This past year the Watauga Crisis Assistance Network (WeCAN) observed its eleventh year of helping community neighbors in crisis. Conceived, organized and funded by the faith community in 2002, WeCAN serves as a clearing house of benevolence assistance and crisis services for Watauga County residents.
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Our Emergency Shelter is comprised of two male dorms and two female dorms that house a total of 24 residents with a potential for eight overflow beds. The dedicated service coordinator counsels each client, evaluating their homeless situation, guiding them through the steps to begin rebuilding their lives while providing the structure of accountability they need to be successful.
For those in the community who may not qualify or want to stay in a shelter, Hospitality House offers three daily meals, showers and laundry facilities, providing a stepping stone toward the foundation for a hopeful future.
Transitional & Family Housing
This program houses space for 29 residents in either family quarters or single room efficiencies. The dedicated service coordinator guides residents along the path to employment, sustainable housing and goal-setting through motivation, accountability and the building of life skills. Last year 82% of our residents exited this program with income and housing.
We pride ourselves on being a family-first transitional living facility by keeping the family unit intact regardless of economic circumstances. The need for family housing is on the rise with up to 20% of our residents under age 12.
Because of the increased need for families and children we have implemented an afterschool program, visual arts program, reading program, Kid's birthday parties and movie night
Permanent Supportive Housing
Self-reliance is a life goal, benchmark and measure of success for anyone transitioning out of homelessness. The Permanent Supportive Housing Program includes nine residences at the Hospitality House and the eight unit Rock Haven Independent Living Facility. This program provides the structure and sense of community while the residents contribute to the rent and sustainability of the facilities. The majority of residents identify as permanently disabled and having the ability to live independently in-and-of-itself is a victory
Bread of Life Community Kitchen
Three meals a day are provided to all residents and any community members in poverty and need. The meals are managed by our food service coordinator and prepared by churches, civic organizations, and volunteers.
Our kitchen is stocked primarily (95%) through donations from community food drives, individual donors, Feeding America, Food Lion in Blowing Rock and Earth Fare in Boone. Currently we are averaging 10,500+ meals a month served.
Meals are available at the following times:
- Breakfast: 6:30 - 8:30
- Lunch: 11:30 - 1:00
- Dinner: 5:30 - 6:30
Food Box Program
Stocked with food from the Second Harvest Food Bank, a division of the Feeding America Program, our program is available to those in the community who qualify for low-income assistance.
The need for this program has nearly tripled in size in one-year with more of our community becoming unemployed or under-employed. Twenty-five percent of our region lives in poverty with another fifteen percent unable to earn a living wage.
Food boxes are available from 9 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 4 p.m. everyday.
WeCAN - Watauga Crisis Assistance Network
Every day people in our community face eviction, utility cutoffs, heating fuel shortage and prescription medication needs. Since 2002, Watauga Crisis Assistance Network (WeCAN) has been providing help to community members who find themselves in these situations. Often, such assistance ultimately prevents an individual from becoming homeless.
The program coordinator provides guidance and helps the client create a plan for overcoming recurrent situations through information and referrals. Clients served by the program are also offered follow up counseling to help them achieve stability.
The need for crisis assistance is growing each day. WeCAN continues to see significant increases in the demand for services, especially homelessness prevention. The program relies on donations from faith communities, civic groups and individuals with 100 percent of donations funding crisis situations. . In 2011, WeCAN provided or arranged for over $225,000 in assistance.
Operation Round-up is an optional program for BREMCO (Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp.) members to round their bill up to the next full dollar. This change then gets put into the Operation Round-up fund and is used to assist local households in danger of cut-off. This program targets households with a cut-off notice and has a member that is either elderly, six years-old and younger or has a disability.
Good Neighbor Round Up
Small change can add up and help transform lives! Through this New River Light & Power voluntary program, all money donated/received will go towards providing financial assistance through the Hospitality House of Boone for those in the NRLP service area that need help with their electric bills. Your donation can make a real difference for someone such as an elderly resident, a struggling family, or perhaps someone with unexpected medical bills or a job layoff. With your assistance, neighbors will be helping neighbors keep the basic service of electricity flowing