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March 3, 2022 | Faith, Community and Non-Profit Leader Check-In Meeting

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:


Important Dates:


Opening Reflection


1. MeckMIN Updates


Room at the Inn: This upcoming Saturday has extremely low bed counts with 26 beds available. We average about 50 guests nightly. If there are 2-3 sites able to add beds THIS upcoming Saturday, 3/5, please contact Ashley Brown at

Question/Answer: Is there a Christian Church that meets on a day other than Sunday?

  • Victory Christian Center has Wednesday evening services at 7pm. 7728 Kings Ridge Dr off Old Pineville Rd.

The Date: Thursday May 12th at 7:30 am at Covenant Presbyterian (fingers crossed).

This year's breakfast will be held on Thursday, May 12 at 7:30 AM at Covenant Presbyterian Church. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and your paid ticket supports our work all year to develop understanding, compassionate relationships between people of all faiths, relationships which make possible a robust, coordinated, and effective response to the needs of our community. That said, your attendance means more to us than your gift, and we do understand that many of us are struggling with our finances, so we offer tickets on a sliding scale. We hope you'll buy a ticket today and plan to join us.

We invite you to join us as an event sponsor. For as little as $250, you as an individual, congregation, business, or fellow nonprofit can be recognized for supporting our work to foster interfaith cooperation, promote racial and ethnic understanding and address social needs in Mecklenburg County. For a full list of sponsorship levels and benefits, please visit our sponsorship page.

March 9 East CLT Meeting

Once a month, MeckMIN hosts a small gathering of faith, community and nonprofit leaders who live or work in East Charlotte. At our meeting March 9 at 2:30 p.m., we'll focus on the upcoming Community Health Assessment, and we seek YOUR INPUT to help make sure the assessment is reaching non-English speaking communities. Please reach out to for registration information.

Here's a word from the organizers --

Every three years, Mecklenburg County Public Health in conjunction with Atrium Health, Novant Health and One Charlotte conducts a Community Health Assessment (CHA) to determine community health issues needing greatest attention. These organizations as well as other agencies in the community use findings from the CHA for directing resources and developing plans to address the identified health priorities. The assessment is a comprehensive look at the health status of the community and is conducted by examining health-related data from numerous sources as well as input from the community.

Mecklenburg County is a very large community containing many diverse population groups. We would like to hear thoughts and concerns about community health from as many groups as possible and are reaching out to community leaders to get ideas on ways to best obtain this information.

We invite you to join us on Thursday, March 17 and Thursday, April 21 from 12:15 to 1:15 PM to learn more about the realities of immigration and to hear from some of our neighbors who've been immigrants and refugees.

  • March: This two-part series will cover some of the basics about immigration, current national and local issues, and the asylum process.

  • April: When someone arrives in the US having fled a situation of grave danger in their home country, they’re placed into court proceedings where they present their case for asylum. With limited English skills and often living in poverty, they're often confused by the complexities of the immigration system and everyday life. The challenges can be overwhelming. A Tu Lado (“By Your Side”) is a local interfaith volunteer organization that pairs faith communities with asylum seekers for partnerships of accompaniment, mutual understanding, and advocacy. We’ll hear the personal story of one asylum seeker living in our community and also from the faith community supporting her.

Calling all middle and high schoolers to join us on Saturday, March 26 at 1 PM for a fun service project with Promising Pages. We'll be sorting donated books and getting them ready for distribution to students and organizations that need them the most. For any youth in middle or high. Sign up here

THURSDAY'S Faith, Community, & Non-Profit Check-In Meeting

Our Thursday Faith, Community & Non-Profit Check-In Meetings are a GREAT source of information about needs and resources in our community. We are once again "blogging" each set of minutes and posting all the resources that were mentioned. Whether or not you're able to attend, this is a great way to keep up with what's happening. You can easily find everything under the News & Resources tab on the left-hand corner of the website, scroll down to Community Resources and click on Faith, Community, & Nonprofit Meeting.

