Statesville homeless shelter asks for more federal funding for affordable housing

STATESVILLE, N.C. — A Statesville homeless shelter is advocating for more federal funding so it can offer more affordable housing.

Fifth Street Ministries is the only homeless shelter in the Statesville area. Mark Sanchez, who once called it home for several months, works in the back office to help others just like him.

“To have actually been homeless, I feel a real connection and a brotherhood to what people are going through, a shared compassion,” he said.

Sanchez, a former military veteran, said support from Fifth Street Ministries got him back on his feet.

“Never thinking in a million years that in a month, all the money that I was spending on frivolous things, I would be in a complete crisis,” he said. “And it can happen to anybody.”

Along with several other organizations, the shelter’s director is now advocating for more federal money to keep the help going.

“It’s very hard for us to find housing so we do whatever we can,” said Executive Director Michele Knapp.

>> In the video at the top of the page, the initiatives the organizers hope to use the money for.

(WATCH BELOW: Habitat for Humanity works to keep up with increased demand in affordable housing)