James Charles, was a manager at Kiplin Automotive Group in Charlotte, N.C. in 2015. But that didn’t stop him from finding himself homeless for a time. He and his family were suddenly put on the street when the owners of the home they were renting decided to sell without telling them. Charles, his wife and their six children were mostly living out of hotels, and came close to crashing at the dealerships as well when hotels were booked.
“It was a tough time, a tough experience,” said Charles, it changed him, and inspired him to help others in a similar situation. Now, Charles is the owner of the dealership, and when he found out this past winter that shelters were full and people were sleeping in their cars; his dealership decided to do something.
On January 23rd he wrote a message to Charlotte’s homeless population on Kiplin’s Facebook page. It told them there was a safe place for them to come and park.
“It’s not news that people are sleeping in their cars at night. Searching for a safe place to park free from disturbance, trespassing, harassment or worse. Homelessness in the city is on the rise. We have been praying and asking God what to do with some extra space we have had for years,” he wrote in the post.
“We know that some families are struggling and in a tough situation … whole families sleeping in the car.” He continued “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,” he wrote.
Not only did he open up parking spaces on the dealerships lot for homeless families to park their cars. Charles and his family have also founded their own nonprofit called HALO NOW, and set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the folks who come through in need of resources, such as security deposits on new rentals to help those people find homes.
The safe spaces effort at the dealership would be enough to make this your Good News Story of the Day, which you can find here, but the over $30,000 raised to continue to assist these families makes it even better. And according to the story they’re also receiving unsolicited donations of warm clothing, blankets and even a port-a-potty.
Homelessness can hit anyone at any time, often unexpectedly, and seeing how this community is reaching out to help their own? It’s just beautiful.
Story and Image from CNN.