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"For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you invited me into your home. I was naked and you gave me clothes. I was sick and you cared for me. I was in prison and you visited me."  Matthew 25:35-36 (NLT)

about US

A Hand Up Transitional Living is a faith based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit ministry established to aid families who, due to financial hardship, are not able to secure adequate housing for their family. A Hand Up is not a homeless shelter, it's where un-housed families can live until they get back on their feet. A Hand Up was established by Levi and JoAnn Harris who want to show their Love of Christ by helping people in their community. They began their ministry by providing "love bags" full of toiletries to people at the "tent cities" in Huntsville, Alabama. They also volunteered at different community events to feed, clothe and minister to the un-housed. Levi and JoAnn soon realized that the un-housed needed more than just a free meal or just a hand out. They wanted to give them A Hand Up, a way out of their situation.





To provide a safe environment for struggling families, giving back dignity and respect, while fostering self-sufficiency.



Our desire is to provide short-term shelter to families who suddenly find themselves without a home, and give them the resources they need to achieve long-term success. We will provide A Hand Up instead of a hand-out.

A Hand Up will accept only families with minor children. Children will be required to attend school; parents will be required to go to a job or job training daily.



According to the North Alabama Continuum of Care, there are approximately 500 people in our homeless population. Homelessness has increased 2% every year from 2010 until 2019. However, since the pandemic from 2019 to 2022, the increase was 7%. Families in traditional homeless shelters are separated due to shelter restrictions. Additionally, there are un-housed families that are not included in the homeless population estimate because they are living in their vehicles, or living in unsafe situations because they have no place else to go.


A Hand Up will support families by offering transitional housing for up to one year. Clients will be assigned a case management specialist to provide housing assistance and help clients with obtaining job and life skills training. The goal is to achieve job security and permanent housing. A Hand Up was established when a need for more resources to assist the un-housed in Huntsville was identified. When helping to feed the un-housed through another ministry, the Director realized that most of the organizations in the Huntsville area attempting to help the un-housed, were only handing out food. Building off that, she realized that a more stable environment and easier access to resources are more important factors to helping the un-housed.

The old proverb says, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat today, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat every day.” Remembering the days of her own homelessness with two small children, the founder of A Hand Up, intentionally designed the organization to give people the tools they need to be successful. Teaching people how to effectively use the right tools goes much farther than a mere hand out.

Teacher Helping Student



A Hand Up will help mothers and/or fathers with children who are facing homelessness, currently un-housed, living on the street, in their car, or in short-term shelters. The longer a family is un-housed, the harder and more expensive it becomes to re-house them. Rapid re-housing helps families move off the street, to a transitional shelter, and into stable housing as quickly as possible. Adding to the stigma of being un-housed, another discouraging factor that most families face is separation. There are few temporary facilities available that keep the family together. Programs that focus on and address the entire need of the family are most successful in getting the family to contribute to their success.

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