From Congo to Charlotte, a nurse’s vision to help the homeless

From Congo to Charlotte, a nurse’s vision to help the homeless

In 1997, Matala Kubuanu and his parents fled the Democratic Republic of Congo in search of a better life in the United States. As a teenager in the DRC, he witnessed countless deaths of children and adults.

When Kubuanu received an invitation to pursue his education in America, he saw it as an opportunity to create a platform to improve education, restore hope, and eliminate disparities in Congo.

Kubuanu attended CPCC, followed by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he received his bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2007.

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“I was going to get my education and return to my country,” he said.

“After seeing the need here, I switched my plan. I saw there was just as much need to help here as there was in the Congo. Help was needed here big time.”


In 2008, he began working as a nurse for Carolinas HealthCare System, now Atrium Health, and has been there ever since.

For most nurses, the 10- to 12-hour shifts at a hospital are enough. Even more so as the coronavirus takes a serious toll on doctors, nurses and the healthcare industry. Nurses have become unsung heroes.

However, Kubuanu's mission to make life better for our community doesn’t end when his day is over at Atrium, but instead continues with Hope For All.

Kubuanu is the founder of Hope for All.

“We are dedicated to improve health, education and enhance hope for all,” he said.

Hope for All regularly helps the homeless community in uptown Charlotte.
Hope for All regularly helps the homeless community in uptown Charlotte.

Their vision is to be the leading destination for mobile health screening services, health education for adults and mentorship for underserved children.

As the need in our city continues to grow, the coronavirus has complicated reaching people most in need. An important piece of the organization's outreach is addressing the needs of the homeless community.

As a teenager, Kubuanu witnessed staggering numbers of students who dropped out of school, people battling homelessness, teen pregnancies, drug abuse, sexual exploitation and violence in times of war.

Kubuanu recognizes that many people in the United States are facing some of the same problems that he had previously endured in Congo as a teenager.

“I know the importance of helping the people of this country, and that is what we do with Hope for All,” he said.

In 2019, Hope for All screened more than 2,500 people for hypertension. Additionally, they helped two underprivileged adults enroll in a nursing program and who are now graduates.

“If we begin to address the mental and medical needs of the homeless population, we will be able to make things better,” he said. "Many of the homeless people are well educated. They just need an opportunity to do better and be more productive.”

The Hope for All team received Atrium Health's 2019 Community Service Award.
The Hope for All team received Atrium Health's 2019 Community Service Award.

Kubuanu doesn’t do this herculean work alone. He has a dedicated group of volunteers and they work together every step of the way. Many are fellow healthcare professionals, but they all have a common goal—to give hope for all.

If you have an inspirng story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.