July 2 Faith, Community and Nonprofit Leader Meeting

by LeDayne McLeese Polaski / 02 July 2020 / No Comments

We had another good meeting today. Thanks to all who came — and thanks to all who cannot come but watch the recordings and/or read the minutes. 

Here’s some feedback from two first-time attendees: 

This was my first time attending the Meck-Min Thursday zoom session.  What a great idea!  Thanks for pulling the community together so we can keep up with each other.

Thank you so much LeDayne – it was inspiring to hear the group’s conversation.  I can see why Thursdays are your favorite!

Minutes are below.

Below you’ll find useful information about: 

  • A project to create a list of people and groups who can lead anti-racism work within congregations
  • An invitation to a meeting on Tuesday, July 28, at 2 p.m. that will also highlight those anti-racism resources 
  • Free Internet for Students: 7 Providers Offering Support
  • FBI Warns of Potential Fraud in Antibody Testing for COVID-19
  • Local zip codes with low census response rates — if you have connections in one of these areas, it would be great to get your support in conveying the importance of the census. Resources are available to help you share this message. 
  • FREE MASKS 

ANTI-RACISM RESOURCE LIST: We invite your help and your participation 

MeckMIN is creating a resource list of LOCAL people and groups who can assist houses of faith in their anti-racism work. 

Here’s the quick description: 

artists, trainers, scholars, and activists local to the Charlotte area who can assist your house of faith in having authentic, vulnerable, and potentially transformative conversations on issues or race, racism, power and privilege 

We have two asks: 

1. If you have a person/group you think we should include, please let us know. 

2. Please consider attending a Zoom call in which some of these resource people will share about the work they do. That call will be Tuesday, July 28, at 2:00 p.m. This will be a great opportunity to explore options and find people/groups who’ll be a good fit for your congregation. Contact ledayne@meckmin.org for Zoom access info.

 Free Internet for Students: 7 Providers Offering Supporthttps://www.reviews.com/utilities/internet/free-internet-for-students-coronavirus-support/

FBI Warns of Potential Fraud in Antibody Testing for COVID-19The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning the public about potential fraud schemes related to antibody tests for COVID-19.Scammers are marketing fraudulent and/or unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests, potentially providing false results. In addition, fraudsters are seeking to obtain individuals’ personal information (names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc.) and personal health information, including Medicare and/or private health insurance information, which can be used in future medical insurance or identity theft schemes.In response to the vast number of COVID-19 cases, and in an effort to return to a normal economy as soon as possible, researchers have been encouraged to devise testing methods that can be quickly and easily deployed to test large numbers of individuals for COVID-19 antibodies. However, not all COVID-19 antibody tests have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and their efficacy has not been determined.The FBI warns the public to be aware of the following potential indicators of fraudulent activity:

  • Claims of FDA approval for antibody testing that cannot be verified
  • Advertisements for antibody testing through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources
  • Marketers offering “free” COVID-19 antibody tests or providing incentives for undergoing testing
  • Individuals contacting you in person, phone, or email to tell you the government or government officials require you to take a COVID-19 antibody test
  • Practitioners offering to perform antibody tests for cash

The FBI recommends:

  • Checking the FDA’s website (fda.gov) for an updated list of approved antibody tests and testing companies
  • Consulting your primary care physician before undergoing any at-home antibody tests
  • Using a known laboratory approved by your health insurance company to provide the antibody testing
  • Not sharing your personal or health information to anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals
  • Checking your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly reporting any errors to your health insurance provider
  • Following guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted medical professionals

If you believe you have been the victim of a COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or justice.gov/disastercomplaintform, or the FBI (ic3.govtips.fbi.gov, or 1-800-CALL-FBI).

Census Response Rates 

The following are zip code clusters and respective County Districts with low performance (response rate of <40%):

  Neighborhood   Zip Code  BOCC Districts CLT Council Districts
Harris-Houston 28262 3 4
Hidden Valley 28213 (2 census tracts) 3 4
College Downs 28213 3 4
Montclaire South 28217 2 3
Toddville Road 28208 2 3
Starmount Forest 28210 5 6
University City South 28223 3 4
Dixie-Berryhill 28278 2 3

If you have congregants, constituents, clients, or contacts in these neighborhoods, please reach out and ask them to continue spreading the message about the importance of completing the Census questionnaire.

ATRIUM HEALTH

Atrium is giving out free cloth masks to the public in various locations starting July 2.

