The Carying Place serves working homeless families with children who are experiencing homelessness by teaching life skills for attaining independent living while providing short-term housing and support services to address their individual needs.
The Carying Place (TCP) began operations in May 1993 as part of Christian Community in Action (CCA). TCP was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1998 with its own Board of Directors.
Since our inception, TCP has served over 400 families. About 85% of families who graduate from TCP are living independently and gainfully employed at least a year after completing the program. Currently, the program supports 7 families at a time. Families live in apartments leased by TCP in an environment similar to permanent housing except rent and utilities are paid by TCP.
As a non-profit transitional housing program in Wake County, TCP supports families in their journey to independence and self-sufficiency. This is achieved through the mentoring and guidance of Support Partners and staff. Families are paired with a volunteer team of Support Partners that provide weekly guidance in managing personal finances, setting attainable goals, seeking permanent affordable housing and maintaining their employment. Over a 16-week period, these families learn about the skills required for self-sufficiency through mandatory once-a-week meeting with Support Partners at a local church.
The program is designed to help working families with children who are motivated and ready to:
- Identify and make necessary lifestyle changes
- Learn and practice basic life skills
- Find and maintain independent, adequate, permanent, and self-sustaining housing
The expectation is that each family will focus on life skills training and practice at least 4 to 6 hours each week in attaining goals they set to improve their situation. Each family is required to save a significant portion of their regular income in escrow for future housing costs (deposits, utilities, etc.), and where applicable to make payments and plans to improve their credit situation or acquire transportation. Overall the families are trained and encouraged to make changes for long-term self-sufficiency.
The TCP Children’s Program serves the children of TCP families. The Children’s Program strives to decrease the negative effects of homelessness and trauma on children through age-appropriate activities, psycho-education and resource linking. While support partners meet with adults in the program, Children’s Program volunteers engage with the children. Through various activities and discussions, volunteers promote knowledge and awareness of the child’s feelings and behaviors, while increasing positive coping skills and self-esteem.
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 child care 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 pay check. 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 in teaching 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.