Our weekly check-in meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting compassionate community response to our most vulnerable neighbors in this time of crisis. Meetings are held online every Thursday from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Please email LeDayne Polaski for Zoom access code. We look forward to seeing you!
by Rev. Traci D. Blackmon The United Church of Christ
In times of moral ambiguity, It is the assuredness of You that sustains us. In spaces of isolation, It is You that draws us near. You are the God who speaks across chasms And reminds us we are your own. Hold us close to one another as we draw close to You. Amen.
MASKS: Who needs them and who is making them?
Jolin McElroy from Dilworth Church and Soup Kitchen has a need for masks. They could use 200 or so. They distribute to their guests (@70 people Mondays and Fridays) and some of their volunteers come without masks.
First Methodist runs a soup kitchen and needs them as well, for the same purposes. Val Rosenquist is the pastor.
Veronica from Urban Ministries says they have been getting some masks in but need more. They give the reusable masks to those in shelters because they can be washed there and are looking for disposable masks to give out at College Street and in their outreach to people without shelter.
Galilee Ministries needs some as well. Toni Hageman.
QCFT has need for masks to hand out with the food packages they have been providing for neighbors.
Project 658 on Central Ave., which works with immigrants and refugees also needs some.
NOTE – Since the meeting, we’ve learned of two places to request masks:
Carolina Mask Project: https://carolinamasks.com/
North Carolina Face Masks Warriors Facebook group
However, it still seems that the fastest and most direct way to meet these needs will be by connecting those below with those above. If you have masks to share, please email LeDayne (firstname.lastname@example.org), and she’ll connect you directly to one specific group listed here in need of them.
Can provide masks:
Lucy Crain has a group of congregants working to make masks.
UMW is also working to make masks
Jane Shutt will reach out to Pineville neighbors to see if anyone there can provide some.
Brittlyn Anderson’s group has been donating to atrium and novant but will donate to others if they can.
Nikola Taylor says they will share the need within their group.
Intelligence that the Girl Scouts are making some. Request that someone reach out to them for details.
Veronica will ask her neighbors and networks if they can provide masks
Fashion and Compassion is selling masks to benefit the F&C workers. (Note: Fashion and Compassion provides jobs and support to people who are unemployed or underemployed. If you can afford to pay, this would be a great option to support their good work.)
Facebook Group “Carolina Masks”
Breast cancer hub#2getherwer1maskmakingteam is working hard to donate the homemade masks with filter pockets under cdc guidelines to the frontline healthcare workers, underprivileged sectors, high risk populations and essential services. They are prioritizing need according to CDC guidelines. . Aparna Desai Gopaliis the contact if you need masks.
Fran Cook Mahoud says they can provide 50 homemade masks by Monday
FOOD DELIVERY CONTAINERS: A donor has stepped forward with multiple cases of clamshell takeout trays available. Who can use them?
Dilworth Soup Kitchen
Other soup kitchens
LeDayne will work to make direct connections to get these trays to groups that can use them.
Reports from Non Profits:
Mecklenburg County. Jennifer Rupp from the County reports that they are:
Collecting resources on job training and disseminating
Working with an app called “Steady” that helps connect people to short term jobs.
Participating in the “Rise to Work” program which is a federal program meant to support employment and training activities to increase Food and Nutrition Services recipient’s skills, careers, and ultimately their families’ financial well-being. Rise to Work is available to anyone receiving FNS.
Disseminating information about partner agencies that are offering free training or have jobs. For example, Gracemar has over 400 trainings available online.
Providing information in a weekly Friday email providing a range of resources including but not limited to places for kids and families to get computers, job leads, internet resources and more. They also have a list of self-referral food pantries across the county.
To get on the weekly list, contact Jennifer Rupp Jennifer.Rupp@mecklenburgcountync.gov
The Alzheimer’s Association: They are providing webinar and phone support to caregivers as well as education programs and tips for caregiving best practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more contact. Alz.org/northcarolina or email email@example.com
They run a food distribution program including vegetables with the gleaning society. They are looking for a comprehensive list of food distribution sites in the city and county because their clients are maxing out their Loaves and F ishes visits(See ELSEWHERE IN THE DOCUMENT FOR LINKS TO FOOD PANTRIES AND INFORMATION ABOUT LOAVES AND FISHES EXTENDING THEIR HOURS) They are seeing a rise in need over the past four weeks from 26 families to over 80.
They are also providing educational materials like crayons, worksheets and more and could use help with those materials.
