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August 18, 2022 | Faith, Community and Non-Profit Leader Check-In Meeting IMMIGRANT REFUGEE FOCUS

Our every other week check-in meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting compassionate community response to our most vulnerable neighbors. Meetings are held online every other Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Email LeDayne Polaski for Zoom access code. In addition, if you would like to receive notification when these minutes are posted, please subscribe to our newsletter.

Want to learn more about we do on our calls? Watch this short video clip!


Click Here to Access Zoom Recording:


In this Issue:



Opening Reflection

Pulled from the SJBC Study Guide mentioned below:

Hebrew Scriptures: “The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)

Jesus told his followers to welcome the strangers saying “what you do to the least of these, you do unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)

The Qur’an tells us that we should, “serve God…and do good to…orphans, those in need, neighbors who are near, neighbors who are strangers, the companion by your side, the wayfarer that you meet, and those who have nothing.” (4:36)

The Hindu scripture tells us, “The guest is a representative of God.” (1.11.2)

Sikhism teaches “No one is my enemy, and no one is a stranger.”

These are just a few of hundreds of texts we could cite. At MeckMIN, we envision a community that lives by the highest values and core virtues of its rich faith traditions – Our opening prayer today is that this next hour might move toward the fulfillment of these scriptures. Amen.


1. MeckMIN Updates


Sunday morning set up. Good job for someone who worships at an alternative time. See attached job description.

Sunday Concierge
Download DOCX • 17KB


  • Learn about Sikhism with MeckMIN

  • November 12th – youth go to Catawba Nation

  • Please share the name and email address of the people who work with youth at your congregation or faith community so that we can share these opportunities and others.

Register here for October 2 event


  • Sept 20th at noon. Looking at this local effort on gun safety.

  • This event will be in-person only. NO online option. NO recording. Lunch reservations due by Monday, September 12.

Register here.


The Faith Club will meet on Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 7:00 in a hybrid meeting (Zoom and in-person). Members will be invited to describe the “developmental rites and rituals” of their faith. Some examples would be baptism, dedication, bar mitzvah, marriage rites, and death rites. That is not a complete list. The meeting will be at Park Rd. Baptist Church. Note: the Faith Club is comprised of women of a variety of religious traditions. Saeeda Mubaarak, or Virginia Sullivan

SACRED THREADS CONFERENCE September 11 | at Queens University and Myers Park Baptist

Don't miss this half day interfaith conference on September 11th (in person or virtual). Connect with Charlotteans from varied faiths, be inspired by nationally known interfaith scholars and musicians, and engage in great conversations.

Together, we will explore the remarkable content of Nostra Aetate -- the 1965 watershed document issued by Vatican II that set into motion introspection, reconciliation, and interfaith dialogue.

To learn more about the conference speakers, musicians, and schedule, and to register click here.

ANNUAL COMMUNITY-WIDE INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE Tuesday, November 22 | 7 - 9 PM (Prelude to begin at 6:45 PM) Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church

In 2022 we will invite Indigenous Carolina artists and activists to work with the planning committee to craft a service that incorporates their traditional and current practices to address the mythmaking around the traditional Thanksgiving story, offer a truer and more complete story, and suggest actions toward justice that attendees and MeckMIN can take. While deeply rooted in Indigenous history and traditions, the service will be accessible to people of all faiths.

A TASTE OF COMMUNITY - DINNER CONVERSATIONS Sunday, August 28 | 6 -8 PM | Muslim Community Center

  • Dinner Conversations

  • Scan QR Code with your camera to register

REENTRY SIMULATION Saturday, August 27 | St. Peter Catholic Church

  • Cool sounding program. Experiencing what it is like to reenter the community after serving time.

  • Scan QR Code with your camera to register

2. Non-Profit Updates


Alba Sanchez | Immigrant Welcoming Center Manager | | 704-941-2558

As you probably know by now, we are having an increase of many newcomers’ families. We have seen 1500 new families in the last three months reaching out to LAC mostly from Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela.

Needs: rental assistance, jobs, financial contributions, mattresses, baby formula, school supplies, uniforms, hygiene products, furniture, transportation, mental health and more.

Goal: networking and connecting with additional resources such as food/shelter /facilities, Churches, clothing donations/ low-cost clinics services outside Mecklenburg County.

Help is specially needed in: counties like Cabarrus, Union, Iredell, Rowan, and surrounding counties.

Drop out place: Hickory Grove or you can bring to LAC directly.

We can connect you directly to the family as well.

Click here to access the go fund me link.


