PROGRAMS & FOCUS AREAS
HOMELESSNESS & HOUSING
Our HUG volunteers work daily within the uptown area and outlying encampments to provide our shelterless neighbors with access to resources and supplies needed to survive.
We also work with City, County, and State services to ensure that targeted assistance is available regardless of circumstance or location to all those in need.
Each week, Hearts United for Good serves our community through our free Food Pantry program. This is a Covid-friendly, low-barrier drive-thru format that provides a full week of groceries for 100+ families every Wednesday night.
Our future goal is to soon add delivered grocery assistance for those unable to access transportation.
Animal Welfare is a cause that is incredibly close to our hearts. Advocating for humane conditions and providing food and veterinary assistance are huge components of our program.
In 2020, we partnered with the Humane Society of Charlotte to transition their Pets for Life initiative to our organization. Since then, HUG has built dozens of free fences to ensure that dogs living tethered or chained can live comfortably and running free within their very own large enclosure.
Our Veterans are often one of the most overlooked
populations in our community, navigating the struggles of homelessness, PTSD, disability, unemployment, and other challenges after completing their service.
By working closely with local Veteran focused agencies such as Veteran's Bridge, Veteran's Services of the Carolinas, and other organization, HUG aims to fill the gaps unserved by city, county, and state programming.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
One of our heavily concentrated efforts in 2022 is to address the effects, battles, and stigma of mental health issues. This is strongly cross-programmatic focus, playing a large role in homelessness and substance abuse.
Mental Health is an enormous and often overlooked factor . Some of the largest barriers in seeking treatment can be lack of transportation, financial means, insurance options, or ability to complete the process of assessment. HUG aims to be the bridge between the needs and the services, with a goal of having a licensed and accredited therapist on-site (2-3 says per week on a fixed schedule) to aid in assessments, de-escalation, referrals & reference resources, and general Mental Health support.
One of the greatest tools a non-profit can have is flexibility; It’s this capacity to pivot and mobilize on a moment’s notice that fuels our emerging needs program.
Whether it’s the ability to transform our multi-purpose area into an emergency shelter, raising immediate funds for a family in need of temporary hotel stay, providing last minute meals for local school children in an underfunded program, or countless other unexpected circumstances; HUG is always at the ready to not only anticipate the needs of our community, but to anticipate the solutions as well.
Our seniors comprise another underserved and rapidly growing population, and HUG has been partnering with local organizations such as Centralina, Roof Above, and more to maximize our impact in addressing the essential needs of our 60+ community.
There is currently ONE free transportation program in Charlotte to serve the 150,000 seniors that reside here; which is why the goal of HUG is to provide free transport to and from essential services such as healthcare appointments, employment, food assistance, and other forms of aid. Seniors are also at high risk to suffer from isolation and inactivity. This program will encourage social interaction, various 60+ focused activities, and visits to Senior Centers, etc to combat the negative effects of consistent solitude.
One of the many incredible components of the glue that holds our board together is our commitment and core belief in promoting and practicing both diversity and inclusion. We represent and serve all humans regardless of age, sex, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, and all other discriminatory categories.. Another main goal of HUG is to expand our reach and support of our local LGBTQ+ & Trans community through understanding, advocacy, and education.
HUG was honored to receive the Organization of the Year award from the LGBTQ Chamber of commerce in 2021, as well as the Dan Mauney Award from HRC in 2022. Additionally, HUGCLT's executive director, Bethany McDonald, also received the Community Icon Award from the LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce in 2022 as well.