What are companies doing about homelessness?


Homelessness is a heavy topic, so we thought it would be good to take a look at some positive initiatives that companies have undertaken to help the homeless, the hungry, and the poor. Many of us like to help out in any small or big way, and one way to make change is to consciously decide to spend your money with businesses who are making positive social change, and care about the communities in which they serve. Sometimes we can’t do much, but what we can do is actively choose to support businesses who show that they care and that profits aren’t the only thing they’re concerned about. This list will be a living document that we update as we get more information on who’s doing what.


  • To top this list, we have to highlight The King’s Kitchen, our partner and  one of a kind Charlotte establishment. It’s a gourmet Southern restaurant, but it’s so much more than that. The King’s Kitchen exists to meet people at all levels and in all walks of life. Homeless people are given jobs and training and patrons are given a top quality lunch or dinner. Those in need seeking a faith based gathering are given a daily Bible study and community and a meal.
  • Everybody runs on Dunkin’ (Donuts), and that “everybody” includes organizations like Feeding America. FA works to get food to hungry children. Dunkin Donuts also partners with local organizations, for example the Mobile Tastiness Machine in Raleigh, which delivers hot meals to low income neighborhoods.
  • Publix, the haven where you can get your grocery cart walked out to the car for you so you can focus on your children who want to dash into the street for fun, has an extensive list of charitable efforts. They actively support Feeding America, Food for Sharing, Food for All, and more. More on their efforts and the companies they contribute to here.

  • Chick-fil-A, the South’s favorite claim to fame, participates in what they call the Chick-fil-A Shared Table program, where they donate extra food to local soup kitchens and shelters in the community. They’ve also supported City of Refuge. This not-for-profit is dedicated to helping the homeless and especially women in need.

  • The Fresh Market impressively donated $49 million in food bank donations in 2017, on top of $400,000 in products towards their own food drive that works to support students in the summer who rely on the meals they get from their schools during the school year. They also donate food regularly to local food banks in their communities.

  • Whole Foods, because sometimes you want to feel good about your expensive groceries, right? Whole Foods has been impressing Charlotte with their approach to grocery shopping. I recently noticed that the Waverly location has a kids play area! They’ve got my business for that alone, but they also care about people getting the healthy food that they need, and contributing to the communities where their produce comes from. Through their foundations, (Whole Planet Foundation, Whole Cities Foundation) they’re working to bring accessible nutrition to people in America and all over the world. To learn more about their partnerships and efforts, head over here.

  • Target, which could only get better if they had a children’s drop-off play area (amIright?), awards grants to organizations which work to feed and shelter those in need.



  • Everyone loves killing a Saturday exploring the warehouse of possibility that is Ikea, and it turns out they’ve been proactive in helping children and those in need all over the world for quite some time. They’ve been active in our community by donating furniture and volunteer hours to create safe spaces for children and those in need. Read more about here, and enjoy your 50 cent hot dogs and low budget cinnamon buns guilt-free this weekend.


  • Starbucks came into the news (more than usual) last spring after a store manager racially profiled two African American men who were in the shop for a business meeting, and called the police who then arrested the two men for absolutely nothing. The CEO of Starbucks responded by assigning a day of racial-bias training so that employees could better understand their subconscious bias against people of color. Problem completely solved? Definitely not, but out of this process, they implemented a new policy wherein anyone can come in and use their restrooms, charge their phones, and use their space appropriately without having to purchase something at their stores. In cities, this is helpful because it gives the homeless somewhere to go in and freshen up, use the restrooms, and possibly charge their devices without having to spend money on a drink that they maybe don’t need.

  • My heart may lie with Publix, but they’re not the only grocery store doing some good in this world. Harris Teeter has been very active in charitable efforts, contributing to schools in their local communities annually as well as charitable efforts nationwide worth millions of dollars. In August, they hosted an event benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank here in our area. In November, shoppers can choose to donate money to benefit local food banks, so make sure to stop by for Thanksgiving supplies and share the love with people in need!