Daniela Andrade (she/ her/ ella) | Community Support Coordinator

Comunidad Colectiva is a grassroots organization in Charlotte, NC focused on organizing around the rights and needs of the immigrant community. We provide resources such as monthly vaccination/ health events for community members, referrals and collaborate with Church World Service in the Immigrant Solidarity Funds (ISF). The ISF provides financial assistance to families in the immigrant community who have been directly impacted by covid in the Charlotte area.

Our sister organization Carolina Migrant Network is the only organization in the Carolinas that provides free legal representation for people detained and representation on bond cases.


The NC-Immigrant Solidarity Fund (NC-ISF) is a statewide, grassroots effort to support undocumented and mixed status families facing financial hardship due to a recent ICE detention & deportation, emergency, or natural disaster. Funds are currently exhausted so please consider donating.

We have created the greater Charlotte area Immigrant Solidarity Fund. Can help legal expenses, ICE bonds, and more. We understand that our clients have difficulty accessing resources so we are working to help with that. Specifically for Mecklenburg, Union and Cabarrus undocumented immigrants.


CWS Charlotte is the third office in North Carolina supporting our Refugee and Immigrant community. Each year children seek refuge in the United States. Most are fleeing threats and violence in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras. Children who arrive at the border without their parent or legal guardian are placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement at shelters or long-term foster care facilities across the nation. Through our Home Study and Post Release Services program, CWS Charlotte works with children and their sponsors once they have been reunified with their loved ones in the Charlotte region.

We provide Home study and post release study service. If they are in the shelter and are identified with a particular risk in a home we have someone who evaluates the home. We also assist when children are reunified with loved ones to provide support services. We help with medical care and ensure that they are safe.

We are a new office, set up this year. There are 1085 kids total who have left their care and are identified as in need of supportive care. 209 in Charlotte.


The St. John’s Immigrant and Refugee Ministry Group was begun 3 years ago. We decided early on that we would focus first on congregational education. We have pursued that in several ways. One was to invite Karen Gonzalez, author of The God Who Sees, to speak at our church during the first weekend in May 2022. Another has been to develop, through a year-long process, a 4-session study guide titled “A Journey to Understanding Our Immigrant Neighbors” that can be used by groups in the church and community. We have also established relationships with three community organizations that serve immigrants and refugees. We publicize to our congregation opportunities to assist these organizations through donations and volunteer service.

The Study Guide may be ordered electronically from MeckMIN (see below)


By emailing St John’s Baptist Church and requesting a copy. These are free!!

Immigration Study Guide April 2022
Download PDF • 3.39MB


The Mis Amigos Project [M.A.P.] began in 2019 as a rapid-response humanitarian service outreach to asylum seekers recently released from detention centers in Texas. At this point the group was identified as the Migrant Assistance Project. We provided food, clothing and supplies to Central American migrants traveling by bus through Charlotte from the Mexican border to family or friends along the East Coast. With the closing of the border through the Migrant Protection Protocols, the Greyhound greeting program shut down, but then with the onset of Covid-19, M.A.P. quickly began a rapid response effort via a hotline to refer families to Loaves and Fishes food pantries and to supply other needed information and supplies. We now have a database of over 400 families, many of whom continue to request food as well as diapers, clothing, and other essentials.


  • A current vital need is for diapers. We have been struggling to try to provide them to those on our current list as well as for some of their friends and relatives who have found about us and requested them. We closed our waiting list recently due to the high demand. We have been collaborating with Compassion Closet for quite some time, since we serve many of the same families. And we hope to get confirmation that Compassion Closet will become a Diaper Bank partner in the near future. This will not provide adequate coverage for the families we currently help, so we continue to look for funds for diapers.

  • Also, interestingly, with the increased numbers of migrants now traveling through Charlotte again, teams are again meeting buses to offer food, supplies, and a warm welcome. There is a need for donations to keep the current teams supplied and for non-perishable food bags and toiletry kits.

M.A.P. is organized within a private Facebook group which has over 1400 members. The page is a place where requests are made, donations are offered up, and information is shared, all focused on the Spanish-speaking community of migrants and immigrants in Charlotte. We welcome posts that fit within this framework.


Compassion Closet is a program of The Coalition for Cultural Compassion that provides, at no cost, clothing, shoes, and small household items to families in need throughout the Charlotte region. While this service is open to all, over 95% of our clients are part of the Latinx community of immigrants and refugees. We are committed to listening to the voices of our clients and adapting our services to meet their biggest needs. Because we are a very small nonprofit, we are always in need of volunteers.

