Raleigh nonprofit wins $25,000 grant contest

Posted July 16, 2012

— Nonprofit organization Passage Home created a winning video to earn the $25,000 grand prize in the first Gives Back Grant Contest, sponsored by Atlantic BT.

Passage Home staffers said Friday that the money will be used to develop a mobile app that will merge technology and help for the homeless.

Founded in 1991 by Jeanne Canina Tedrow, Passage Home is a nationally recognized, faith-based community development corporation dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

The winning video, which was written, produced and directed by Passage Home's Karis Lovett-Tompkins, featured many of the people the nonprofit has helped in the past 21 years. The video garnered 16,000 votes through social media channels to win the contest.

“It seemed like my only way out was death,” said Onia Royster, who shared her personal story of how Passage Home helped her when she was released from prison a decade ago. “Now I work to help other women like myself who need a helping hand and some tough love to find their way home.”

Learn more about the organization here.


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  • kltompkins Jul 19, 2012

    All, I'd like to address your comments by saying that this mobile app is not for the homeless to use themselves, so there is no need to figure out who has a smartphone and who doesn't. It is for Passage Home, other nonprofit organizations, corporations, and the community to use, so that we can share resources and serve those in need more efficiently. For example, we provide workforce development programs for homeless and low-income families. In order to provide them with JobLink access, we need to have a computer lab available for them to search for jobs, create a resume, etc. We have one, but often need to update our equipment as necessary. We could use the app to post a need for a donated desktop computer for the lab. Someone in the community may wish to donate one to us and know that it will be put to good use immediately. Another example may be to request book bags or school supplies for youth. I hope this clarifies the purpose for the registry app and how it may be used.

  • Harry Bush Jul 16, 2012

    How many homeless have a smart phone and the money to pay for it or the required data plan?

    There are a lot of homeless people - not just people you see on benches. Many who actually even work, but are living out of their cars.

  • computer trainer Jul 16, 2012

    nomorethanthat- many of them, you and I are paying for it.

  • nomorethanthat Jul 16, 2012

    What a waste of the money. A mobile app for the homeless. How many homeless have a smart phone and the money to pay for it or the required data plan?