Mission & History

A message from Leslie – TCP Leadership

What comes to mind when you think of someone being homeless? Is it the teacher at the middle school, your coworker in the IT division, the Amazon driver, the cashier at the big box store, or the Uber driver delivering your food? Surprised? Let me introduce you to the working, homeless families with children right here in the Triangle!

They do not beg; they work. They are not hopeless or helpless… they struggle to make enough money to put food on the table and pay their rent. They are humbled and embarrassed by their situation. They don’t need to be saved; they just need someone to help guide them to a more stable life. They NEED The Carying Place.

The Carying Place sees through the veil of family situations and crafts a journey of transformation. While the journey is often difficult, humbling, and rich with roadblocks, The Carying Place partners with each working homeless family to navigate their unique situation, educate them on financial management, develop self-reliant skills, and connect with support partners in our community. We do this while preserving the family’s dignity and the family unit.
We want to empower MORE homeless, working families as they navigate their way to economic and housing stability. Our staff passionately blends our education, work, and experience with a commitment to supplying life skills and housing support to families in the Triangle area of North Carolina.

We are excited to invite YOU to join us in helping more families discover their Journey Home!

Our Founder:

Our founder, Milt Douglass, chartered our program’s path in 1993. After coming across a local family in dire need of a plan for housing stability and the financial knowledge needed to acquire housing, Milt gathered volunteers from several area churches to help resolve the issue of homeless working families with children in Cary.

Using his volunteer experiences with Christian Community in Action, known as Dorcas Ministries today, and Step Up Ministries, The Carying Place was born. Today, Milt’s vision has morphed into our current Journey Home program. We hope we are exceeding Milt’s dreams of empowering and improving the lives of struggling but motivated working families with children.

Mission: The Carying Place teaches homeless, working families with children life skills to attain independent living while providing short-term housing and support services to address their needs.

Vision Statement: Empowering families to break the cycle of homelessness and thrive within our community.

Value Statement: The Carying Place uses these core values to achieve our mission: Accountability, Respect, Integrity, Transparency, and Compassion.

How We Help:

For more than 30 years, The Carying Place (TCP) has served the Triangle community by teaching and empowering homeless working families with children. We provide families with individualized life skills lessons, short-term housing, and support services preparing them for independent living. Since our inception, TCP has served over 540 families with 1,500 children, and upon program completion, approximately 80% of our families have acquired self-sustained housing.

Our “Journey Home” program begins with stabilizing a working family experiencing homelessness. We provide 16 weeks of no-cost transitional housing while teaching life skills and financial literacy. Each family is required to save a portion of their income while also paying off debts that keep them from being housed. This income, placed in escrow, is then returned to families and used for self-sustained housing upon graduation. Families receive guidance in managing personal finances, setting attainable goals, seeking permanent affordable housing, and maintaining their employment. Over a 16-week period, families learn skills required for self-sufficiency through mandatory weekly meetings, followed by twelve months of workforce development and home ownership preparation.

Our Children’s Program strives to decrease the negative effects of homelessness and trauma on children through age-appropriate activities. We provide children with the emotional support and resources needed for character development, education, and future work success. For example, we teach skills such as budgeting, nutrition, online safety, long and short-term goal setting, and confidence building etc.

Who We Serve

Candidate families are referred from various local agencies: Dorcas, Wake County Public Schools, Wake County Human Services, and others. Sometimes, families call TCP through personal contact with other families or graduates of the program.

Qualifications – Families are carefully screened to determine their motivation and readiness to make changes to improve their situation:

  • Applicants with criminal records or other documented felonies within the previous 12 months are typically disqualified. They must be clean of substance abuse convictions within the previous 12 months.
  • A full background investigation and credit report is completed.
  • Prior to being recommended for Selection Team interviews, the Program Manager talks with the family to get an idea of childcare requirements, domestic issues, or other possible constraints.

Contract – Accepted families sign an agreement with TCP to enter the 16-week life-skills training program designed to provide counseling in financial management, budgeting, goal-setting, time management, and self-sufficiency.

The contract confirms their commitment to adequately care for the housing provided and affirms mandatory attendance at the Thursday evening sessions.

Housing – With the acceptance into the program, an apartment is provided to the family for their 16-week participation in the program. The environment is intended to be similar to permanent housing except rent and utilities are paid by TCP. A savings plan is established through an escrow account built on fixed commitments from each paycheck. This money is often used to obtain the permanent housing required upon graduation from the program.

For every family that is accepted into the program, The Carying Place provides:

  • A furnished apartment
  • Rent and utilities
  • Support Partners, who help teach families how to balance a checkbook, create and follow a budget, improve career opportunities, and start a savings program.
  • Children’s program that works with and assesses the needs of each child.