GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) and the Interactive Resource Center (IRC) have formed a partnership that will provide new education options to residents experiencing homelessness. Details of the partnership, made possible through an endowment established by Greensboro native Steven Morton in honor of his son, Kenny, were announced at a news conference at 11 a.m. today (Feb. 19) at the IRC, 407 E. Washington St., Greensboro.
According to the National Coalition to End Homelessness, nearly half of all people experiencing homelessness are employed.
“Folks in our community experiencing homelessness don’t just need affordable housing, they need good, living-wage jobs to be able to sustain themselves,” said IRC Executive Director Michelle Kennedy. “The classes we’ll be able to provide with GTCC will help folks gain some of the skills they need to gain living -wage employment. This is an important first step for the future work of the IRC and the residents who depend on and help create our services.”
GTCC’s unique partnership with the IRC reflects the college’s mission in creating successful futures and meeting the needs of the community.
“We are proud to partner with the IRC and to act as a catalyst for success for those who are homeless, facing homelessness or coming out of homelessness,” said GTCC President Dr. Randy Parker. “This partnership has allowed Guilford Tech to empower these individuals and help them develop the tools and confidence they need to reshape their lives.”
The program resulting from the IRC-GTCC partnership was made possible through the support of the KCM Success Fund, an endowment created by Greensboro native Steven Morton in honor of his son, Kenny. Kenny had been accepted at GTCC and accompanied his father at IRC functions.
“I started the KCM Success Fund with a goal of helping others and to honor my son Kenny who gave up hope and took his life two years ago,” said Morton. “Kenny’s initials were KCM, and those initials stand for Knowledge, Courage and Motivation as the keys to success. I’m trying to help provide the K — the C and M are up to the individuals.”
The KCM Success Fund will provide access for those experiencing homelessness to pursue an education with the goal of helping individuals gain the skills necessary to obtain living-wage jobs.
The IRC offers showers, laundry, medical care, and other fundamental services to over 220 people a day. Locating GTCC classes at the IRC will greatly reduce barriers to education access for one of Greensboro’s most vulnerable populations.
Guilford Technical Community College is the third largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves more than 40,000 students annually from five campuses and a Small Business Center. Learn more at www.gtcc.edu.
The Interactive Resource Center is a day multi-service center serving individuals experiencing homelessness in downtown Greensboro. The IRC serves over 220 individuals daily and is an incubator for innovative projects to end homelessness. Learn more at www.gsodaycenter.org.