Faith Community Eviction Prevention Fund

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Source: ofsa.org

With the CDC eviction moratorium now ended, an estimated 22,000 households across Charlotte-Mecklenburg are at risk of homelessness. Many of these are the individuals and families hardest-hit by COVID. Many have suffered job loss, reduced income, medical and/or childcare challenges as a result of the pandemic. Nationwide, more than one in seven renters have not caught up on rent during the pandemic, with renters of color facing the greatest hardship.

 

Many of your places of worship have already responded generously to this crisis. Thank you!

 

We're coming to you now with additional ways you might choose to help -- sharing stories, making a donation from your house of faith, encouraging your members to make donations, and letting people in need know about the fund.

 

The stories are key because with so many people impacted, it can be easy to lose touch with the real people behind the numbers. Sharing the stories will also keep this in front of people once the eviction crisis is no longer part of the news cycle.  We will be sharing stories of the impact of your giving in our biweekly Thursday meetings and newsletter, and we encourage you to pass these along in newsletters, social media, sermons and the like. 

 

Congregational and individual gifts are also key. MeckMIN has created a fund at Crisis Assistance Ministry to provide rent assistance to neighbors in need. Crisis will administer the funds, focusing on the most urgent cases to prevent as many evictions as possible in the coming months.Critically, unlike much other available funding, these monies will have no restrictions other than demonstration of need. 

 

 

For questions about how to get help, how to give help, and why this help is needed, please see the FAQs on the Crisis Assistance Website. 

Make an online donation by clicking link above or Text Eviction to 91999.

To donate by check, make your check out to Crisis Assistance Ministry and put “MeckMIN Eviction Prevention Fund” on the memo line.

Crisis Assistance 
500-A Spratt St
Charlotte, NC 28206

REAL Stories. REAL People.

STORY #14

Last week, in the days leading up to Christmas, one mother and son received a gift they will never forget.

After the death of her son’s father several years ago, this young mom worked hard to console and support the two of them. Everything was going well until earlier this year when she started experiencing unexplained bouts of dizziness and fainting. Frequent medical appointments meant her paychecks were lower than usual, and she began to fall behind on rent.

For a while, her landlord agreed to accept partial and late rent payments. But last month, he told her that his own financial situation had worsened, and now she would have to pay off the entire balance or face eviction.

With the predictable income of her newly-granted short-term disability benefits, this young woman knew she would be able to pay her rent on time going forward, but she had no idea how she could clear the past due amount.

Hoping for a miracle, she turned to Crisis Assistance Ministry. And that’s when the generosity of people like you made it possible to pay off the balance and allow her to ring in the new year with a fresh start.

There are still health concerns to address, along with the challenges of raising a son alone. Still, this determined mom is taking time this holiday season to reflect on and give thanks to the generous community that supported her family in its darkest hour.

STORY #13

Raising children is expensive, especially once they become teenagers. That’s what caused a first-time customer to seek rental assistance at Crisis Assistance Ministry last week. This single mother explained that since her divorce ten years ago, she’s been raising her son and daughter without any help from their father. And they were doing just fine until last month when a series of unexpected and increased expenses hit hard.

The children desperately needed new shoes as they had long outgrown the old ones. Then, after a routine doctor visit, she learned that her daughter required prescription glasses. It also seemed like the kids were hungry all the time; that, coupled with the increasing cost of groceries, meant food was taking a big bite out of her paycheck. Still, she managed to juggle the bills until the last straw: nearly $800 in car repairs. Without the car, she wouldn’t be able to get to work, so she paid the mechanic and prayed she could find assistance to pay the rent.

That’s when caring community members stepped in to help. Their donations to Crisis Assistance Ministry made it possible for the agency to pay this hardworking mother’s past due rent, allowing her to focus on what she does best: guiding her children to adulthood in a safe and loving home.

STORY #12

Last week at Crisis Assistance Ministry, generous donors made the holiday season brighter for one young family in our community. This married couple focuses on raising their three children, all under age 8, in a safe and love-filled home. So, when eviction papers appeared on their front door late last month, they were understandably panic-stricken.

After many years of stable employment with an income high enough to allow his wife to care for their children at home, the husband lost his job unexpectedly in August. While savings and support from family saw them through a couple of months, all resources were exhausted by the time rent was due in November.

They had no idea what to expect after submitting their application for rental assistance. It was agonizing waiting for the caseworker’s phone call, but it brought excellent news when it came. The agency was able to pay the past due rent directly to the landlord, who, in turn, canceled the eviction proceedings. The father is still searching for employment but is optimistic that a job offer will come soon. For now, the family is simply grateful for the gift of home and everyone who helped make it possible.

STORY #11

Last week, families across Charlotte gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving. But for many, there was a lot more to worry about than who would carve the turkey.

