C-U at Home engages and mobilizes our community to house and support the most vulnerable homeless on their journey of healing and restoration.
This organization is loosely affiliated with a national campaign called 100,000 Homes. The 100,000 Homes Campaign, founded by Common Ground, brings together change agents from across the country to find homes for 100,000 of the most vulnerable and long-term homeless individuals and families by July 2014. It is designed to fundamentally alter our response to chronic homelessness by giving communities concrete tools and connecting the change agents with one another so no one has to innovate alone.
One of the main mechanisms C-U at Home seeks to use is the local church. We are seeking church partners who will commit to at least one year of being the life-line for one of these most vulnerable homeless individuals, couples, or families. Church partners will provide housing, advocates, a support network, and most importantly the LOVE needed for healing and healthy independence.
Mike Kessel, Edward Jones Investments - President
Kevin Ullestad, University of Illinois - Vice President
Kim Simpson, University of Illinois - Secretary
Teresa Long, University of Illinois - Treasurer
Ritchie Drennen, First Presbyterian Church
Stan Unander, American Airlines
Melany Jackson, Executive Director
Tom Gilbert, Life Coach (Case Manager)
Kim Ormsby, Administrative Assistant
Tony Comtois, Lead Mentor
Barbara Stalter, Accountant (payables)
Kim Belanger, Accountant (receivables)
What Makes Us Different
You may already be familiar with the biennial Point-in-Time survey, mandated by H.U.D., that was conducted in January of 2011. The goal of this survey is to determine, in one 24-hour period, everyone in Champaign County who is homeless, chronically homeless or precariously housed. These are very important statistics to acquire, but they fall short of determining who the most vulnerable homeless are. That’s where the 100,000 Homes survey comes into play.
C-U at Home administered a very detailed vulnerability index survey in Champaign County, October 24-26, 2011. The goal of this survey was very specifically to determine who, among the homeless population, is most at risk of dying if their housing circumstances do not change. The sobering results of this survey revealed just over 100 people in Champaign County who fall into the 'most vulnerable' category. It's our mission to facilitate the housing and support of these who are most at risk.
One of the main ways we hope to accomplish housing those most in need is via local churches. Churches have the necessary resources right within their congregation: housing, finances, advocates, support network. About 80 years ago our country decided to put the government in charge of assisting those most in need. You can see today where that has gotten us. According to scripture, part of the mandate for the church is to care for the widows, the orphans and the poor. Please step out in faith and join us today by becoming a church partner.
C-U at Home also seeks to foster cooperation between government, nonprofits, housing agencies and healthcare providers. We have more than enough resources here in Champaign-Urbana to help those most in need. It’s just a matter of convincing and coordinating efforts.
C-U at Home in the News
WCIA: The C-U Remembers Vern on Thursday, 8/16/12
News-Gazette: A Life Remembered: A Man with No Home Touches Many Hearts on Thursday, 8/16/12
News-Gazette: Homeless agency sets fundraiser for 'desperate' need on Friday, 5/18/12 News-Gazette C-U at Home One Summer Day Grocery Cart Walk Fundraiser
WILL: C-U at Home Finds Permanent Shelter for Homeless Man on Tuesday, 12/20/11http://will.illinois.edu/news/spotstory/c-u-at-home-finds-permanent-shelter-for-homeless-man/
Melany is the Executive Director for the C-U at Home campaign. Her passion and commitment to serving the homeless stems from a history of helping those in need.
While earning her Master of Divinity in Kansas City (2005-2008), Melany was a leader in the Midwestern Evangelism Teams. These groups each spent a couple of hours in the downtown core each week ministering to people from every walk of life, which included many who were needy.
She moved back to Champaign in the fall of 2009 and spent a year serving at Salt & Light, a ministry dedicated to helping those in need with basic food and clothing. In December of 2010, Melany began going out on the Canteen Run, a ministry of Partnering Against Homelessness and The Salvation Army, dedicated to taking food, clothing, hygiene products and information out on a truck to those who are in need in the community.
In April of 2011 Melany was elected to chair the Council of Service Providers to the Homeless. These organizations are all committed to serving the homeless population.
In May of 2012, Melany was appointed as the Executive Director of C-U at Home.
Her passion to serve the needy through compassion ministry was also fueled by a book called Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, by David Platt. In May of 2011 she began liquidating her assets to commit to the cause of C-U at Home full-time. She also moved into Restoration Urban Ministries in order to live in a transitional housing setting herself, while leading this effort to serve the homeless population.