In Our Own BackYard (IOOBY) | June 23-26 | Applications Open

SAVE THE DATE: JUNE 23-26, 2022 we will once again host our acclaimed interfaith youth camp.

Every year we hold our interfaith summer camp experience for high-school aged youth in Mecklenburg County. The purpose of the camp is to bring youth together from different faiths, races and socioeconomic backgrounds to learn more about each other’s faith traditions and to serve area residents in need. Participants visit various social agencies, travel by city bus, visit different houses of faith for worship services and develop their own interfaith service on the last evening of the program. Attendees are eligible to join the MeckMIN youth council.


Please help us spread the word by sharing the webpage on your social media accounts and within your personal networks

Habitat Build

To all of our volunteers who joined us last Saturday for the interfaith build with Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region, Bridge Builders, and JustServe: THANK YOU!

We had another great year sponsoring the Comparative Religion series in partnership with Temple Beth El, exploring the origins of many local faiths. If you missed a session, you can find links on our webpage.

Sacred Threads

September 11 from 1-6, Queens University and Myers Park Baptist Church

Join people from all faiths to explore the history of dialogue between Jews, Muslims, and Christians during the past 60 years. This conference was inspired by several major documents issued by these Abrahamic religions regarding the need to reach out to one another and begin to build bridges of understanding. We will hear from scholars in the field, discuss with one another in small groups, and enjoy music, poetry, and art. As our society grapples with the effects of division along so many lines, the vision for this day is to create beauty from the many threads of our sacred traditions. More info to come.

2. Non-Profit Updates

Partners in Health and Wholeness - funding opportunity for faith communities that are predominantly of color

This spring, BIPOC (Black & Brown, Indigenous, People of Color) faith communities are invited to apply for a special mental health grant through PHW. A Duke Endowment grant allows PHW to offer grants of $5,000-10,000 to faith communities of color to be used for COVID-19 mental health efforts. 50 grants will be awarded throughout the entire state. A larger grant of up to $50,000 will be offered to establish or expand a mental health resource hub in your region. More information will be coming soon. In the meantime, please reach out to and get added to the interest list.

Karen Gonzalez Event – April 30th at St. John’s Baptist Church

On April 30th at 6pm, Karen González will offer a lecture event exploring the themes of immigration in the Bible that she discusses in her book, The God Who Sees. She is a speaker, writer, and immigrant advocate, who herself immigrated from Guatemala as a child. Karen is a former public-school teacher and attended Fuller Theological Seminary, where she studied theology and missiology. For the last 11 years, she has been a non-profit professional, currently working for World Relief, an organization that serves immigrants and refugees. Her book, The God Who Sees: Immigrants, The Bible, and the Journey to Belong (Herald Press, May 2019) reveals her own immigration story and the many immigrants found in the Bible.

Purchase your $10 tickets here

Shakieta Maloye, 704-562-7500, Founder and ED of ACHR.

ACHR is a non-profit focused on transitional housing and supportive services for men post-incarceration. They work with men who are just reentering society but also those who have been out and are referred through an agency. ACHR has a structured transitional program in the home of 12-18 months that includes food and nutrition services, case management and wholistic health services. Their adjacent resource center is used by many in the community.

Please join them August 27th for their 5K run, “Racing Through ReEntry”. The run will weave through downtown by first ward park. Sponsorships are available.

Ashley Fitch,, Executive Director, Phone: 980-258-8491

Their signature program is RISE, an 8-week, group facilitated program that provides families with a step-by-step plan to address the challenges they experience in parenting, as well as the barriers they face to economic mobility. Over the course of the program, participants receive counseling, case management, parenting support, financial literacy and budgeting workshops and individualized job skill training and career coaching. Although it is a group facilitated program, participants receive individualized service planning and case management. The program works on coaching and helps with utilities, rent assistance and more.

Additionally, they have the SOER program which focuses on literacy enrichment. Participating children are part of the families they serve or are referred from schools and educators. Each student partners with a buddy based on their reading level to focus on the specific skills they need based on their evaluation.

