Help Hub- Mid-Year Update
By Bill Bivins
St. James Parish Rep., Help Hub Advisory Council
The Help Hub is one of the major outreach ministries supported by St. James Parish. As one of the three founding member churches, St. James has contributed financial and volunteer support since 2015; and parishioner Sonja McFarland serves as the director. Located at the Harrelson Center along with other non-profit partners, the Help Hub provides emergency financial assistance to those in need, as well as referrals to other community resources.
In the 2nd quarter of 2023, the Help Hub provided $74,000 in assistance to more than 400 households, covering emergency needs for assistance with rent, utilities (power, gas and water), transportation, medical, and other needs. As an example of the broad-based assistance that the Help Hub can provide or arrange for those in need, one of the families helped this quarter included a grandmother and two grandchildren. The crisis arose when the grandmother had to take custody of her two grandchildren, requiring time off from her job at Harris-Teeter to rearrange her home, register the children for summer day care and camps, apply for food stamps, and find clothing for the children. The Help Hub provided assistance with the monthly power bill. St. James volunteer Harper Fraser referred the grandmother to the YWCA’s Grandparents Network for support and resources, arranged to find clothing for the grandchildren, then accompanied by her own granddaughter, took the clothing to the family in need.
There have been several new developments at the Harrelson Center which enhance the collaborations available to the Help Hub. The Salvation Army staff offices have recently relocated to the 3rd floor of the Harrelson Center, helping with rent and utilities. Two days of the week, the Salvation Army also offers groceries, bagged lunches, household supplies and clothing. Life skills classes are hosted in coordination with the Cape Fear Community College. The Kairos Center, another Harrelson Center partner, offers “Money Matters” classes to help people eliminate debt, restore credit, and accumulate savings. The Kairos Center sponsors Kingdom Cars LLC, led by Warren Evans, which provides quality vehicles at affordable prices to people in need. The Help Hub is now able to provide reimbursable car repair assistance through the HOP Program. To assist with healthcare issues, a new Healthcare Navigator has been appointed. Sharon Davis is an LPN with Community Care of the Lower Cape Fear and is available to assist Help Hub clients. Sharon’s knowledge and experience are invaluable in assisting Help Hub clients struggling to afford adequate health care.
Upcoming events at the Harrelson Center include the 7th Annual Harrelson Center Golf Tournament at 10 am on Monday, September 18 at Magnolia Greens Golf Club. Registration is now open, and you can arrange foursomes and tournament sponsorship by contacting Lindsay Prickett at the Harrelson Center, phone: 910-343-8212.
Tours of the Harrelson Center are available every 1st Tuesday and 3rd Thursday, or other times by appointment. To arrange a tour, call Christy Aley at 910-343-8212.
The support of our donor groups--including churches and other faith organizations, non-profit organizations and foundations, businesses, and individuals--has been essential to the mission and ministry of the Help Hub. Everyone is invited to participate in the ministry of the Help Hub.
For more information, to make donations, or to access the volunteer interest form, please visit the Help Hub at harrelsoncenter.org/help-hub.