From homeless to hopeful, Charlotte man begins new journey

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“Once I finish barber school and get started, I want to come back to the shelter to help,” Randy Gibbs said. 

Things have finally turned around for Gibbs, who is a former resident of the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte.

Gibbs is now housed and excited for his new life ahead of him.

Last year, Gibb’s life was a lot different. His family relationships were lost, and he was experiencing homelessness for the third time in a few years.

Gibbs’s first experience with homelessness occurred early in his adulthood. He lived with his mom until their relationship became strained. Gibbs left her house to live on his own, but with very little resources and no support network, he found himself experiencing homelessness and turned to the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte.

The Men’s Shelter of Charlotte hopes to provide safe emergency shelter while working to end homelessness for each man and to serve as the catalyst for systemic change to end homelessness in our community.

“I’ve been homeless a few times,” says Gibbs, as he recalled living on the streets as well as in the shelter.

During his experiences, Gibbs struggled with mental illness.

Gibbs’s last visit to the shelter resulted in him being connected with needed resources and obtaining income through disability, as his mental illness was formally diagnosed. Through the shelter’s re-housing program, he received help to move into housing, which included a year’s rental subsidy to help him gain better financial footing.

One of our shelter’s staff continues to follow-up with Gibbs to monitor and encourage his progress. He has since enrolled in barber school and is looking to supplement his income once he’s graduated.

Because of Gibbs’s commitment, he was chosen for a small scholarship. The scholarship was made available from a donor to the shelter whose late husband was on the board of the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte.

Since being housed, Gibbs has re-united with his mother, who recently fell ill, and repaired relationships with family members.

Gibbs now plans to move in with his sister as he continues rebuilding his life, caring for his mother and pursuing his dream of becoming a barber.

If you have an inspiring story to share, please email Kevin Campbell, community affairs manager for WSOC-TV, at kevin.campbell@wsoctv.com

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