  • School Reassignment

Fall 2023 and Fall 2024 Student Assignment Decisions (Abridged Overview 030322) (1)
Download PDF • 1.35MB

In 2023-24, CMS will be opening 6 new schools, 4 of which are opening to provide relief to existing overcrowded schools. Student assignment for these relief schools will be based on their home addresses and therefore CMS needs to conduct a reassignment exercise. See the attached slides for a deeper dive into this process but some of the important points include:

· The Board has existing priorities already determined for how they determine the make up of a school. These priorities, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER AND ALL EQUALLY WEIGHTED include:

a. Contiguous boundaries (a requirement)

b. Distance from school (priority)

c. Intact feeder pattern (priority)

d. Socioeconomic diversity (priority)

e. Utilization (priority)

· When reassignment happens, students in their final year of a school (e.g., 5th, 8th, and 12th grades) are allowed to remain at their current school with transportation. Younger siblings of these students are accommodated based on available space. Transportation for younger siblings is only guaranteed for the first year.

· These projects are all the result of the 2017 bond. With population shifts continuing throughout the county, new projects and a new bond have yet to be identified.

Community engagement is a crucial part of reassignment decisions. It can forestall unintended consequences and ensure that CMS is responsive to community needs. The four relief schools will be for the following currently overcrowded schools:

1. Hidden valley/Grier/Newell

2. Windsor Park/Winterfield/Idlewild

3. Elon Park/Hawk Ridge, Polo Ridge

4. Myers Park, South and Ardrey Kell

Listening sessions are planned as per the following table:

Hidden Valley, Grier, Newell Relief Elementary

Windsor, Winterfield, Idlewild Relief Elementary

Elon, Hawk Ridge, Polo Ridge Relief Elementary

South Charlotte Relief High School (fall 2024 opening)

Community Engagement Session #1

March 2, 5:30 pm

February 23, 5:30 pm

February 24, 5:30 pm

March 1, 5:30 pm

Community Engagement Session #2

March 29, 5:30 pm

March 31, 5:30 pm

April 6, 5:30 pm

April 7, 5:30 pm

Proposed Board Update & Hearing

April 26, 6 pm

April 26, 6 pm

April 26, 6 pm

April 26, 6 pm

Community Engagement Session #3

May 16, 5:30 pm

May 17, 5:30 pm

May 18, 5:30 pm

May 19, 5:30 pm

Proposed Board Update & Hearing

June 14, 6 pm

June 14, 6 pm

June 14, 6 pm

June 14, 6 pm

Proposed Board Vote

June 28, 6 pm

June 28, 6 pm

June 28, 6 pm

June 28, 6 pm

CMS hopes you will help generate community input by spreading the word about these sessions.

The additional two schools scheduled to open are Lincoln Heights and Waddell both of which are planned as new magnet programs. CMS needs community input on these as well. Please consider facilitating a 6–10-person community conversation about the future of these schools as well.

  • CHAAMPS event

Alyssa Arrowsmith, Title III Specialist, Learning & Language Acquisition Department,


CMS is hosting a welcome event for new Afghan neighbors to learn about CMS and Charlotte and connect with area families. Please download and share flyers in English, Dari and Pashto. We are working on arranging transportation to and from the event for those needing it.

Help us spread the word to anyone in the Afghan community. If your organization/individual would like a table at the event, please reach out to Alyssa.

Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays-Food navigators

Louise McCrorie, MLS, MSW, LCSW, Social Services Coordinator, Phone: (704) 336-9548, Email:

Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays is working with the county to bring resources to families in need. They currently have a grant focused on ending childhood hunger (0-17 ages) which is allowing them to employ food navigators who can go out into the community to share resources. Please reach out to JaShena for your next event and she can provide a food navigator to assist those attending. One of the three navigators speaks Spanish. These navigators can help connect a family immediately with food relief and then help them connect with long term resources at the county. Special dietary needs can be met.

