About Us

Meet the people making things happen

History

When Kimberly Hinton-Robinson, Executive Director of L.I.F.E. W-S, Inc., was working with homeless people with children in the early 2010s, they told her that they did not feel welcome at Winston-Salem’s free events and festivals, so she decided to create an annual festival/party just for them.

Thus, in 2015, the Festival for the Homeless was born. Held every September on the first Saturday after Labor Day, the event provides haircuts, food, clothing, bags with useful items to take away and live entertainment throughout the afternoon. Often, the Winston-Salem State University Mobile Health Care Unit is on-site to do vital signs testing and provide health-care information. Special activities, such as face-painting and a bouncy house, are provided in the Kidz Zone.

In January 2023, L.I.F.E. W-S, Inc., received its 501(c)3 (nonprofit) status. We are currently raising money and doing the work to buy our first of nine proposed, L.I.F.E. W-S, Inc., single-family residences to house and assist homeless families with children while they are in the process of obtaining affordable housing.

In December 2023, L.I.F.E. W-S, Inc., presented its first Holiday Festival in collaboration with the City of Winston-Salem Department of Recreation and Parks.

We are grateful to our dozens of volunteers and all the partners who contribute money, goods, and physical work to make our festivals bright moments in lives of our homeless brothers and sisters.

Kimberly Hinton-Robinson, Executive Director

Kimberly Hinton-Robinson is the Founder and Executive Director of Living Is Finally Enjoyable W-S, Inc.

Kimberly, a 2022 Winston-Salem Ambassadors Everyday Award Winner, is the product of local public and parochial schools. She attended Winston-Salem State University and Post University. A community activist, Kimberly has a passion for helping those among us who are less fortunate. Her desire to help the community is the reason she began the Festival for the Homeless in 2015.

This event is designed to provide a “break” for the homeless population. As the visionary of the project, Kimberly has enlisted the help of entertainers, restaurants, public leaders, and individuals to bring this event to fruition.

Festival for the Homeless is the catalyst for Living Is Finally Enjoyable W-S, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide transitional housing for homeless people with children.

Kimberly’s passion for people includes her participation in state and local politics. She is the Precinct Chair for Forsyth County Precinct No. 404. She is a mentor and a pillar in the community.

Stuart Russell, Chairman

Stuart Russell is an attorney and currently serves as the General Counsel for Truliant Federal Credit Union. He also serves as a co-chair of the North Carolina Blockchain Initiative, which is a volunteer task force advocating for blockchain technology.

Stuart is also active in his local bar association, where he recently served as President. Stuart also previously served many years on the Forsyth County Board of Elections. Stuart attended Duke University for undergraduate and law school.

J. Mark Oliver, Vice Chairman

Mark Oliver is a general dentist who has served the triad for more than 20 years.

Dr. Oliver is an advocate for equity in health care, education, and food access.His interest in homelessness stems from his fascination with the development of healthy communities for everyone.

He has served on Boards for the North Carolina Dental Society, My Brother’s Second Chance, UNC School of the Arts, and UNC School of Dentistry, and is a perennial supporter of the YMCA and the Winston-Salem Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Initiative. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Inc. 

Lynn Felder, Secretary

Lynn Felder is an award-winning journalist who has worked for nearly 40 years in the Carolinas. Her interest in homelessness began when she interviewed Kimberly Hinton-Robinson in 2019 for an article about Hinton-Robinson’s annual Festival for the Homeless in Winston-Salem.

In 2020, after leaving her job at the Winston-Salem Journal during the COVID pandemic, Lynn wrote and produced a one-act play supported by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County and the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation’s Artist Thrive. Since then, she has served on panels throughout N.C. to discuss the intersection of art and antiracism, and is always looking for ways to use her speaking and writing abilities to support social justice causes.

Kenny Lathan, Treasurer

Born in Boston, Mass., to military parents, Kenny has lived all over the Southeast United States. After graduating from high school in Fayetteville, NC, Kenny knew he only wanted to attend Winston-Salem State University following in the footsteps of his late grandmother. While at WSSU Kenny studied Sport Management and Financial Services.

Kenny is a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company where he works with families and individuals to help ensure their financial security and works alongside them to be their “chief financial advocate.”

 In the past, Kenny also served in the role of Treasurer for Forsyth Futures (Currently Vice-Chair) and the Alpha Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Board of Directors

Saundra Ross

Saundra’s vocal talents have taken her around the world as one of the most in-demand entertainers today.

Singing since childhood, she has a wealth of experience in all forms of music. Although classically trained, she and her band concentrate on jazz and R&B stylings in the mode of Jill Scott, Chaka Khan, Dianne Reeves, Etta James, and Anita Baker. She has performed in every corner of the globe, including North America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. “Entertainment for the Soul.”

Saundra was one of the first entertainers who joined with the mission of working with the “Festival For the Homeless” and has participated in some form every year. The love of community has always been a part of her background, as she also serves as a board member of The Aaron T. Jones Jet Black Empowerment Foundation, where the mission is focused on empowering and uplifting the community in Guilford County.

Community is where her heart is, and homelessness is something that she can help eradicate as she is a proud board member with us.

Allan Younger

Allan works for NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina. He is the Senior Director of Programs and leads the Foundation’s programmatic priorities and partnerships.

