The RHIRC is dedicated to relieving the plight of those experiencing homelessness and poverty in and around Rockmart. Since access to food, housing, education, health, and human services are fundamental human rights; we first seek to meet these basic needs. As a nonprofit resource center, we also deliver social services directly and in collaboration with other agencies in a respectful and secure environment. We advocate for the most vulnerable among us and promote activities that empower people to develop their assets to the fullest extent possible.
THE STORY BEHIND THE INITIATIVE
Like many of our community agencies, RHI started as just an idea. In July of 2017, a group of Rockmart citizens concerned about the rising number of homeless in our community met and Rockmart Homeless Initiative was formed. In winter of 2017, RHI partnered with the city of Rockmart and opened the Emergency Cold Weather Shelter (ECWS) located at the Houge Ave. Gym. It was during our time at the gym that we realized there was an overwhelming need for help for the homeless community. While staying at the gym, our guests had access to a warm place to sleep, hot nutritious meals, clean change of clothing, hygiene items, a place to bathe and personal connections. Because of our community's willingness to get involved and help, the ECWS was successful. Each and every item needed to make the shelter a success was donated by OUR community and included everything from hot donated meals to specific needs such as a certain size shoe. It became very clear that OUR community also saw the need and were ready and willing to support RHI. Less than a year after its founding, RHI opened a resource center (RHIRC) for individuals experiencing homelessness. The RHIRC is located at 225 South Marble Street in downtown Rockmart. The RHIRC offers breakfast, lunch, snacks, access to social services, a permanent mailing address and point of contact, emergency food boxes, clothing, toiletries, opportunities to job search, ID cards, camping supplies, and MUCH more-all free of charge.
RHI has practiced outreach services since before the center opened. Outreach consisted of driving around with food at first, then expanded into essential items like clothing, shoes, and blankets. We go out during the cold or extreme heat, before and after storms offering any assistance we can. There are many people on the streets who, for one reason or another, do not want to enter a shelter or program. Outreach programs help reach people who otherwise can't be found. With food and basic items, relief can easily be provided to the ones who are hurting the most.
***RHI is currently trying to raise money for an outreach van specifically for this purpose***