Shelters to Shutters Event Addresses the Rise of Situational Homelessness as a Result of COVID-19
Shelters to Shutters (S2S), a national nonprofit that offers those experiencing homelessness a hand-up through employment and housing opportunities, raised $235,000 dollars at their first ever virtual gala hosted on Friday, October 23, 2020. The funds raised will support the program and the increased need for individuals and families adversely affected by COVID-19 seeking employment and housing assistance.
The event was hosted by the organization’s City Advisory Boards of Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Nashville and Washington, D.C., and emceed by FOX5 D.C. News Anchor Angie Goff.
The evening kicked off with stories of resilience and transformation shared by S2S program participants who have received full time employment, affordable housing, and housewares and furniture for their new beginnings.
The live program also honored IRT Management as the Shelters to Shutters 2020 Industry Partner of the Year and CORT as the Shelters to Shutters 2020 Program Partner of the Year.
"The power of private industry partnerships is really what sets our program apart and makes it so successful for the individuals and families that we serve. We work with over forty industry partners and over one hundred program partners. IRT Management and CORT have gone above and beyond this year to embrace our mission company wide, rally around the individuals and families we serve and support the S2S staff and vision,” said Andy Helmer, CEO of Shelters to Shutters.
S2S partners with apartment management companies – including IRT Management – to place people experiencing homelessness in onsite, entry-level jobs, and provide them with housing at the same communities where they work. S2S provides each participant with case management and support services to ensure a successful long-term transition. S2S works with multiple homeless-focused non-profits to identify suitable job applicants, changing the lives of individuals and families and providing quality, motivated employees for a rapidly growing industry in need of talent.
“We are honored to participate in the S2S Program and appreciate Shelters to Shutters’ recognition of our company’s involvement in this important effort,” said Scott Schaeffer, Chairman and CEO of IRT. “Our team is dedicated to supporting organizations which fight against poverty and homelessness and remains focused on giving back to our communities.”
CORT, a Berkshire Hathaway Company and leading global furniture rental company, leverages its national presence to provide every S2S participant with an Essentials Houseware Kit, as well as requested furniture items, for their home. The essentials provided are designed to ease the transition from shelter housing to stable independent living with such items as furniture, bedding, cookware and linens.
“These houseware items and furniture truly help transform a house into a home and create a space where individuals and families can thrive and find peace of mind as they focus on their new career. At CORT, we believe that everyone deserves a home that is permanent, safe and secure,” said Jeff Pederson, President and Chief Executive Officer at CORT. “Shelters to Shutters is propelling the multifamily housing industry forward in a meaningful way, and we are proud to support their exemplary efforts to address situational homelessness in these uncertain times.”
Eighty-three percent of the homeless population are situationally homeless due to a life-altering event such as job loss, medical or health emergency, divorce, domestic abuse or the loss of a primary income earner. This is the population that S2S serves. COVID-19 has the potential to wipe out all gains made in the past 10 years towards reducing homelessness in the U.S. S2S serves people who want to work and return to a life of self-sufficiency, but may not receive the necessary governmental support services.
Since its founding in 2014, S2S and its multifamily partners have assisted individuals and families out of homelessness in markets throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northeast, South and Texas.