11 Jan A New Year, Same Mission
BY AMY FREEZE
Fifth Street Ministries saw growing needs, change and so much community support in 2021!
In 2021, Fifth Street’s emergency shelter provided 8417 nights for 131 men, women and children while the night shelter provided 8,540 nights for 278 men and women. A total of 47,983 meals were served through the Community Kitchen while 500 food boxes were provided to the community. My Sister’s House, the domestic violence/sexual assault program, provided 3,740 nights for 130 women and children.
The organization also saw some changes in the last year. On March 1, 2021, Fifth Street’s founder Patti West retired. Michele Knapp, previously the Finance Officer for the organization for over 20 years, was named the new executive director. Because Michele had worked so closely with Gary and Patti over those years, the DNA of the organization— being welcoming and compassionate and meeting people where they are—continues. Michele has also brought new ideas to the work of Fifth Street, new ideas that will better prepare guests for steady employment and independent living. With the upcoming addition of a kitchen training program and two tiny homes for veteran transitional housing, things are moving quickly. Michele has also worked to streamline services and help the organization work more efficiently, thereby allowing Fifth Street to serve even more people in Iredell County.
Other goals for the new year include increasing the organization’s presence in Mooresville with the addition of a new office. This office will be home to a court advocate and crisis counselor for the Mooresville area. Fifth Street would also like to expand its street outreach to the chronically homeless in Mooresville—those who live in camps, tents and cars. This outreach would provide basic needs and help individuals connect to more services as they so choose. Finally, Fifth Street aims to help 100 households in the new year to obtain affordable, more stable housing.
To help support the individuals and families served by these programs, visit
Amy Freeze is the director of development at Fifth Street Ministries.