Homelessness doesn’t always look like what you would typically think. Homelessness can happen to anyone at anytime, and the stigma around homelessness and financial struggle can be so negative that the person who is homeless could be standing right in front of you and you could never tell. You never know what people are going through and no one deserves to be without a roof over their head. This is why we must change the narrative around homelessness in the U.S.
Thanks to Lotus Campaign, we are beginning to see what a successful coalition to end homelessness in the U.S. looks like. Lotus Campaign pours its heart into two main initiatives. First, it serves as a connecter between non-profits who can help financially and identify those in need and landlords who have available units for those who are homeless. Secondly, it serves as an education service to the government and the private sector about the realities and stigmas of homelessness, economics of housing and innovative initiatives that are used to address the issue of homelessness.
Through its Landlord Participation Program, Lotus Campaign incentivizes landlords to rent out their vacant units to those in need by providing participation payments to landlords, covering application fees, and guaranteeing against loss of rent & damages. Once a person is in housing, Lotus’ partner organizations provide social services and job counseling necessary for them to begin to rebuild their lives. Since Lotus Campaign’s inception in 2018, 327 people have been housed, with 14 organizational partners who have helped house them. On average, it costs $788 a year to house one person, but it will continue to take a village to help and house more people.
“Lotus Campaign focuses on attracting housing providers, incentivizing them financially, and removing barriers to accepting renters who would not normally qualify for their units.” – Elizabeth Kurtz, Charlotte Family Housing Chief Housing Officer
Red Door Events is happy to be apart of Lotus Campaign, as founder and owner of RDE, Chef Samone Lett, has a hopeful story of homelessness of her own. She was able to share her story with Lotus Campaign during their first inaugural Homemakers event while treating participants to a cooking demonstration.
“So many didn’t know I was homeless because I didn’t fit the part or look it. I myself didn’t know I was homeless, someone had to tell me that I was homeless. I thought homelessness was the person on the street with the sign. I had no sign nor was I on the street but I moved from hotel to hotel until I ran out of money and luckily my last client, while praying was told to take me in because I was homeless. Can you imagine having to stay with your client?” – Chef Samone Lett
Chef Samone will be speaking at a fundraising event for Lotus Campaign at the end of September (more information coming soon). Consider donating or becoming a Homemaker for Lotus Campaign. If you do not have the means to donate, try sparking a conversation about homelessness and what resources are available and what still needs to be done for those who are homeless in your community.
Find out more about Lotus Campaign here.