills with the guarantee of free housing for nine months as long as the person stays drug and alcohol free. The program achieves a 58% success rate after nine months compared with a 20% success rate for similar treatment programs. The committee chose to support this work given the proven value and success of the program, and the ability to create a visible, immediate impact through the development of a proper drug testing space.

The Capital Campaign Outreach Funds Advisory Committee is grateful for the opportunity to serve the parish in this way, and look forward to seeing the power of our faith community’s generosity to support some of the most vulnerable populations in Charlotte.

St. Peter’s Parish Vision includes becoming bold followers of Jesus, effecting good change for the world, and becoming a beacon of hope. We appreciate all contributions made to the recent capital campaign, and campaign guidelines that included the understanding that we would reach beyond our parish doors in significant financial ways once a majority of campaign monies had been collected. If you have questions about our process and awards, please contact either Irma Hoffman or the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher

Respectfully submitted,

Capital Campaign Outreach Funds Advisory Committee
Irma Hoffman, Senior Warden & Co-Convener
The Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, Rector & Co-Convener
Steve Bentley, Capital Campaign Committee Member
John Budall
Sydney Burgess
Sue Coonen
Linda Gallehugh
Patricia Massey Hoke
Josh Meloy
Thayer Moeller
Bill Williamson, Capital Campaign Committee Co-Chair
Des Keller, Vestry Coordinator for Outreach
Bert Miano, Vestry Coordinator for Social Justice
Paul Keller, Ex-Officio, Junior Warden
Dave Lavoie, Ex-Officio, Treasurer