Need: Right now we especially need more volunteers willing to donate 1-2 hours per month as delivery drivers, either taking orders directly to clients or picking up donations in Charlotte and bringing them to our Concord based storage unit. If interested, please email Becky Schisler at


Lauren Rogers | Volunteer and Outreach Manager | 704-333-8099 ext. 110

  • International House provides free ESL classes and tutoring for adults, as well as afterschool tutoring for ESL youth. Potential students can register for classes or request a 1:1 tutor online through our website.

  • Our immigration clinic can help with green card applications and renewals, work permits, and citizenship applications.

  • Our Legal Clinic is currently at capacity, but will reopen for new immigration cases after Labor Day.

  • Our client services department will soon be staffed with Masters of Social Work interns to provide community navigator consultations to clients and students, beginning in September. International House is also going to be a mobile health unit site from 10AM-3PM on the 2nd and 4th Thursday each month for the next 3 months. They will be here providing free health screenings and community referrals for uninsured community members. (See email attachment).

GATEWAY GASTON Text GATEWAY at 704 800 3836

Good resource for local groups seeing people relocate to Gaston County:

Our gateway portal is a bit of a clearinghouse for connection. We saw the frustration with the fragmented system so we started the gateway. When someone contacts us on the website we connect them, 7 days a week 8-8. Gaston County only. We can talk with you about building a gateway in your community. There is a link to something called “journey home” that will show you the situation in Gaston.


We serve as a Resettlement agency for Refugees, immigrants and minorities (RIM) community at a very grassroots level making them feel that we are their extended family where they can reach out for any crisis or needs to bridge or learn how to access resources to become successful in a dignified approach with respect. In areas like Health, Finance, Education, Home, business and social legal needs to have a normal simple life as New Americans. We are fortunate to connect and bridge with all partners of Meck-Min serving in Charlotte city and Mecklenburg County NC USA, it would be nice of you to visit us on


Anna M. Cushman |

Legal Aid of NC is a non-profit law firm whose Battered Immigrant Project represents immigrant survivors of DV/SA/HT across NC with their immigration matters. Our work is provided on a pro bono basis to low income survivors statewide. BIP has staff in the Charlotte office of Legal Aid of NC located at 5525 Albemarle Road and operates a helpline on Tuesdays (3:30p-7:30p) and Thursdays (9:00a-1:00p) at 1-866-204-7612.

If you are working with an immigrant who has experienced domestic violence, sexual assault, or human trafficking, the group may be able to help them get their immigration status settled to provide some degree of personal stability.


Maria Cardarelli | Program Director | 704-536-9157

Bilingual, intercultural pre-school in Charlotte. A real model of how we can come together and grow together.


ourBRIDGE for KIDS is a nonprofit organization that supports the immigrant and refugee community in Charlotte, NC by providing an out of school program and through community-based initiatives. ourBRIDGE is expanding to a second site off Nations Ford this school year. The site will house a new K-5 program for 75 English Language Learners primarily from Montclaire and Starmount elementary schools. In the coming month, we'll be working on beautifying the space and are looking for volunteers to support us with this effort.

At the beginning of this year, Refugee Support Services and ourBRIDGE started sharing space on the Aldersgate campus, where we rent the building for $1 a year. For over ten years, ourBRIDGE and RSS have worked together on numerous advocacy projects to raise awareness and facilitate accessibility to resources for newly-arrived families. The move into the shared space is an opportunity for both to uphold each others’ core values, missions, growth, and impact as well as share common resources.

Needs: We are collecting school supplies and school uniforms for BRIDGE kids. We're accepting backpacks, scissors, glue sticks, crayons, colored pencils, markers, erasers, highlighters, pencils, sharpeners, pocket folders, and pencil pouches. We're accepting school uniforms in XS-XL kids sizes and ask that khaki pants, shorts, skirts, and light blue or white polo shirts be donated. Drop off location: all donations can be dropped off at 3925 Willard Farrow Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215 M-F from 9am - 4 pm.

Please contact if you're interested in supporting us with our beautification efforts, donating supplies, or if you'd like to learn more about getting involved.


The mission of Refuge Support Services is to facilitate programs and intercultural relationships that promote individual autonomy, cultivate social capital, and enrich our community. RSS operates a Help Center consisting of five core components: the Artisan and Workforce Development Programs, the Mentor Programs, the Youth Education Programs, the Food & Community Information Programs, and the Help Desk Programs. Services provided are unique to our community of impact and designed to assist with essential skills and support as we all work together to build a more welcoming Charlotte. Anyone interested in volunteering or donating can connect by email at or connect through our Helpline at 980.263.9334.