They need empty egg cartons because they are getting a donation of eggs from a farm soon. You can drop egg cartons in the back parking lot of the Galilee center, 3601central ave. 704.458.3245
They need a new handtruck for getting food from pantry to cars. Laurel Grauer said she might be able to supply one.
They need a sponsor for the gift cards they give out with the food. It costs $600/month. A church sponsored April but no one has sponsored May yet.
They have a refugee help line: 980.263.9334. They use Google translate to answer. They are also working with the Center for Legal Advocacy to help their clients avoid or fix scams.
“Our families are afraid of being evicted. They are isolated and/or suffocated.” “We expected the need to level off, but so far it has increased each week.”
Camino Community Center: They are passing out food daily and have a job form available for families to fill out and will respond directly to them. They have also expanded clinic hours and food pantry hours and are providing school age childcare to their staff. Served 5000 families last YEAR and served 6000 families last WEEK.
CharMeckResponds.org is compiling county wide resources. Please go there to post your needs and post your services and to find out the needs of others.
Loaves and Fishes:
They may be expanding their visit limit from 8 /yr to 10-12/yr.
In addition, please share that they have a pregnancy referral category that ensures pregnant clients get Loaves and Fishes weekly through their pregnancy and then for 4 weeks past birth date.
A majority of full size pantry “brick and mortar” locations closed this week, but served 3,441 people (1,420 children, 206 seniors) through mobile pantries.
Mobile pantries were operational even on Good Friday. People are given groceries in 90 minute slots. Mobile pantry schedule can be found at https://loavesandfishes.org/mobile-pantry/.
ReferralPhone lines continue to ring off the hook! Camino, Latin American Coalition, CMS McKinney Vento, and Community in Schools were our top referral partner agencies this week. We are training high volume priority referral partners on how to make referrals electronically.
In addition to our mobile pantry operation, we are ramping up our referral program for home deliveries for clients in need. We have started with clients 65+ and those with medical conditions that make traveling to a mobile location impossible. In the week ahead, volunteers will help us deliver food to 50+ individuals in need!
The supply chain of nonperishables (like canned vegetables, canned meat, dry pasta, etc) is still slow to recover. However, thanks to our friends at Second Harvest Food Bank we have plenty of fresh dairy and produce we are able to distribute along with the nonperishable food boxes. Fresh food is more difficult to pack, move, store and distribute through our mobile pantries but we are making it work.
Greatest needs are dry pasta, macncheese and canned pasta
They are feeling grateful for the support. From their director“I have never felt more wrapped up in community love and support than I do right now.”
Urban Ministry Center: THANK YOU for all the sandwiches and support. We continue to need masks and sandwiches and your prayers have been welcome. (See last week’s minutes for exact specifications for the sandwiches – or just email LeDayne.)
In partnership with OurBridge they have been providing weekend food and weekday lunches for families who cannot make it to the CMS daily distributions. These are mostly kids in apartment complexes without transportation. They have provided over 2140 lunches in the last four weekends.
They provide a hotline that was used originally by Central American asylum seekers but has broadened recently with calls from others needing Loaves and Fishes referrals mostly. They are also getting a lot of calls of concern about evictions and some extortion scams.
Providing a short “cheat sheet” to immigrants with information about what their rights are as renters – in Spanish. (Full text available below in English and Spanish.)
Diapers, wipes and formula are big needs right now.
Note that immigration court is closed until May 4thand so they are reassuring people that they do not need to worry about deportation or ICE checks for now.
Job loss from restaurant closures is huge
Transportation is an enormous issue for their clients right now. There is no government ID for asylum seekers for a long time and this makes access difficult for all sorts of services.
They are sending people to the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy for information about renter’s rights.
Fair housing at the city of charlotte might be helpful too.
They are delivering care packages to 28 families every week.
Grocery baskets in front of the house have been emptied regularly.
They are strategizing how to advocate for a big conversation around the stimulus checks. They want to ask that people who receive them and don’t need them donate them to other families who will need far more than 1200 dollars.
They are continually updating their information for neighbors and others at https://tinyurl.com/neighborupdate.
Need hygiene products
Need part time work
They are hungry and need food
Caldwell Presbyterian is working with them but cannot meet the demand alone. They need additional support.
matches volunteers with organizations needing volunteers and donations. There is no cost to post, no obligation or solicitation from the website. There is a special section for covid-19 service. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to post anything or directly submit on the site.
building an emergency response fund
and encouraging members to contact Senators about additional funding for this crisis and removing some limitations regarding non-profits support out of the stimulus package.
