Behind the Scenes
The Servant Center began as an Episcopal Servant Leadership Project with church volunteers working with those experiencing homelessness to apply for SSI/SSDI benefits. Since that time, The Servant Center has grown organically and has stepped in to meet numerous gaps in service.
In 1993 The Servant Center became a 501(c) 3 and began operating under a Social Security Administration grant. While working with those on the street experiencing homelessness, it was alarmingly clear that many of those persons were veterans and needed more services than could be provided by a traditional shelter. So, in 1999, the organization opened Servant House, the first transitional housing program in Greensboro. We are still the only transitional program in the area that exclusively serves veterans with disabilities. The Center spent much of its early history assisting low-income and disabled persons to apply for SSI/SSDI benefits. In 1997, the agency contracted with Cone Health Systems to continue helping their under and un-insured patients, establishing its Disability Assistance Program. The Servant Center often had difficulty finding appropriate housing for its graduates of Servant House. In response, The Servant Center constructed two permanent supportive housing complexes, Glenwood House (2005) and Haworth House (2012). These complexes offer 17 apartments along with supportive services to individuals exiting homelessness, with a preference for former Servant House residents. In 2008, The Servant Center established the AmeriCorps Partners Ending Homelessness, a program through which AmeriCorps members volunteer a year of their lives to serve those in the Guilford and Forsyth Counties who are at risk for or are experiencing homelessness and/or food insecurity.
Where are we today?
The Servant Center is committed to filling gaps in service that arise in Greensboro’s homeless community. This has been true since the agency opened in 1993, as evidenced by the growth experienced since then. Now, The Servant Center is creating new programs, expanding, and listening to the community for guidance on what is next.
Most recently, in 2019 the Fast Track Rapid Rehousing program was established. This program couples temporary financial assistance with housing-focused case management to quickly rehouse individuals and families experiencing homelessness. In response to community need, particularly as it relates to the impact of COVID on the community, The Servant Center is expanding its Rapid Rehousing program to serve additional individuals and families.
The Servant Center is an active member of the Guilford County Continuum of Care and is working with community partners to reduce homelessness, particularly for our veterans and to ensure we have a system in Guilford County where homelessness is short-term and non-reoccurring.
Where are we going?
The Servant Center is currently exploring the possibility of expanding its availability of permanent supportive housing. This would provide more safe, affordable housing options for the veterans exiting Servant House. Stay tuned for updates!