Searchable sources for resources:

This website lists multiple places that might be able to help – enter your zip code and it lists multiple sources of help in different categories:

This is a great resource page and it is organized by the need (housing, food, clothing, etc) which makes it much easier to navigate. Check them out here.

Mecklenburg County Public Health Community Resources Guide, 2017

A comprehensive guide to multiple community resources published by the county.

Other resources:


Catholic Charities helps anyone in need, regardless of their faith affiliation. Excellent on-line resource guide (Created specifically for refugees and immigrants but many resources are applicable to all.)

A Tu Lado

See attached Guide to Community Resources created by A Tu Lado.

Guide to Community Resources 1_21 (1)
Download DOCX • 39KB

See attached Guide to Community Resources created by Comunidad Colectiva

Comunidad Colectiva (ESP) Organizaciones Sin Fines de
Download PDF • 287KB

Comunidad Colectiva (ENG) Referral List CC- updated 1_10_22
Download PDF • 284KB


Louise McCrorie, MLS, MSW, LCSW | Social Services Coordinator | (704) 336-9548

We do not require any documentation or ID, just a date of birth. They can call us to get a referral if they are not working with an agency. I have access to CHOICE and we have 2 bilingual Latino interpreters. We can help!

Plus see attached FILES of food resources.

Food Pantries Referral Required
Download PDF • 60KB

Food Pantries Self Referral
Download PDF • 93KB

Soup Kitchens
Download PDF • 64KB


Plus see attached list

Clothing _ Families Forward Charlotte
Download PDF • 70KB


Housing Crisis Resources
Download DOCX • 23KB


Beds for Kids

Earl Coggins, with Home2Home ministry of Matthews Methodist Church

Crisis Assistance Free Store



Need: we need about 150 sq feet of office space and access to a space for meetings.

We support uninsured, under insured people in Charlotte. Building is being sold and they need office space for 150 sq feet and ideally shared space that allows for board and client meetings.

The Lionel Lee Jr. Center for Wellness (LLCW) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The LLCW was created to serve the needs of uninsured, underinsured and underserved members of our community. Our mission is to assist individuals and families in obtaining their basic health and wellness needs; to increase public awareness and support for those negatively impacted by systemic issues; and to provide information and activities to improve overall health and wellness. The Lionel Lee Jr. Center for Wellness is a grassroots organization that addresses concerns through education, networking, and advocacy. Our volunteer team provides assistance with obtaining resources available through local agencies and service providers.

To learn more about the organization, please contact Sonja Lee, Executive Director, by email at; or by phone at 704.719.0848


Bettie Jones | Galilee Ministries Volunteer Coordinator.

Need: We're looking for front desk greeters to welcome our visitors, assist them getting to services they need on Thursdays from 9-11 am and 11-1 pm and Tuesdays from 1-3 pm. Email us at:

Hydroponic Gardening Class: we have a Universal Sacred Harvest program that will be offering classes starting Aug. 22. Call Ramona Moore Big Eagle at 704-750-9696.

ROOM IN THE INN - Information for Upcoming Season

Ashley Brown | Room In The Inn & Community Engagement Manager

Office: 704-334-3187 x321

PO Box 36471 │ Charlotte, NC 28236

I hope you all have had a wonderful summer! While the warm weather is not over yet, we’ve already begun planning for this year’s Room in the Inn (RITI). Thanks to you our RITI hosts, last year we were able to offer this critical winter shelter option. And, thanks to your consistent practice of safety protocols, we had a limited number of COVID cases and COVID exposure.

With homelessness rising along with housing costs, we know that RITI will be a critical community resource this winter. We are working on a plan to offer RITI safely for you and our neighbors, but also in a way that our neighbors in need can easily access the program.

With that in mind, here are a few updates:

1. Masking: Masking will remain a requirement for both neighbors and volunteers for the entirety of program use, except while eating, showering, and sleeping. All of our shelter campuses continue to utilize this safety measure for guests.

2. Social Distancing: We continue to encourage the practice of social distancing. We understand that this is difficult to achieve with the role of transportation to and from host sites. Therefore, it is the site’s decision of the number of passengers/guests they choose to host.

3. Vaccines: Last year, with the emergence of the Delta variant, we believed it important to add the vaccine requirement for our neighbors, believing that doing so would put the program in the best possible position to continue operating. In turn, we also found that the requirement put up a significant barrier for a number of vulnerable neighbors who tried to access RITI for immediate shelter. In our current deliberations for this year, we are strongly considering the removal of the vaccine requirement for our neighbors. Please note that if a final decision is made to remove the vaccine requirement, it will be program-wide, thus, individual sites participating will not be able to require only-vaccinated guests to shelter at their site. We will continue to work with our medical director and health department to make this final decision.