Among them was a mother of two small children who came to Crisis Assistance Ministry in the days before Thanksgiving, hoping for help keeping her family home for the holidays. In August, she had lost her job and was now eagerly awaiting a new position set to begin in mid-December. But the months of surviving without income had depleted her savings, and she had no family to turn to. Her landlord had already started the eviction process, so her first paycheck would not arrive in time to save the day.

Thankfully, funds were available to pay the past due rent and keep this young family safely in their home. Anxiety shifted to anticipation as they were now able to plan a Thanksgiving meal. During this season of reflection and gratitude, it’s beautiful to see the generosity of our community shine through.

STORY #10

Have you ever experienced that gut-wrenching moment when you go to pay for something only to realize your wallet has disappeared? Well, imagine yourself in that situation as a blind person. That’s what happened to a gentleman who applied for rental assistance from Crisis Assistance Ministry this week.

He explained to the caseworker who interviewed him that he goes to a local pharmacy with cash every month to buy a money order for his rent. This month, he needed to use the restroom. He laid his wallet beside the sink while he washed his hands. He didn’t realize he had walked out without it until several minutes later when it was his turn to approach the cashier.

A member of the pharmacy team quickly jumped in to help, entering the restroom in the hopes of finding the wallet and its contents intact. Unfortunately, the only items still there were his photo ID and some miscellaneous receipts. His cash was all gone and, because he lives on a fixed disability income, there will be no more money coming in until next month.

This man, who prides himself on his ability to navigate the world despite his inability to see, felt ashamed at having made such a basic mistake. But the caseworker reassured him that our community looks out for one another in times like these. A quick call to the landlord with a promise to pay this month’s rent eased his stress, and he explained that he’s already developed a system for making sure his new wallet is always at hand.

 

 

STORY #9

When the federal pandemic unemployment benefits ended in North Carolina last month, many people were affected, including a single young woman who turned to Crisis Assistance Ministry for help this week.

She had only been on her job for a few weeks when COVID-19 forced the business to shut down. State and then federal unemployment benefits carried her through, allowing her to stay current on her rent for over a year. By cutting back on all but the most basic expenses, she crafted a budget within her means and optimistically searched for a new job.

All that ended in early September when she received her final unemployment check. By then, she had a job lined up and knew her income would be more than enough to sustain her lifestyle, but her start date was three weeks away, and her first check wouldn’t come in time to pay October’s rent.

Fortunately, thanks to the generous community that supports Crisis Assistance Ministry, the agency could ease this young woman’s stress. A payment was made to her landlord, ensuring that eviction is not in her future, critically important since her new job is a work-from-home role.

 

 

STORY #8

Living on a fixed Social Security income can be difficult, but it’s especially challenging when that monthly amount unexpectedly has to support additional people. That is the situation faced by a grandmother who visited Crisis Assistance Ministry this week.

 

Due to a family emergency, she suddenly had sole responsibility for her two young grandchildren, ages 7 and 9. Her modest monthly check, which had previously barely covered her regular expenses, couldn’t stretch to meet the increased food and utility costs. After ensuring the children had what they needed to be comfortable in their new home, this grandmother was distraught when she realized there wasn’t enough money left to pay the rent.

Fortunately, her distress turned to relief after a discussion with a caseworker. A check for the past due rent was soon on its way to the landlord, ensuring that this newly-formed family didn’t have to worry about eviction. The caseworker also provided a referral to a food pantry and information on how to shop free-of-charge for clothing and household essentials in Crisis Assistance Ministry’s Free Store, both of which will help this grandmother ensure next month’s check covers the bills.

 

STORY #7

 

Today, a small family is breathing a sigh of relief. This mother and her 21-year-old disabled daughter were on the verge of eviction when they applied for rental assistance at Crisis Assistance Ministry last week. At the eviction court hearing held in September, this resourceful woman had successfully appealed the judgment, delaying the eviction decision until a future trial.

The magistrate explained that as long as the family paid the monthly rental amount to the Clerk of Court by the fifth business day of each month during the appeals period, she could not be evicted. But, if she failed to pay, her landlord could evict her immediately, regardless of the status of her appeal.

Through careful budgeting of the income from her job, this hardworking mother felt confident she would have the funds to pay the court on time. Ever since her husband abandoned the family last year, leaving her with no support, she has managed to juggle bills and stretch her paycheck.

Unfortunately, her autistic daughter’s behavior became unpredictable and potentially dangerous, forcing her to take unpaid time off work. With the October payment deadline looming and not enough money to cover the total amount, panic began to set in.

Imagine this woman’s sense of reprieve when the caseworker told her that Crisis Assistance would supplement the money she had on hand with enough to cover the full amount and that it would be paid on time.

Yes, the rent will be due again in November. But now that she’s back to work and her daughter is back on track, she says that is doable.

STORY #6
 

This week, Crisis Assistance Ministry helped a young mother and her seven-year-old daughter avoid eviction. This single mother is her child’s sole caregiver, so when the school called and said her daughter was sick, she had no choice but to call out from work. She works as a cashier at a grocery store, and, like many other low-wage positions, her job does not provide paid time off.

