Getting the snowball to roll… Carter Compassion Center picking up speed

Published 7:36 pm Monday, February 15, 2021

The development of a homeless center continues to move forward behind the work of the Homeless Task Force spearheaded by Pastor Brandon Young as the task force is preparing to follow through with the steps to fill out 501c3 non-profit paperwork so that fundraising can get underway for the proposed center.

During their recent meeting, Young laid a small blueprint of things that need to be accomplished to get the ball rolling for the center.

“The first thing we are going to have to do is to get our 501c3 non-profit status to establish an entity, board, form bylaws, and our vision statement.

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“We have to have the paperwork completed to allow churches to start giving. We need to get that paperwork filed and sent to the IRS so we become legitimate. Then we can start fundraising to possibly rent a space.”

Young asked Ricky Jones to share a logo that Jones had designed that represented a consolidated approach to compassion.

At this point, Young said the most critical thing is that churches, non-profits, governing bodies, and citizens can come together to form the center working together for the common goal noting that the hope is that the effort can be carried over to other surrounding counties to help take care of their homeless people.

The chairman also addressed the importance of starting small and not attaching the center to a church.

“We need to start something small with a physical address with our signs because we have to start somewhere,” Young said. “I prefer it not to be attached to a church because if it is hooked to a church, it hinders non-faith-based organizations from wanting to participate.”

Young further added that having a 501c3 would allow for the organization to begin accepting donations by setting up a bank account.

Board member and Carter County Commissioner Robert Acuff informed Young that the commission had already set aside an account for the homeless shelter should someone want to go ahead and begin making donations toward the center.

The next thing that Young is planning is a letter to be sent out or hand-delivered to all local church pastors to set up an information meeting to be held at Valley Forge Freewill Baptist Church with the blessing of Pastor Randy Johnson.

That meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 12, 2021, at 6 p.m. in the church sanctuary with masks and social distancing required.

“I want to meet with pastors to let them know what we are doing to see if they would be interested in helping us with either a donation or setting it up in their church budget,” stated Young. “I think that I can get a few churches on board with us.”

The task force will also be looking to do a publicity campaign by creating a commercial that can be aired on social media as well as other forms of media.

Acuff also recommended checking into the two local electronic billboards to find out the cost and number of flips as a way of being an eye-catcher to get people asking questions about the center.

Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby also mentioned that she would like to see the center assist in the mental health of teenagers as the numbers are rising and hopefully the center could become a resource for young adults to go and get some help.

Another group that was also discussed was veterans who currently are facing months-long wait at getting appointments for even a simple dental cleaning according to a veteran Young spoke with.

“The sky is the limit,” said Young. “We just need to start small and build up. We have got to get the snowball rolling and going down the hill.”

If non-profit organizations have any questions about how they can participate and offer their services through the center, they are encouraged to seek out Pastor Young, Mayor Woodby, Councilmen Robert Acuff or Thomas Profitt, or City Councilman Michael Simerly whom all are sitting members of the Homeless Task Force.