1.    Friday, July 3, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Atrium Health
801 East Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203 

2.    Tuesday, July 7, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Atrium Health
801 East Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203 

3.    Wednesday, July 8, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Atrium Health NorthPark Clinic
251 Eastway Drive
Charlotte, NC 28213 

4.    Thursday, July 9, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Atrium Health
801 East Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28203

More information and additional times/locations can be found here: https://atriumhealth.org/about-us/coronavirus/masks

JULY 2 LEADER MEETING AGENDA 

38 participants

GENERAL INFORMATION

UPDATE ON HOTEL VOLUNTEERS 

There are three hotels opened by the County to house at-risk unhoused people. The hotels are staffed by two people from each of three coordinating agencies but volunteers are needed to help distribute food at lunch and dinner. These volunteers reduce the burden on the paid staff and allow them to focus on securing permanent shelter for the residents

The volunteer time slots vary by hotel. Exact times are listed on the sign up sheet. The slots are only 21% filled at this time. To volunteer, you must be willing to commit to the same time slot each week, through the end September, though there are substitutes who can fill in for occasional conflicts. You can sign up as an individual or a congregation can sign up for one or more slots. The locations of the hotels are confidential so you must sign up first and then you will get specifics for the particular.

Hotel Volunteer Sign Up 

Those who have volunteered already shared that:

  • The work is fast
  • The work happens in the lobby with adequate space for social distancing
  • The hotels welcome plastic grocery bags if you have any because they are running low

For questions, please contact Sally Herlong at: bookkeeper@meckmin.org

TRAINING FOR HOUSES OF FAITH AROUND CONVERSATIONS ON RACE AND RACISM

MeckMIN is creating a two-part offering to help Houses of Faith have fruitful conversations around race and racism. 

  • Resource database: They are collecting names of local artists, trainers, scholars, and activists who can assist houses of faith in having authentic, vulnerable, and potentially transformative conversations on issues or race, racism, power and privilege. If you have worked with someone and can robustly recommend them, please send their name and contact information to LeDayne@meckmin.org
  • There will be a Zoom call on Tuesday July 28, at 2 p.m. inviting these resource leaders to speak about their work. They are being asked to clarify what stage their work can best address: beginning the conversations, intermediate, or advanced. So, no matter where your congregation is on the anti-racist journey, there will be resources that can support you. 

FBI WARNING: POTENTIAL FRAUD IN ANTIBODY TESTING FOR COVID-19

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning the public about potential fraud schemes related to antibody tests for COVID-19.

Scammers are marketing fraudulent and/or unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests, potentially providing false results. In addition, fraudsters are seeking to obtain individuals’ personal information (names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, etc.) and personal health information, including Medicare and/or private health insurance information, which can be used in future medical insurance or identity theft schemes.

In response to the vast number of COVID-19 cases, and in an effort to return to a normal economy as soon as possible, researchers have been encouraged to devise testing methods that can be quickly and easily deployed to test large numbers of individuals for COVID-19 antibodies. However, not all COVID-19 antibody tests have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and their efficacy has not been determined.

The FBI warns the public to be aware of the following potential indicators of fraudulent activity:

  • Claims of FDA approval for antibody testing that cannot be verified
  • Advertisements for antibody testing through social media platforms, email, telephone calls, online, or from unsolicited/unknown sources
  • Marketers offering “free” COVID-19 antibody tests or providing incentives for undergoing testing
  • Individuals contacting you in person, phone, or email to tell you the government or government officials require you to take a COVID-19 antibody test
  • Practitioners offering to perform antibody tests for cash

The FBI recommends:

  • Checking the FDA’s website (fda.gov) for an updated list of approved antibody tests and testing companies
  • Consulting your primary care physician before undergoing any at-home antibody tests
  • Using a known laboratory approved by your health insurance company to provide the antibody testing
  • Not sharing your personal or health information to anyone other than known and trusted medical professionals
  • Checking your medical bills and insurance explanation of benefits (EOBs) for any suspicious claims and promptly reporting any errors to your health insurance provider
  • Following guidance and recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other trusted medical professionals

If you believe you have been the victim of a COVID-19 fraud, immediately report it to National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or justice.gov/disastercomplaintform, or the FBI (ic3.gov, tips.fbi.gov, or 1-800-CALL-FBI).

DSS – GUEST SPEAKER JACQUELINE MCKNIGHT, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES 

COVID-19 and the social distancing it requires has made it difficult to identify and protect at-risk children. CPS reports have declined by more than 40%, children entering custody have declined 24% and DDS can no longer rely on teachers and school staff to help them identify children at risk and families in need. So they are innovating and partnering with other agencies to find a new way to work. 

  • They have been partnering with CMS to locate and identify students who need support at home including those who do not have wifi access, working chrome books or who may not speak English. Through this partnership they have located and helped all but about 100 students from an original list of over 3,000.
  • They have been relying on social distancing and virtual options when possible to enable continued family visitations and services, but they are continuing to meet face-to-face for new cases, high risk situations and more, using social distancing and PPE to keep everyone as safe as possible.
  • They are working with courts to ensure that family visits remain possible.
  • They have partnered with Smart Start to provide in-home services and interventions. They are collaborating to integrate standardized models into their work. 
  • They are working with to do social and emotional education with children in their homes and they are hoping to expand that program. 
  • To help support families they are launching a virtual “campsite” or resource center which will make resources available for families to support their children academically and emotionally while also providing emotional and social support for adults who care for the children. The materials on the site will be available in English and Spanish and they hope to do a big marketing campaign around its launch. The materials will address children and families of all ages. The site is being developed in partnership with CMS, CM Library, Parks and Rec and more and funded by FFTC and others.
  • The ASK: Please share any of your programs that support families in the ways outlined above so they can be included as appropriate in this work. Send information to Lawrence Corley Lawrence.corley@mecknc.govALSO, DSS will be relying on Houses of Faith to help them spread the word about these resources when they are available so be on the lookout for promotional announcements and more. 
  • The full Powerpoint presentation is attached to this email.