Fortunately, her daughter recovered quickly, and this hard-working mom was back on the job within a few days. But with an already tight budget, those lost work hours meant her paycheck couldn’t stretch to cover September’s rent.

Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, Crisis Assistance Ministry was able to get this family back on level ground by paying the past due rent. Now that she’s back to work full-time, this young woman will have the funds to cover rent this month. And with the stress of a looming eviction lifted off her shoulders, she can focus on keeping her daughter happy and healthy.

 

STORY #5

 

A 30-year-old woman applied for rental assistance at Crisis Assistance Ministry this week, hoping to avoid eviction for herself and her 8-year-old daughter. She works for a major airline at Charlotte-Douglas Airport, but her hours were recently reduced, leaving her with monthly take-home pay less than her rent. Although she tried to give her property manager what money she had, he refused to take a partial payment.

After a caseworker interviewed the young woman over the phone and assessed the situation, the agency was able to supply the additional funds needed to pay the entire balance due, thereby keeping this family safe at home.

 

 

STORY #4

 

This week, an online application for rental assistance was submitted to Crisis Assistance Ministry by a partner agency that works with abuse survivors. The referral was on behalf of a young woman who was assaulted by her domestic partner last month. Her injuries were so severe that she was hospitalized for several days and then written out of work for a week to recover. Unfortunately, her job does not offer paid time off, so she didn’t have the whole amount when September’s rent came due.

In addition, while she was in the hospital, her assailant removed all the furniture and other property from the home they had shared, leaving the young woman and her ten-year-old son to sleep on the floor.

A staff member at the referring agency conducted a full assessment of the situation and submitted a request for the balance of the rent owed, as well as for mattresses, box springs, and other essential furnishings. The Crisis Assistance Ministry caseworker quickly approved the application, ensuring that this mother and son would be safe and comfortable going forward.

Fortunately, the young woman has made a full physical recovery. Her ongoing relationship with the agency that referred her to Crisis Assistance Ministry means that both she and her son will receive the counseling and support they need to heal the emotional wounds they suffered as well.

s week, an online application for rental assistance was submitted to Crisis Assistance Ministry by a partner agency that works with abuse survivors. The referral was on behalf of a young woman who was assaulted by her domestic partner last month. Her injuries were so severe that she was hospitalized for several days and then written out of work for a week to recover. Unfortunately, her job does not offer paid time off, so she didn’t have the whole amount when September’s rent came due.

In addition, while she was in the hospital, her assailant removed all the furniture and other property from the home they had shared, leaving the young woman and her ten-year-old son to sleep on the floor.

A staff member at the referring agency conducted a full assessment of the situation and submitted a request for the balance of the rent owed, as well as for mattresses, box springs, and other essential furnishings. The Crisis Assistance Ministry caseworker quickly approved the application, ensuring that this mother and son would be safe and comfortable going forward.

Fortunately, the young woman has made a full physical recovery. Her ongoing relationship with the agency that referred her to Crisis Assistance Ministry means that both she and her son will receive the counseling and support they need to heal the emotional wounds they suffered as well.

STORY #3

During the first week of September, a woman in her mid-fifties applied for help at Crisis Assistance Ministry for the first time in her life. She has a well-paying job and has always supported herself comfortably, but the pandemic wreaked havoc on her family.

Within a few weeks of each other, her sister and brother-in-law died from COVID-19, leaving their teenaged son orphaned in New York. Expenses related to bringing the young man to Charlotte, furnishing a bedroom for him, feeding him, and buying clothing and back-to-school supplies meant there wasn’t enough money to pay September’s rent.

Fortunately, Crisis Assistance Ministry was able to make a rental payment directly to the property owner. Thanks to the generosity of donors in our community, this newly formed family is safely housed as they work through grief and adjust to their new reality.

 

STORY #2

A young lady and her boyfriend, along with their two-year-old daughter, moved into their new apartment earlier this year. She had lost her job due to the pandemic, but he was working and paying the bills while she stayed home to care for the toddler. Unfortunately, just a few weeks after moving in, an argument turned physical, and her boyfriend moved out.

When the month’s rent came due, she had no way to pay it, and her ex refused to help. Facing the terrifying possibility of becoming homeless with a young child, she turned to Crisis Assistance Ministry. The agency assisted by paying the bulk of her past-due rent, and she was able to cover the balance with the federal child tax credit payment she had just received.

With her housing secure, she can focus on the online insurance certification class she is taking. Once she completes it, she is guaranteed a work-from-home job that will allow her to care for her daughter while financially supporting them both.

STORY #1

A 39-year-old man came to Crisis Assistance Ministry a few weeks ago with a late notice from his landlord stating they will file eviction papers if he doesn’t pay his past due rent balance. He has lived in his apartment for over six years and never missed a rent payment. That is until he lost his job in January. Since then, he has been fighting the state’s denial of his unemployment benefits and burning through his savings.