Funds will be used for the purchase of a facility to house programs and offer temporary shelter to area’s homeless
Major financial boosts from local foundations have placed the non-profit organization Grace Beyond Borders over its fundraising goal. After setting a target for $40,000 back in November, recently representatives announced that the “A Night Without a Home” Campaign raised just over $70,000.
On November 9, 2018, Marcus Martin, Executive Director of Grace Beyond Borders announced that he would be sleeping where the homeless have slept for 30 nights until the end of 2018. Only days after the announcement of the campaign to raise funds and awareness for the homeless, the Foundations of East Chicago stepped up and awarded the organization a $50,000 grant for 2019. Additional funds also poured in from local supporters, foundations, churches, organizations and followers on social media.
“When the Foundations of East Chicago shared news of their gift, I didn’t know whether to shout or cry,” said Martin. “These funds are so needed and will enable us to make the major step of securing a space for our organization. This has been a goal since our inception in 2013.”
Martin also expressed his gratitude for the many donors who sent gifts after seeing news stories and social media posts.
“Funds were donated from our continued supporters, but I was especially touched when we started to hear from complete strangers from across the country,” said Martin. “I need them to know that every single dollar is going to make a big difference as we give hope to those who are working to rebound from some difficult circumstances.”
Grace Beyond Borders is currently located inside of the Salvation Army office in East Chicago. Funds from the campaign will be used for purchase of a facility where the organization can operate programs and offer emergency shelter to the area’s homeless and those impacted by drug addiction.
Many were inclined to give after following Martin on social media as he slept in a variety of locations throughout Northwest Indiana including under a bridge, at a bus stop, a police station, a park, a van, porta-potty and an abandoned house. At each location, he recorded a live Facebook video explaining the circumstance of a client who previously slept there. (Visit the Facebook page here.)
Martin expressed the huge impact that the grant will have on building sustainability for the mission and vision of Grace Beyond Borders.
“I recognize that my actions around this campaign were rather extreme, but so are the conditions of homelessness and drug addiction,” said Martin. “The Foundations of East Chicago, John Will Anderson Foundation and all of the donors recognized the magnitude of this epidemic and answered the call by showing their support. These funds will definitely impact the problem of homelessness and drug addiction in the communities we serve.”
According to Martin, the problem of homelessness will not be solved with one campaign, and he invites everyone to continue to support the mission of Grace Beyond Borders.
“We still have more goals to reach and people to assist,” said Martin. “So we are grateful for donations of all sizes. If at least 8,000 people will skip one meal and donate to the organization, we can make an even greater impact in giving our invisible neighbors a hand up and not a handout.”