Can non-profits include the social distancing measures they are using when they ask for help? It will make it simpler to volunteer.
In response – Jane Shutt says volunteers at her organization are provided with gloves and asked to provide their own mask. They put lunches in front of the door and then step six feet back.
Loaves and Fishes says it is no contact pickup – you go to the apartment and send a text and they come to the car and pick up directly
It seems that most or all of the agencies are being careful to protect both clients and volunteers. Contact them directly if you want to know more.
The Awards Breakfast is moving forward. Final recipients will be voted on next week. Jennifer Roberts has agreed to offer a tribute to the people who are bringing us through this crisis. The event will be positive and encouraging.
This is an opportunity to show MeckMIN that you appreciate and value the work that it has been doing during this crisis by buying a ticket or sponsoring a table.
Interfaith work: MeckMin is looking for someone to volunteer to coordinate interfaith virtual visits during this unique moment.
Sign on letter: County received the letter many of us signed onto last week and there is large scale agreement on much of what is in there:
We ask for law enforcement to stop breaking up homeless camps. They are mostly in agreement. We aren’t hearing reports of camps being broken up. Let us know if you hear otherwise.
We asked for distribution of sanitation stations. It is in process and while limited so far, there is a commitment to expand. Placement is being determined in partnership with the communities that will be using them
Asked for deep commitment to the regulation that include hotels in non-eviction mandates that have come down. There is largely agreement but there is discussion of some tricky arrangements where folks check in one night and then refuse to pay. Most are not that. We are trying to get legal support for those unable to pay who are being moved to rooms that are out of order.
Requested 80 -120 additional rooms be available through county funding since county gets FEMA and state funding for this purpose. County would be conduit for federal and state money. State would provide 25%. County asked that we put a plan together in 24 hours for implementation. Huge kudos to Jasmine Sherman and Liz Clasen-Kelly who have worked together to create the proposal which will go to the county this evening. We are asking that they also respect a 24 hour turn-around and respond by tomorrow. Watch your email for messages and you can contact elected leaders about supporting this effort.
Anyone who still wants to sign the letter and did not have the opportunity can do so by contacting LeDayne.
Closing thought:“Courage is only possible in community. When you find yourself afraid and you don’t know if you can survive it: Close your eyes and breathe and remember the one who loves you. Love will make you brave” – Valerie Kaur
Next meeting – Next Thursday at 11 a.m. (The meetings will continue Thursdays at 11 as long as they seem helpful.)
Contacts for specific needs:
To donate masks: contact LeDayne@meckmin.org
To get on the county email list for employment and job training resources Jennifer Rupp <Jennifer.Rupp@mecklenburgcountync.gov>
To get help for Alzheimer’s patients or caregivers: Alz.org/northcarolina, email@example.com
To post on JustServe.org: firstname.lastname@example.org
Refugee Support Services: Galilee center, 3601central ave. 704.458.3245
Coordinated information on needs and volunteering:
Immigrant justice project at the charlotte center for legal advocacy Spanish language intake line: 800-247-1931
Food Bank Information:
(SPANISH TRANSLATION BELOW)
EVICTIONS ARE AMONG THE BIGGEST CONCERNS FOR THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY DURING THIS TIME OF COVID:Here is what I have learned in the past week after consulting with several folks in the community including Matt Newton, Charlotte City Councilman; Sharon Schwartz Dove, Director of Immigrant Justice Program at Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy; and Erin Russell, a MAP member who is also an attorney.
•STATE COURT IS CLOSED UNTIL JUNE 1, THEREFORE EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES CANNOT PROCEED UNTIL THE COURT REOPENS.
(State Supreme Court Justice Beasley issued an order on April 2 extending the halt of most court proceedings, including evictions and foreclosures, to June 1st. This does not mean that evictions cannot be filed, they just won’t be processed or assigned a court date (for hearing) until after June 1st. It also doesn’t mean that the rent won’t come due at a later time, any unpaid rent will accrue throughout the court’s halted period but the landlord cannot act upon someone’s nonpayment of rent until after June 1st. Thank you for this detailed explanation Matt).
A LANDLORD CANNOT EVICT A TENANT WITHOUT FILING A FORMAL SUMMARY EJECTMENT AND THERE BEING AN EVICTION ORDER ISSUED BY THE COURT. BECAUSE THE COURT IS CLOSED, THIS CANNOT HAPPEN UNTIL AFTER JUNE 1.