He is a true champion of entrepreneurs and values the power of community in leading equitable economic development. He serves as a member of the NC IDEA Senior Leadership Team in charge of overseeing all programs that provide education, training and mentoring for individuals seeking to start and grow companies in North Carolina. He leads program development, management, and evolution for all entrepreneur programming; including the Foundation’s NC IDEA LABS customer discovery initiative, programmatic support for NC IDEA MICRO grant recipients and deployment of the Ice House curriculum through NC IDEA MINDSET. Allan also oversees coaching and mentoring and support NC IDEA’s ECOSYSTEM partners who do so likewise.

In the local community, Allan serves on the boards of the Winston-Salem Foundation, HUSTLE Winston-Salem, Emancipation Association, and Living Is Finally Enjoyable W-S, Inc. He is an adjunct professor at Winston-Salem State University, Shaw University, and Salem College. He is also a life member of and chairman of a standing committee for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Van Cundiff

Evangeline Cundiff is a native of Surry County, North Carolina. After graduating from Starmount High School in Boonville, she served for 2 years as a medic in the Women’s Army Corp, an experience which not only expanded her geographic borders but also her calling to give help and healing.

For 25 years, she worked as a medical technician and nursing assistant and now serves as a private-duty nurse. As a faithful member of Hope Community Church in Winston-Salem since 2013, Evangeline volunteers in several ministries to the community. She cares for the youngest of Hope as a Nursery Worker; she has served on multiple occasions in “Street-VBS,” taking summer Vacation Bible School into communities; and she regularly works with the Church’s weekly Food Distribution ministry, providing nutrition to families in need.

Most recently, she participated in the Festival for the Homeless in Winston-Salem and also began a personal initiative of providing free, quality clothing to homeless individuals. She is humbled and honored to be asked to serve on this Board of Directors and to give back to the community she loves.

Kenneth Crumb

Hailing from Dublin, a small town in Bladen County, North Carolina, near the Cape Fear River, Kenneth Thomas Crumb’s early life was defined by hard work. Raised in a resource-challenged family during the 1950s, he began contributing at the age of 5 on a tobacco farm, instilling in him a strong work ethic and a sense of unity within his family. Guided by the principles of collaboration and determination, Kenneth’s journey led him to actively engage with the community, volunteering at a local food pantry and participating in various social causes, all while finding joy in DIY projects and fishing.

Kenneth’s academic journey started with a transformative eighth-grade science teacher and led to accomplishments such as a Bachelor of Sciences in Biology from North Carolina A&T State University in 1977 and a Bachelor of Sciences in Chemistry from the University of NC-Greensboro in 1990. His professional trajectory is equally impressive, encompassing roles such as a Science Teacher, a Research Lab Technician, and an Analytical Chemist. Now, as a devoted volunteer board member, Kenneth’s rich personal history, unwavering commitment, and diverse experiences continue to shape our organization’s mission and contribute to a brighter future.

David Levine

David Levine works as a management consultant helping organizations that are struggling to achieve their goals or trying to improvement their performance. He enjoys taking on complex problems and finding solutions in many different types of organizations. David has an undergrad degree from University of Georgia and an MBA from Georgia State and is a huge Georgia Bulldogs fan. He is married and has 2 college-age daughters that are the love of his life.

David enjoys cycling – gravel and mountain bike riding, running, and Crossfit. He is always up to a challenge and has completed many extreme endurance events – from ultra-marathon 100-mile runs to an Ironman.

David recently attended a program at the Dwelling of Winston-Salem called Witnessing Homelessness that created a desire for him to figure out a way to get involved and help with homelessness in Winston-Salem.  He is excited to be leveraging his personal drive and problem solving as a board member at LIFE-WS.

Jennifer Castillo

Jennifer Castillo was born in California, but has been raised in Winston-Salem, NC, since the age of 9. She graduated from Glenn High School in Kernersville, NC, where she first met her husband, and they are now raising four bright-minded kids who enjoy helping those in need. Jennifer graduated from UNC-Greensboro with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, hoping to land a career where she could serve her community. Jennifer first worked as a family advocate with a local domestic violence shelter, assisting victims fleeing emergency situations. She later went on to serve the homeless community at a deeper level by working as a housing services case manager with Experiment in Self Reliance, Inc.,  a local non-profit serving those who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. 

Jennifer’s experience working with people in housing crisis allowed her to learn about the many facets of homelessness. For more than 10 years, she advocated for the needs of the homeless in our community. When Jennifer learned about the annual Festival for the Homeless happening in the Winston-Salem community, she knew her family would love to serve. Jennifer’s small business, Castillo Party Rentals, enjoys working with the kids zone at the festival, and providing gifts, balloons, and arts and crafts for the children (and even the parents) to enjoy! Jennifer enjoys community service and civic engagement. She has lobbied for the needs of the Hispanic community in both Raleigh, NC, and Washington, D.C., and she even ran for Forsyth County school board in 2022! Jennifer has previously served on the Board of United Health Centers, a local non-profit medical care center. She is a member of the Gamma Chi chapter of Phi Mu Sorority, which first inspired her need to serve. 

Advisory Committee

Fleming El-Amin 

Lisa Faulk 

Natasha Smith

Priscilla Jackson

Charlie Wilson

Todd McIver, Esq.

The Honorable Valene McMasters 

Kenya O’Neal 

Rodolfo Pascual, MD 

Fred Terry

 

L.I.F.E. W-S, Inc.,  P.O. Box 1,  Winston-Salem, NC 27102  Lifeincws1@gmail.com 336-529-5680