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High Point Community Foundation steps in to help local homeless shelter after COVID-19 restrictions

Community

HIGH POINT, N.C. — A lot of work happens inside Leslie’s House of West End Ministries in High Point.

“We will see women that will come here because they’ve lost everything,” said Brad Bowers, Executive Director of West End Ministries. “Maybe they’ve lost their jobs and it’s been a domino effect. A lot of times they will lose everything else.”

Leslie’s House is a homeless shelter for women over the age of 18 without dependents. But like everything else in life right now, things are different at the shelter because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Leslie’s House is a 22-bed shelter, but right now it’s only a 14-bed shelter because we had to cut down the bed size because of social distancing,” said Bowers.

Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, Bowers said the shelter also had to eliminate volunteers and hire more staff, which they did with the help of the High Point Community Foundation. 

Brad Bowers, executive director of West End Ministries, says “We used to have one Case Manager that would work with the women to try to get them back on their feet. Now we are cross-training all of our staff to help with case management and we’ve hired an extra Case Manager who can work with the women so their stay is not as long with us and we can move them into permanent housing even faster.”

The High Point Community Foundation also helped purchase computers for Leslie’s House so the women wouldn’t have to rely on the public library to research job and apartment opportunities. Leslie’s House also plans to use some of the money it received from The Foundation to purchase a washer and dryer so the women staying in the shelter don’t need to depend on laundromats.

“We cry with the women when they come here, we cry with them when they are going through their struggles, but when they get to the finish line and they’re ready to move out, we celebrate with them as well,” said Bowers. “It’s very rewarding.”

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