With so much troubling, worrying and negative news stories, I thought I would start a new tradition of finding positive articles, stories, or anecdotes that I would share with you to start the week. This story was shared on The Good News Network (the link is attached at the end of the article). I have transcribed it here in case it gets removed by that webmaster at a future date.
The Nights Are Long
One North Carolina business owner is opening up his heart to the homeless by opening up his parking lot to people who may be living out of their cars.
James Charles is the manager of Kiplin’s Automotive Group in Charlotte, North Carolina. For about two months now, he has been encouraging people sleeping in their cars to use the company’s parking lot as a safe place to sleep at night.
Charles was first inspired to pursue his labor of love after his repossession team tried to take back a woman’s car back in January.
“The gentleman who was repossessing the car said, ‘We can’t take the car, there’s somebody living in the car,’” Charles told WBTV.
Running Out of Options
When he tried to get the woman into a homeless shelter, however, he was shocked to find that every shelter in the city was full. Although he paid for her to stay in a hotel for a few nights, he knew that there were other people suffering from the same dilemma.
“That was really the sign we took at that time and we realized, ‘You know what? This is something we need to be more involved in,’” he recalled.
Charles made a Facebook post back in January encouraging community members to spread the word about his initiative: “We would like to designate a safe place for those going through this tough time. We can’t put everyone in a hotel, but we can get you a safe place for the night,” wrote Charles. “We will provide a safe place to park at night. As this service to the community develops, we will look to help these families in other ways, but right now, a safe place is what we can offer.”
More People Join The Efforts
Since more and more people have shared his social media post, more and more people have donated hats, scarves, food, toiletries, and even a portable toilet for the parking lot. Not only that, about 20 different people have taken Charles up on his offer to park their cars overnight at the lot.
The influx of donations also inspired Charles to start his nonprofit, HALO Now, in order to raise money for the homeless people of Charlotte—and his GoFundMe campaign for the charity mission has raised more than $30,000.
“Any donations, no matter how small, will go towards helping homeless individuals and families who have fallen in between the cracks and need a helping hand,” reads the page. “One hand washes the other, two hands wash the face.”
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