4. Intake/Screening Process: Room in the Inn pre-screening will continue the procedure of confirming guests’ identity, screening for any medical or behavioral concerns, and wanding guests and performing bag checks before loading host vehicles.

Please complete this survey requesting your site’s decision on whether you will be a physical hosting location this 2022 – 2023 season and your coordinator(s) contact information. Based on these answers, you will then receive your log-ins to BellData (Room in the Inn’s coordination site). We hope you will join us!

If you have any needs for your host site (such as mattresses, sheets, blankets, towels and pillows), please let me know, so that I may connect you with a site who is donating items.

As additional questions arise, please don’t hesitate to reach out. On Sept 1st at 5:30pm, RITI leaders will host a recorded Zoom meeting for all host coordinators to ask any additional questions. More details to come.

Thank you for your service!


We are doing this action on August 25th supporting tenants who have been getting ridiculous rent increases. What we keep hearing from our electeds is that the rent increase is simply due to inflation, however we have tenants whose rent is going up $300. That is not inflation, it is corporate greed.

Please help us support these tenants who are ultimately being displaced due to eviction and high rents, many people are ending up houseless and living in motels which is super expensive.

Please share with your networks and attend in person.


Tamara Hawkins, MSPH | Supervisor | COVID-19 Community Outreach

Mecklenburg County Public Health | COVID Response Unit

O: (980) 314-9079

C: (980) 266-0155

Mecklenburg Health update:

Overall, it’s good news across the board.

  • Cases decreased 10%

  • Cases among children 0-17 years also decreased by 11%

  • Children 0-4 years still account for 45% of cases in this age group

  • Deaths decreased

  • CDC community level has returned to Medium

  • Wastewater monitoring level has dropped to level 4 in two monitoring sitesEmergency Department visits have decreased

Additional items to note:

Taken together, these developments reinforce that while COVID will remain a public health matter of significance for the foreseeable future, we should now be moving into integrating COVID into our routine work and not treating it as a separate threat.

Free Tests

North Carolinians in eligible zip codes can receive up to five free at-home COVID-19 tests shipped directly to their door. This giveaway is a partnership between the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the Rockefeller Foundation through Project ACT. Orders may be placed each calendar month (beginning on the 1st of each month). It takes 1-2 weeks to receive your kit of 5 tests. Find out whether you're eligible, and learn how to get the tests:

By the numbers: Currently, 67 out of North Carolina's 100 counties have "a high risk of illness and strain on the health care system" due to their COVID-19 infections, per NCDHHS


3. General Information



The Junior League of Charlotte Application for Community Partnership

June 2023-May 2024

Junior League of Charlotte will allocate financial and volunteer resources to promote, support, and provide access to mental and physical health programs and services for children from kindergarten to fifth grade. We will partner with various non-profit organizations who focus on:

Programs that Promote Healthy Living, Support Mental Well-Being and Provide Access to Healthcare and Food.

Serve priority areas of Mecklenburg County encompassing zip codes: 28205, 28206, 28208, 28212, 28216, and 28217.


September 16 | 10 AM - 1 PM | Weeping Willow Church

Mental Health America of the Central Carolinas

Emily Lancucki |Operations Director

ONE Charlotte Health Alliance 601 E. 5th St. | Suite #330-D Charlotte, NC 28202 | (804) 370-5437 mobile

ONE Charlotte Health Alliance is excited to share the official launch of our partnership with Mental Health America of the Central Carolinas. OCHA is co-sponsoring two FREE in-person trainings for the community in September.

QPR Gatekeeper Training (1.5hr CEUs) Friday, September 9th 1-3pm

Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. QPR is the most widely taught Gatekeeper training in the world. QPR stands for Question, Persuade & Refer and is an evidence-based training created by the QPR Institute. Training can be completed in 2-hours.

Self-Care and Conflict Resolution Wednesday, September 21st 5-7pm

MHA’s Self-Care and Conflict Resolution presentation aims to educate the participant on the importance of self-care, the definition and aspects involved in Self-Care, and ideas on activities that can be attempted anywhere and anytime, no matter the time constraints. Each aspect features examples, as well as a detailed sample activity for a deeper understanding of the individual’s own self. The conflict resolution piece focuses on 10 main tips for de-escalation of a situation, how to stay calm in a con