VOTE RIDERS (PAMELA PEARSON)

Vote Riders is a non-partisan national non-profit that works on getting out the vote. Their part in the continuum in helping voters secure ID, get registered and then get to the polls to vote focuses on the first part – getting an ID and clarifying rules around what is required to vote. There is a great deal of confusion in NC around what you need to vote. A constitutional amendment was passed to require government-issued photo id but implementation has been stalled due to court challenges regarding the racial motivation behind the laws to implement the amendment. Vote Riders works to clarify that no ID is currently needed but also to ensure that potential voters get their ids so that they can vote no matter the outcome of the court decision. They have funding and volunteers who can help people secure new Social Security cards, DMV registrations and other documents. They have materials in both English and Spanish. They help those who are referred to them and also work with agencies like Roof Above to get their clients registered, even driving them as needed to get their documents. If your constituencies need their services, please contact Pamela who would be happy to coordinate with you. pam@voteriders.org 704-641-4845.

NONPROFIT UPDATES  

CRISIS ASSISTANCE

Evictions are scheduled to begin in Mecklenburg County on July 20th, though they have been allowed in the state since June 1. Crisis has been working in new and exciting ways with the courts and with the sheriffs department to prepare for the beginning of this process and to prepare the courts for the coming work. 

  • As of July 20th, there will be 3 courtrooms opened to process evictions and each will process on the hour for 5 hours. This is still much lower than the previous number of evictions processed each day.
  • Crisis has been working with those who are at risk for eviction and many people have successfully gone through mediation with their landlords. 
  • The judges are recommending mediation first and rewarding landlords who move to mediation first with quicker responses. This is a new and very welcome development.
  • The Sheriff’s department is working with Crisis for the first time, often calling them to warn of an upcoming imminent eviction so that Crisis can intervene to avoid it prior to implementation of the eviction warrant.  
  • The CARES act has sent about $7-8 million toward rent and utility which is administered through the City of Charlotte who works through the Housing Partnership. The Housing Partnership has applied the money directly to the properties in their housing portfolio and this work will continue through December. 
  • Rent assistance is also available to those in long-term hotels. Those folks should call 211 for help. Please contact Carol if you need information on the locations of those hotels and help connecting with those clients:Carol Hardison chardison@crisisassistance.org.

LOAVES AND FISHES

  • A reminder that the Food Share boxes are available by self-referral – these fresh produce boxes do not have a week’s worth of food but are a great and healthy help to those struggling with food insecurity. People can even complete a self referral on site using a cell phone. 
  •   L&F still has slots available for agency referrals as well – these referrals allow a family to get a full week’s worth of food. 

ROOF ABOVE

  • They are nearly done putting up vapor barriers to make it safer for clients.. Clients are provided with two meals and a snack when they visit and Roof Above needs additional goods. To donate goods, please visit their wish list atwww.urbanministrycenter.org
  • Please check out www.urbanministrycenter.org for signups for motel or 945 sandwich donations

ATRIUM HEALTH

Atrium is giving out free cloth masks to the public in various locations starting July 2.

  1. Friday, July 3, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Atrium Health
    801 East Blvd.
    Charlotte, NC 28203 
  2. Tuesday, July 7, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Atrium Health
    801 East Blvd.
    Charlotte, NC 28203 
  3. Wednesday, July 8, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Atrium Health NorthPark Clinic
    251 Eastway Drive
    Charlotte, NC 28213 
  4. Thursday, July 9, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Atrium Health
    801 East Blvd.
    Charlotte, NC 28203

More information and additional times/locations can be found here: https://atriumhealth.org/about-us/coronavirus/masks

QCFT 

Volunteer Needs(those that are highlighted are the biggest needs)

  • Renovation of shed into multi-use space (Electrical + Plumbing + Insulation+Heating & Air)
  • Plumbing for tiny home
  • Regular and professional lawn care
  • Brush removal in order to grow an urban orchard
  • 2-3 culturally competent and committed volunteers who will mentor and provide financial investment to neighborhood entrepreneur start ups
  • Videography/Photography volunteers and equipment
  • Weekly Garden tending- weeding and watering
  • Weekly Groundskeeping
  • Pressure washing of QCFT homes (6 total)
  • Use of a wood chipper
  • Donation and Installation of playhouse/slide/swingset

PRAYER FOR NONPROFIT LEADERS – Laurel Grauer 

Dates of note:

July 8, 1 p.m.          First of five conversations about racialized trauma 

July 10, 11 a.m.:      Next meeting 

July 28, 2 pm:           Zoom call inviting resource leaders to speak about their anti-racism work 

About the author:

LeDayne McLeese Polaski