St. Andrew’s UMC: Suicide Prevention Event, Talk Saves Lives.

Join us at St. Andrew’s UMC, 1901 Archdale Drive, on Sunday, March 6th, at 4:30 p.m. as our we cover suicide prevention, a brief introduction, presented by Susan Tolle, a volunteer with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The class is free and open to the public. For more information, email Kevin Ward at COVID-19 has made for an increase in the suicide rate among many groups, including the elderly. AFSP’s training is concrete and tangible and Spanish translation will be provided (40 headphone sets available).

John Giampaolo,, Community Engagement Specialist, 704-677-9676

Alliance Health serves people in Mecklenburg County who are insured by Medicaid or are uninsured. Our network of providers offers treatment and support for mental illness, substance use disorders, and intellectual/developmental disabilities. With May, Mental Health Awareness Month, coming up we wanted to ensure that people understood the services we provide. We have different departments including a managed access dept. which operates 24/7/365 with clinically trained staff to navigate services. If someone is in crisis, they can call 800-510-9132. Services are cost-free. If you need 911 services, but not police, we teach you to ask for a CIT officer which is an officer trained in mental health navigation. We are community focused with free trainings on subjects like anxiety, bullying, conflict management, mental health, and more. We can create a customized training for your org as well.

March 1 kicks off the Community Read, the Library’s month-long effort to have the community read (or listen) to books on current and relevant topics and participate in discussions, book clubs and events hosted by the Library and community partners. The 2022 selected titles explore themes such as gentrification, women’s empowerment, immigration and more. The signature title, "Tomorrow’s Bread" by Anna Jean Mayhew, is a novel that explores the impact of urban renewal on Charlotte's Historic Brooklyn Neighborhood. Selected companion titles for children and teens are also available.

There are several ways to participate in Community Read, including reading a book, sharing perspectives, attending a program, and engaging on social media. Visit the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library website to see a list of featured book titles and related events for all ages.

Lauren Rogers, Volunteer and Outreach Manager at International House.

A few updates:

  • Their legal clinic is closed for new intakes at the moment due to capacity. They will resume accepting new clients after April 1.

  • Beginning April 4th IH will bring back Sunday afternoon citizen prep. This is a 10-week program. Call in April for more information.

  • We have gotten lots of calls from the community about what is going on in the Ukraine. We are putting together a forum for an overview of the history as well as a group of mental health providers who specialize in trauma informed care, specifically trauma during war.

From March 9-12 Charlotte will host the White Privilege Conference: Wade in the Water. This national conference moves from city to city and aims to help attendees spot and weed out white privilege. It will be at the Convention center downtown and include workshops and speakers. This year’s theme is the role of faith in white supremacy.

Workshops (Just posted):

Archwell Health specializes in health care for seniors with two Charlotte locations: Eastway and North Graham. March 9th will be the grand opening of the North Graham location and you are invited to visit between 1-4 for fun activities and free stuff.


3. General Information

Terry Albanese, MS, Grant-Making Program Officer Consultant, Cell: 315.247.8256

ABC Board's FY23 Annual Grant Program grant cycle opened on February 1 and will close on March 15 at 11:59 PM. The Annual Grant Program is provided by the Mecklenburg County ABC Board to address substance use prevention, education, treatment, and research. The maximum award for FY23 is $75,000 for a one-year project period. Please check our website for more information and please share the word of this grant widely.

LegalAid of NC and Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy:

Both orgs just moved to the east side, 5525 Albemarle Road. As you look at needs, when you see legal issues, those organizations will appreciate being a part of the solution. Cindy Patton ( is the Managing Attorney for the Charlotte Office of Legal Aid of NC.


Canopy Housing Foundation Community Grants

2022 Community Grants-Mecklenburg Iredell Application
Download PDF • 170KB



It can be overwhelming to witness/experience/take in all the injustices of the moment; the good news is that they’re all connected. So, if your little corner of work involves pulling at one of the threads, you’re helping to unravel the whole cloth.

– Ursula Wolfe-Rocca


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