Operation Housing Our Neighbors

The focus of our mission to offer food, shelter, and a future to neighbors in need is always the heart of what we do, but “how” we do that work is just as important. That’s why collaboration is one of our core values. We choose to do this work “with” the community. The current challenge we face and the opportunities it presents is no different.

The Challenge:

The contract for housing the homeless at the RTP Marriott in Durham ends on July 9th. Individual hotel rooms helped keep homeless neighbors COVID-free, but now that it is time to return to UMD, we need to find immediate housing arrangements for 50-60 people. For public health safety, we must cut our 149 person bed list in half. With unemployment at an all-time-high and rising, and evictions looming, more individuals and families will need UMD’s services.

The Opportunities:

To have the greatest impact during our community’s time of need, we need your help to identify and provide housing assistance so that UMD can meet demand while keeping everyone as safe as possible.

This is a tall order. The good news is there are a number of pathways for you to help. We recognize that everyone has been impacted by COVID-19 and it could make you feel like you don’t have much to give. But fear not! If we work together with whatever resources we can bring to the table, we can rise to this challenge! Your role is important! And your contributions are crucial investments in our shared humanity and our shared community by keeping people off the streets during a pandemic and bringing economic stability to our city.

Pick a Pathway:

  • Donate airbeds, mattresses, and linens to UMD. People need shelter, but they also need a bed—especially when the housing process needs to go at warp speed.

 

  • Open your doors. Do you have a rental property or another space that can be made available for either temporary or permanent housing? Or can you help us make the connection with someone who does have these resources? Housing does not have to be local.

 

  • Contribute to Project ROOF (Removing Obstacles to Occupancy Funds). These funds will be used to assist with rental deposits, first month’s rent, utility hook-ups, transportation to identified housing, and other needs directly tied to housing homeless people as quickly as possible.

The Details:

Bestow-A-Bed:

Items can be new or gently used. Sizes: Twin and Full. Drop off at the lobby of 410 Liberty Street under the purple awning (M-F, 10am-4pm).

These items are also listed on our Amazon Wishlist for quick order and delivery.

For questions about donations, contact Viki Baker at (919) 682-0538 ext. 125 or vbaker@umdurham.org.

Supply Shelter:

If you are interested in providing shelter, please contact our Clinical Director, Valerie Haywood by calling or texting her at 919-459-7220 (preferred) or send her an email at vhaywood@umdurham.org.

We are open to discussing a variety of options with you to best fit what you are able to offer and our clients’ needs. However, we are hoping to provide short-term 6-12 months emergency housing opportunities or leases, with hopes that some leases could result in permanent housing.

If you hope to provide a rental opportunity, the majority of our clients will need rental units around $600 or less per person. Our case managers can help identify rent arrangements that succeed for both you and the client.

Raise Revenue for ROOF:

Make a gift online and put “ROOF” in the dedication or send a check to UMD at P.O. Box 249, Durham, NC 27702 with memo line “ROOF.”

You can also think creatively on how to work with friends, family and your fellowship groups to raise money as a team social-distance style.

For questions about donations, contact Joe Daly at (919) 682-0538 ext. 135 or send an email to jdaly@umdurham.org.

Does one of these opportunities strike a chord with you? That’s great! Remember, you are a very important part of the team here at UMD. Let’s do this!