Press release from Jubilee! Community:
May 31, 2022, Asheville, NC — Jubilee! Community, a spirit-led faith community that has served the Asheville area for over 30 years, has opened Jubilee! Alternative Micro-Shelter (JAMS), a shelter and support program for unhoused women who have income or are currently working, do not abuse substances, and are close to finding housing. The volunteer-run program includes sheltering a maximum of ten women in Jubilee!’s lower level, providing coaching and mentoring in life skills and self care, and partnering with other non-profit organizations to provide showers, some meals and other services.
“Jubilee! has a long history of generously helping meet the needs of local unhoused and low income individuals,” stated Bruce Mulkey, Jubilee!’s administrator. “Since our inception, we have donated over $2 million to local non-profit service organizations, been an active part of Room In The Inn, and formed teams that address the social justice and racial equity issues that deter progress in ending homelessness.” Mulkey noted that being of service is part of Jubilee!’s DNA, and community members are encouraged to volunteer at JAMS.
Women come into the JAMS program through referrals, then work one-on-one with volunteer mentors to co-create action plans that include short and long term goals, budgeting, acquiring housing and fulfilling other support needs. Women complete the program once they have secured housing and accomplished at least 70% of their short term goals. As the women move into their own housing, new women are referred into JAMS.
“The women in our program have a true fire in their bellies to succeed,” commented Amanda Kollar, who joined forces with Melanie Robertson to bring the micro-shelter concept to Jubilee!. Both women were volunteer operational managers at the Trinity Winter Shelter, so bring extensive experience working with the unhoused. Amanda emphasized that JAMS is very different from crisis housing, noting, “JAMS provides a safe space and stable foundation where the women create their plans and are accountable for implementing them. This program is intended to be a jumping-off platform for permanent housing, and is steeped in extravagant love and deep compassion. We believe it can serve as a model for other faith organizations to start similar programs.”