Welcome Home program helps Greensboro homeless find housing, employment

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — More than 900 people in Greensboro go to sleep homeless. With that number increasing, the city decided to pair with the Center of Hope and workforce development to lower the numbers.

When most people arrive at the Center of Hope, they’re unsure of how long they’ll be there or even if they’ll be able to make it out. Now the Welcome Home program is giving people a chance to cut their visit short.

“Make sure that people are rapidly rehoused and enter the workforce ready to take on sustainability,” said Capt. Matt Hedger, of the Salvation Army.

The pilot program currently has 11 participants, who are receiving financial assistance to find housing and to develop skills so they can earn a steady income.

“It was real encouraging when I was introduced to the staff and started hearing how positive and things that they were doing for people who were in my situation,” said Leroy Nevius, a participant.

Nevius is the second person in the program to make the big leap with success.

“The staff kept encouraging me to be patient, be patient. You’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel, which I saw that light today and when I signed my lease I was really happy for the work that I put in,” Nevius said.

Nevius has worked since January and says the journey has been tough.

“It’s really difficult being a man and wanting to be successful and not having success in your life at some point,” he said.

Not only will he move into his new home on Monday, he’s also started taking courses that’ll help put him on the path to owning his own business. He hopes to have his own shuttle service.

“Also maybe give back to the community as well. Just like people have helped me, I’d like to help other people as well,” Nevius said.

He’s excited about this new life journey and that none of this would be possible without the constant support system behind him.

“They were always there to encourage and not look at someone like they were coming from a dark spot or homeless. They really respect you as a human being,” Nevius said.

The Center of Hope said that right now it’s starting small, but organizers would like to open the program up to even more people within the next few months.

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