Dr. John Cowan, Devon Smyth

Dr. John Cowan and Davies Shelter Director Devon Smyth at Rome Rotary on Wednesday. / Contributed

You’ve been called out ... for a worthy cause.

The CEO of Rome-based Cortex Toys announced the company would match $100,000 in donations to assist the William S. Davies Homeless Shelters in providing transitional housing for families in need.

The hope, Dr. John Cowan, the CEO of Cortex Toys, said, is to inspire the community to get involved.

“This is a very real problem and it’s worth spending real money on,” Cowan said. “And a big part of having a company is corporate philanthropy. It’s our duty as companies to give back.”

The amount of families and children who are living in Floyd County that are functionally homeless, meaning they’re living hotel room to hotel room or stay in homes with families or friends. In Floyd County Schools there are approximately 297 students classified as homeless while that number is 230 for Rome City Schools.

Cowan chose to propose the matching donation to Devon Smyth, the executive director of the Davies Shelters, because he liked her approach to combating the issue.

“She’s got a holistic approach to this problem,” Cowan said.

It’s not just feeding people and putting a roof over their heads, he said, it’s also leading them to find the resources they need to build themselves back up and become a functioning member of society.

The plans are still in their early stages, but the donations may be used as the seed money to fill in gaps in the process of getting people back on their feet and moving forward — especially families.

Right now the Davies Shelters has the 16-bed facility for men on 18th Street and are finishing up a home for single women and women with children on North Broad, called the Ruth and Naomi Project.

What’s missing in the community is the stage after people leave the shelter, and transitional housing will help to bridge the gap between getting help and self-sufficiency.

Typically, Davies Shelter guests stay three- to six-months, and the time is used to help them get back on their feet and try and save some money, Smyth said.

But often the costs of getting their own place is more than they expected, and they may not have the skill set built to be self sufficient in the community — and that becomes even more important when children are involved.

“If others want to contribute, we’re a registered 501c3 and we can provide a tax receipt,” Smyth said.

Those who wish to help can send a donation via check to PMB 391, 3 Central Plaza, 30161 and designate it for transitional housing, or on their website daviesshelter.com or even call in to the shelter at 706-512-1152.