It’s a sad reality and it’s happening across the country: homelessness.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s most recent Homeless Assessment Report, more than 326,000 people experienced sheltered homelessness in the United States on a single night in 2021.
It’s a disturbing statistic but is actually a decrease of eight percent from 2020, according to HUD Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “We know that homelessness in America remains an urgent crisis.”
Especially since this number doesn’t include unsheltered counts, “couch surfers,” or those in hospitals or jails.
But homelessness is not just a crisis in large urban centers on both coasts – it plagues small towns and communities throughout the country. And it becomes even more of a challenge during the winter season. Cold temperatures can be dangerous and the increased need for shelter is a challenge for the organizations who support that population.
As part of Regions Bank’s community engagement strategy, the bank and Regions Foundation have supported community organizations with grants and donations, and also through strategic financial solutions.
Regions recently facilitated a successful $750,000 application to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB) for the Jimmie Hale Mission in Birmingham, Alabama. Regions is a member bank of the FHLB of Atlanta and routinely participates in their Affordable Housing Program (AHP), which provides resources that assist with economic development initiatives.
The Jimmie Hale Mission is a nonprofit organization founded in 1944 as a transformation center for homeless men. The organization provides recovery programs, education remediation and job readiness. The FHLB AHP award will help fund a major rehabilitation of the Mission’s 100-bed facility.
Paul Carruthers, Birmingham community development manager for Regions Bank, said, “I’m pleased the Regions-sponsored application to the FHLB’s Affordable Housing Program was successful and we’re happy to be managing this funding for the Jimmie Hale Mission – an important, longtime community partner.”
The relationship was also praised by Perryn Carroll, executive director of the Jimmie Hale Mission. “This funding, enabled by Regions, will allow us to continue to serve the homeless community in downtown Birmingham. With enhanced capability to provide shelter, recovery programs as well as literacy and employment readiness programs, our goal is to help these clients become self-sufficient citizens again.”
The Jimmie Hale Mission support is just the latest example of recent efforts from Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation to provide shelter and services to the homeless community in the markets we serve. Other organizations include:
- Mobile Loaves & Fishes provides food, clothing and dignity to homeless neighbors in Austin, Texas and has received support from Regions Bank.
- The Community First! Village in Austin, a development of Mobile Loaves & Fishes and another recipient of Regions Bank support, provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness.
- The Way Station in Birmingham meets the unique needs of young people ages 18 to 24 experiencing or at risk for homelessness – with help from Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation.
- Promise House is a Dallas nonprofit dedicated to providing critical services to homeless and at-risk youth by empowering them with the tools and resources to achieve self-sufficiency and live independently. The Regions Foundation recently provided a grant to help with those efforts.
- The Montrose Center in Houston delivers wellness programs, community outreach, social and recreational activities, housing and rehousing, and more for members of the LGBTQ+ community – from youth to seniors. Regions Bank recently contributed a financial gift to support their programs.
- Regions Bank provides financial support to the Gateway Center, a homeless service center in Atlanta, and hosts a coat drive each winter.
- Freedom’s Path at Dublin in Dublin, Georgia, was recently redeveloped, with financing by Regions Affordable Housing, to help curb homelessness among veterans.
- For 35 years, Housing Action Illinois has led the movement to protect and expand the availability of quality, affordable housing throughout the state. Regions Bank announced a donation in September to support their initiatives.
- Firehouse Ministries Homeless Shelter in Birmingham provides a safe refuge and a fresh start for those in need. The Regions Foundation provided a grant to support the construction of their new facility.
- With support from Regions Bank, DOORWAYS offers six platforms of housing services and remains the only St. Louis agency dedicated to HIV housing and supportive services.
- Our House in Little Rock empowers homeless and near-homeless families and individuals in central Arkansas, with support from Regions Bank.
- Regions Bank supports two Raleigh, North Carolina, organizations that provide assistance for the homeless community, CASA and Passage Home.
While causes and solutions continue to be debated, supporting community-based organizations aimed at helping those facing homelessness is one way Regions is working to make life better.