Dignity During Crisis
For 45 years, Burke United Christian Ministries (BUCM) has served as a “one-stop-shop” for people experiencing homelessness and living in poverty in Burke County. Families can address multiple needs with BUCM staff, including hunger relief, crisis assistance, and clothing assistance.
An IMPACT Grant from WNC Bridge Foundation helped BUCM divert 54 families from becoming homeless or displaced from their homes. Other highlights from the grant cycle include the organization providing over 43,000 meals in its soup kitchen, helping 17 participants commit to making changes in nutritional eating habits, and connecting 72 individuals to new services or supports.
A client who received services from BUCM shared that when she first contacted the organization, she had little hope that they would be able to assist and was completely humbled by her experience.
“I spoke with Joan, a social worker at BUCM, and she spent a good deal of time on the phone with me collecting information about our current situation. Patiently, Joan worked to gather details while speaking to me with respect and understanding. Actually, dignity might be a better word to describe my experience, given the awkwardness I felt in having to ask for help. Joan and BUCM couldn’t have possibly treated me better.
After a few more conversations, Joan shared BUCM would be using grant money to help my family with our utilities. Thanks to BUCM, a financial burden has been resolved, and an emotional weight has been lifted.”