Wesley Shelter of Wilson Awarded 2017 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Human Services

February 23, 2017

Funds will enable shelter to create more efficient housing space for clients

RALEIGH, N.C. – On Feb. 22, the John William Pope Foundation announced the winner of the 2017 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Human Services. Wesley Shelter in Wilson, N.C. received a $100,000 grant for capital improvements to their shelter housing facility.  The change will allow Wesley Shelter to accommodate additional clients and will relocate existing office space to enhance space efficiency.  Wesley Shelter was founded in 1983 and has grown to offer comprehensive services for domestic and sexual violence survivors, homeless women and children, and human trafficking survivors.  The Shelter serves over 1,500 people each year and relies on over 100 volunteers and 19 professional staff members to provide the many services.

Pope Foundation President John Hood (left) and Chairman Art Pope (right) visited the Wesley Shelter in Wilson to present Shelter Executive Director Lynne White with a check for $100,000.
Pope Foundation President John Hood (left) and Chairman Art Pope (right) visited the Wesley Shelter in Wilson to present Shelter Executive Director Lynne White (center) with a check for $100,000. Photo courtesy of Olivia Neeley, The Wilson Times.

“It has been our desire to improve the design of the shelter that will increase client capacity for several years, but the funds were not in the budget to do so,” said Wesley Shelter Executive Director Lynne White.  “We know the need to serve more people, especially those with physical limitations. The expansion and improvement project will enable us to achieve this and benefit our community tremendously for years to come. We are elated to receive the Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant.”

“We had a lot of great grant proposals this year,” said Pope Foundation Chairman Art Pope. “But the board unanimously chose the Wesley Shelter as something we absolutely thought fit our criteria.  To provide shelter and services to women and their children in times of need is crucial.  The project to expand the downstairs area of the shelter is a wonderful use of the grant and something that my mother would have been very proud of.”

The Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants, sponsored by the John William Pope Foundation, were created in 2015 to recognize innovative ideas that generate long-term results.  Each year, two nonprofits (one arts-focused, one human services-focused) are chosen from a pool of applicants to receive a one-time grant.  The grants are named in honor of Joy W. Pope, wife of philanthropist and retail entrepreneur John William Pope.  She was a dedicated patron of arts and human service organizations and served as president of the Pope Foundation from 1986-1992.  For more information about the Wesley Shelter, visit www.wesleyshelter.org.  For more information about the John William Pope Foundation’s Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants, visit https://jwpf.org/grants/joy-pope-memorial-grants/.