IF YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN THREATENED WITH EVICTION BY A LANDLORD DURING THIS COVID CRISIS, PLEASE SHOW THE LANDLORD THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT AS A WAY TO LET THEM KNOW YOU ARE AWARE OF YOUR RIGHTS (you can show them the electronic version on your phone or hand write it on a piece of paper). “I have been advised that I do not have to leave the house or apartment unless there has been a formal summary ejectment filed and an order from the court. In the meanwhile I am doing my best to be prepared to pay rent when possible”
WE ARE NOT LAWYERS AND CANNOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR SPECIFIC CASE, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND: THE IMMIGRANT JUSTICE PROJECT AT THE CHARLOTTE CENTER FOR LEGAL ADVOCACY
SPANISH LANGUAGE INTAKE LINE: 800-247-1931. They deal with tenant-landlord disputes among other issues and will do a good job of assisting.
LOS DESALOJOS ESTÁN ENTRE LAS MAYORES PREOCUPACIONES DE LA COMUNIDAD INMIGRANTE:Esto es lo que he aprendido en la última semana después de consultar con varias personas de la comunidad, incluyendo a Matt Newton, del Consejo de la Ciudad de Charlotte; Sharon Schwartz Dove, Directora del Programa de Justicia para Inmigrantes del Centro de Defensa Legal de Charlotte y Erin Russell, miembro del grupo MAP, quien también es abogada.
LA CORTE ESTATAL ESTÁ CERRADA HASTA EL 1RO DE JUNIO, POR LO QUE LOS DESALOJOS Y LAS EJECUCIONES HIPOTECARIAS NO PUEDEN PROCEDER HASTA QUE LA CORTE ESTE EN FUNCIONAMIENTO.
(El Juez Beasley de la Corte Suprema del Estado emitió una orden el 2 de abril extendiendo la detención de la mayoría de los procedimientos de la corte, incluyendo desalojos y ejecuciones hipotecarias, hasta el 1ro de junio. Esto no significa que los desalojos no puedan ser presentados, simplemente no serán procesados ni tampoco se les asignará una fecha de audiencia en la corte hasta después del 1ro de junio. Tampoco significa que no se deba pagar el alquiler más adelante, cualquier alquiler que no se haya pagado se acumulará durante el período de suspensión del tribunal; pero el propietario no puede actuar (desalojar al inquilino) en caso de que alguien no pague el alquiler hasta después del 1 de junio. (Matt, gracias por esta explicación detallada).
UN PROPIETARIO NO PUEDE DESALOJAR A UN INQUILINO SIN PRESENTAR UNA ORDEN FORMAL DE DESALOJO Y SIN QUE HAYA UNA ORDEN DE DESALOJO EMITIDA POR EL TRIBUNAL. YA QUE EL TRIBUNAL ESTÁ CERRADO, ESTO NO PUEDE SUCEDER HASTA DESPUÉS DEL 1RO DE JUNIO.
SI USTED O ALGUIEN A QUIEN USTED CONOCE HA SIDO AMENAZADO DE DESALOJO POR UN PROPIETARIO DURANTE ESTA CRISIS DEL CORONA VIRUS, POR FAVOR MUESTRELE AL PROPIETARIO LA SIGUIENTE DECLARACIÓN PARA INFORMARLE QUE USTED CONOCE SUS DERECHOS(puede mostrarle la versión electrónica en su teléfono o escribirla a mano en un papel).
“I have been advised that I do not have to leave the house or apartment unless there has been a formal summary ejectment filed and an order from the court. In the meanwhile I am doing my best to be prepared to pay rent when possible”
“Se me ha informado que no tengo que desalojar la casa o el apartamento a menos de que se haya presentado un sumario formal de expulsión y una orden de la corte. Mientras tanto, estoy haciendo lo posible para estar preparado para pagar el alquiler cuando sea posible”
NO SOMOS ABOGADOS Y NO PODEMOS DAR CONSEJOS LEGALES. SI TIENE PREGUNTAS SOBRE SU CASO EN ESPECÍFICO, LE RECOMENDAMOS ENCARECIDAMENTE QUE CONTACTE A: EL PROGRAMA DE JUSTICIA PARA INMIGRANTES DEL CENTRO DE DEFENSA LEGAL DE CHARLOTTE LÍNEA DE INFORMACIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: 800-247-1931. Se ocupan de las disputas entre inquilinos y propietarios, entre otros asuntos y lo asistirán de la mejor manera.