This week on the blog we wanted to highlight one of RYM’s newest partner agencies, Carroll’s Kitchen, opening later this summer in Raleigh. Carroll’s Kitchen will be a “501c3 restaurant with a vision to end homelessness for women in Raleigh and inspire everyone in the city to make a real and positive change.” This summer Carroll’s Kitchen will be one of stops on RYM’s urban walk, an opportunity to explore Raleigh on a deeper level by walking in community members’ shoes. We got to speak with Jim Freeze, the executive director of Carroll’s Kitchen, about how this idea came about, the services they will offer women in Raleigh, and the change they hope to see for their community.
count found that Raleigh has between 800 and 1,000 individuals experiencing homelessness, with about 300 of them being single women. Jim said, “Last year there were only about 200, so it’s one of the fastest growing [populations].” He said they also felt that single women without children are one of the most underserved populations in Raleigh. “Men or families, women with children, all have more support addressed specifically for those populations than there are for single women. That’s one of the reasons we decided to focus on that is to kind of fill a gap in services.”
courses are provided by some of Carroll’s Kitchen’s 10+ support partners. These courses are things like, “budgeting, time management, taking initiative, communication, and stress management.” Jim says when the women are “on site at the restaurant, we’re simply reinforcing them or highlighting specific parts of what they learned.” Housing is also provided by a local housing agency which Jim says has been doing great work in the Raleigh community for years. (Read this Carroll’s Kitchen blog post to find out why they felt housing was so important for the women working there).
Jim told us that they hope that through this work they will inspire others in the Raleigh community to make a difference. “We want to start a conversation. We want our food and our mission to speak for itself and have people ask questions, so then we could flip it back to them and say, ‘This is what we’re doing. What’s your passion? What could you be doing?’ When you look at our vision statement, it’s not only tackling the problem of homelessness, our vision is to end homelessness for women in Raleigh, but it’s also to inspire everyone in our city to make a positive change… Our goal is to let the individual who is inspired figure out what they are inspired about, and help get them connected to where they can lend their talents or time and/or money to make a difference.”