How it all began
Clark’s Promise was started in 2009 by Rob and Linda Grew following the death of their son, Clark. Traveling to see his younger brother at Hampton Sydney College, Clark fell asleep at the wheel, stuck a tree and was killed instantly. Clark was 23 years old.
In the days following Clark’s death, the Grew family received the love and support of over 2000 people. Despite the darkness, Linda and Rob realized life still held goodness and promise. They decided to create a memorial that would embody and reflect Clark’s compassion. Clark Grew championed the underdog and questioned poverty and homelessness. Clark’s Promise is a memorial that seeks to embrace Clark’s desire to improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness in Raleigh.
While trying to decide on a focus for Clark’s Promise, the Grew family discovered a gap in the homeless services continuum of care. Shelters provide residents access to services and help, however Raleigh’s homeless population exceeds the number of beds provided by local shelters, and shelters don’t exist for all types of families—so, many people make their homes in tent encampments, cars, or hotels. Clark’s Promise realized that the unsheltered and chronically homeless need engagement into services differently and started Homeless Engagement Care.
Why focus on homelessness?
“In 2009, Homeless Engagement Care entered the streets and homeless camps of Raleigh.”
While trying to decide on a focus for Clark’s Promise, the Grew Family discovered that a gap existed in the continuum of care for those experiencing homelessness; Raleigh lacked Homeless Engagement Care. Shelters provide residents access to services and help, but Raleigh’s homeless population exceeds the number of beds provided by local shelters so many make their homes in tent encampments, cars or hotels. Without access to the internet and transportation, it is difficult to locate and travel to services. Clark’s Promise pioneered Homeless Engagement Care in Wake County, NC and serves the unsheltered chronically homeless population.
Through a grant made to SouthLight Healthcare, Clark’s Promise funds a Homeless Engagement Team. The purpose of Engagement is two-fold: to engage in relationship building and to link and bring people to community services.
Our Homeless Engagement Specialist, Amanda Renfroe, goes out into the streets of Raleigh each day to meet the homeless where they live. She begins by establishing a relationship based on trust and respect.
Once she establishes a solid relationship, she works to determine each person’s individual needs and then connects and transports them to shelters, community programs, behavioral health, substance abuse treatment, medical services as well as dental and vision care. Her responsibilities include referring people to services, transportation, obtaining homeless verification, obtaining ID’s, assistance with securing employment and housing and providing help to those needing assistance with filling out applications for Social Security Disability, Medicaid and Food and Nutrition Assistance.
Kathryn Schley, our Homeless Program Service Manager is the other part of our Engagement Team. Her position is also funded by a grant from Clark’s Promise to SouthLight Healthcare. Kathryn is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is responsible for program development, providing a bridge to services through intake and counseling for identified clients, grant management and community collaboration between city and county organizations.
How You Can Help
Our mission benefits greatly from ideas, experience and expertise!
There are many ways to help. We are always looking for people to join our committee or become a volunteers for our fundraising endeavors. Whether you desire to take on small role or are looking for a task that you can immerse yourself in, we can help you find that job!! If time is not your friend, please consider a monetary contribution.