Help, Hope & Understanding

for people struggling with limited financial resources

Mission & Vision

The  mission  of Crisis Assistance Ministry is to  provide assistance  and advocacy for people in financial crisis, helping them move toward self-sufficiency.
Our  vision  is to inspire our community to justice and generosity as we provide help, hope, and understanding to people struggling with limited financial resources.

This Great-Grandfather Is Cooking Again With Your Help

At nearly 82 years old, Frank has many stories to tell. “I’m going to hit 100,” he says. “I’m a fighter from the word go.” But, when he hit a wall financially, he turned to the community for help.

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Partnership Fuels Summer Adventures

Wayfinders NC, formerly known as Bruce Irons Camp Fund, provides year-round enrichment and summer camp experiences for local students. A visit to the Free Store makes those adventures possible for families already struggling to make ends meet.

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Edith Knows the Power of A Little Help

Edith and her husband came to Crisis Assistance Ministry over 20 years ago when they were facing homelessness. Recently, she returned to the agency to give back financially and volunteer in the Free Store.

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Summer Possible for Father and Son

Father-son duo Noel and Aidan are looking forward to Aidan’s overnight camp trip thanks to Wayfinders as they bring their long camp shopping list to the Free Store. It’s the perfect solution to a Dad’s summer wish for his son.

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Finding a Voice and a Way Forward, with Your Help

For over twenty years, Sheila worked at the same fast food restaurant, making salads for little more than minimum wage. After all that time, she earned just a dollar an hour more than the day she started. When a cut in her hours brought her to Crisis Assistance Ministry seeking assistance, her path began to change.

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Octavia and Her Family Are Cool Again With Your Help

Octavia prayed she would find a way to cool her home again after a landlord failed to repair the only window unit in her 3-bedroom home.
Despite working five days a week to support herself and her two children, she didn’t have enough cash left after bills to do anything about it on her own. To top it off, the crushing heat made it harder to manage her recent Lupus diagnosis. Then, during one of the hottest weeks of the summer, the community answered her prayers.

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Our Programs

Basic Needs

Mecklenburg County families receive help with life’s basic needs: emergency rent and utility assistance, clothing, household goods, furniture, beds, and appliances.

Economic Mobility

The Economic Mobility Program helps families move towards financial security and introduces pathways to economic opportunity. Enrolled families are given the opportunity to work one-on-one with a caseworker for an hour per week for up to 90 days.

Civic Engagement

In a vibrant city like Charlotte, it’s easy to overlook the fact that many are suffering amid affluence. Our Civic Engagement Program increases awareness of the complex issues facing more than 100,000 neighbors in Mecklenburg County living in poverty.

By the Numbers


Individuals Served

More than 50,000 individuals were served in person or through local partnerships. 


Average Financial Assistance per Emergency

On average, a family may receive $392 in rent and/or utility assistance.


Children Benefiting from Our Services

Children under 18 made up 42% of those benefiting from Crisis Assistance Ministry services. 

Meet our Non-Event Emcees – Matt and Tim

Matt and Tim are thrilled to be the emcees for the Non-Event Gala. Get a first taste at the fun to come and get inspired to stay home and grow hope.

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Grow Hope

Carol is planting seeds for the future by supporting our neighbors in need. Join her by staying home during our #NonEventGala. Instead of attending a gala, stay home and make a donation to make a difference.

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Partnership Fuels Summer Adventures

Wayfinders NC, formerly known as Bruce Irons Camp Fund, provides year-round enrichment and summer camp experiences for local students. A visit to the Free Store makes those adventures possible for families already struggling to make ends meet.

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Walmart Works to Strengthen Community Through Collaboration, Philanthropy

Of the more than 1 million items that pass through the Free Store each year, a good number are new items donated by Walmart, thanks to a longstanding partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank. Recently, Walmart made a generous $20,000 donation to Crisis Assistance Ministry to support families struggling to meet life’s basic needs.

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You Helped Exceed the 2019 Challenge – Thank You!

Thanks to donations made by generous supporters like you, Crisis Assistance Ministry not only met the 2019 Challenge set by Atrium Health, but also surpassed our goal. The money raised has already been put into action to prevent homelessness and preserve dignity for neighbors with limited financial resources.

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Welcome Our Newest Graduates

On May 4, Crisis Assistance Ministry joyfully celebrated the graduations of a new class of Customer Advocates. New graduate Kimberly reflected on her journey from customer to empowered advocate saying: “I have found my voice and will utilize it to the best of my ability to help families like mine understand that there is hope, that life happens to everyone, and that we must not give up but continue to move forward.”

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School Uniforms, in Spring?

Even in Spring, school uniform items are among the most frequently requested items by families visiting the Free Store. School clothes aren’t just needed in August. Some public schools follow a year-round calendar. Sometimes children grow in December. And, inevitably, that last pair of khakis sprouts a hole on the 15th of May. You can help.

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Special Funding Released to Help Families Behind on Rent and Utility Bills

For a limited time, special funding is available for Mecklenburg County households needing assistance paying their rent and utility bills. While county residents can always seek emergency financial assistance at Crisis Assistance Ministry, now through June 30, additional funds are available to assist families in need.

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Reflections on Legacy of Lynching and Racial Justice in America

As a new exhibit opens at the Levine Museum of the New South, entitled Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America, participants from the recent trip to Montgomery, Alabama, reflect on what they learned about the past, present, and future of racial justice in America, including right here in Mecklenburg County.

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What’s Your #WhyIGive?

You can change lives by joining Al, Andrea, Lea, Andrew, Carol and Dick with a gift that celebrates all the GOOD we can do together. It’s about extending a hand to moms, dads, sisters, brothers, children, veterans, seniors, and survivors who just need a little help to regain financial security.

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It’s All Because of You . . .

Over the last five years alone, volunteers have given almost 250,000 hours here in support of people with urgent financial needs. It’s a gift that exceeds $1 million in value annually. During National Volunteer Week, and throughout the year, we are grateful for the many caring individuals and groups who perform one-quarter of the work here at Crisis Assistance Ministry!

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Give More Families Like Joy’s Hope For The Future

Joy and her son needed help and hope during a health emergency and looming eviction. Your support of Joy and other families is crucial and you can #doubleyourimpact during #Challenge2019 with a gift today.

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Everybody Has a Story to Tell

Everybody Has a Story to Tell: You Changed Wendy's

Wendy first visited Crisis Assistance Ministry for help decades ago when her children were small.  Today, she is a member of the agency’s Board of Directors. Watch this brief video and listen as she shares how your support changed her family’s future.

A Story of Hope & Thanksgiving: Julia's Story

Just a year ago, Julia was feeling overwhelmed. Her family had already pushed through tragedy to get back into stable housing, but things would never be "normal" again. She visited Crisis Assistance Ministry for a little help, and thanks to a generous donor, found renewed hope for the holidays too. This is her story.

Empowered by Help with Utilities & a Brand New Stove: Patricia's Story

Patricia turned to the community for help through Crisis Assistance Ministry and found hope in the form of restored utilities and a working stove.

Finding a Voice and a Way Forward, with Your Help: Sheila's Story

Sheila finally found her voice. Through personal determination, her caseworker’s coaching, and moral support from other program participants, she traded her low-paying job for one paying several dollars more per hour.

Ready to learn more about how you can help
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Preventing homelessness. Preserving dignity.

You are invited to stay home and help plant seeds for Charlotte's future.

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