Off the Streets Program, Inc. Celebrates 20th Year Anniversary
Off the Streets Program, Inc is celebrating their 20th year anniversary. “This is a major milestone for OTSP,” says CEO and Founder, Shaaron Funderburk. “For OTSP to grow and serve over 2,000 women speaks to the value of the program for Gaston County. The organizational growth and tenure also bring to light the continued need for communities, local government, businesses, and families to actively address alcohol and drug addiction and sexual abuse.”
In 1999, Shaaron saw a need to help women like her with their struggle to overcome their addiction and sexual abuse. Being a by-product of the program herself, she understood what it would take and set out to help women detox in her home. At that time there was no place in Gaston County to detox from drugs. She would give out bag lunches and condoms to the women she met while walking the streets. It was not long after that, she had eight (8) women living with her in a two-bedroom house and Off the Streets Program, Inc. was born.
While still working an 8-hour a day job and raising her child as a single parent, she continued to take care of homeless people out of pocket. With the assistant of Lisa Sido, who was then director of Highland Family Resource Center, the program became formal. Lisa agreed to be Shaaron’s business mentor to guide and teach her along the way with the steps to become a functioning non-profit organization.
With the encouragement of her husband of two months, Derick, she resigned from her job to pursue her dream. Shaaron then met with Linda Slade of the Gaston Community Foundation who invited her to participate in their Annual Run event. With matching funds from the Run of $2,236 the transitional living house became a reality.
Thanks to community partnerships and collaborative efforts, OTSP has made it through to celebrate 20-years. First United Methodist Church, the Men of South Ministries Presbyterian Church, and Temple Emmanuel have been OTSP strongest supporters. A viable Board of Directors has helped to steer the program in its mission and goals.
An event to commemorate this noteworthy anniversary will occur on Friday September 30th, 2022, 5:30-9:00 pm at the Gaston Conference Center, 145 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Gastonia NC 28052. To learn more about the 20-year Celebration and the work of Off the Streets Program, Inc, contact Shaaron Funderburk at 704-217-3331 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.