The GSO Unseen – A Social Experiment

United Way of Greater Greensboro has been focused on breaking the cycle of poverty since 2015. Check out our current efforts. To gain a better understanding of the local community United Way serves, Frank McCain, Vice President, Community Impact & Investment conceived an idea. Frank shared the idea with his colleague Michael Cottingham, Vice President, Marketing & Communications. Together, they decided to immerse themselves into the Greensboro homeless and needy population. The following story reflects their shared experiences.

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Award-winning News Article

Nancy McLaughlin, Writer for the Greensboro News and Record wrote an award-winning story about The GSO Unseen. Her article, Living Among Greensboro’s Unseen earned her a North Carolina Associated Press Thomas Wolfe Award for outstanding writing.

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At 8 a.m. McCain and Cottingham set out to access basic needs and 13 hours later with the year’s first frost approaching, found themselves on two benches in a park with no place to stay and no hope of finding shelter anytime soon.

Be a Part of the Solution – Share Your Ideas

After you read The GSO Unseen, we want to hear from you! Share your ideas how to address poverty by posting on your favorite social media using #GSOUnseen – Call us at 336-378-6600 or send an email HERE.

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Local Reactions

“This project was an exercise in making the unseen, seen; in making the invisible, visible. Thank you to United Way of Greater Greensboro for shining a light on the work that the IRC and other organizations do everyday to create equity in Greensboro. Real change can only be born from understanding and I am grateful for leaders in our community who step out of their comfort zones to gain deeper understanding of poverty and homelessness. It will take our entire community working together to drive that change.  GSO Unseen and the conversations and work that will follow after it are critical steps in that direction,” says Michelle Kennedy, Executive Director of  Interactive Resource Center.

“I want to thank Michael and Frank for spending time on the streets of Greensboro alongside our neighbors who live there daily. Their experiences and interactions give valuable perspective to the plight of those experiencing homelessness throughout our city. I hope that Michael and Frank’s story will not only move us to deeper compassion for our homeless neighbors, but will also inspires us greater action. Together, we can end homelessness and the other scourges of poverty that plague our community… and the time is now!,” says Rev. Myron W. Wilkins, Executive Director of Greensboro Urban Ministry.