Thousands of households in Charlotte have missed rent and utility payments during the COVID-19 pandemic due to unemployment and loss of income. With balances adding up over the past couple of months, people should not wait to seek help if they are unable to pay essential bills.
Crisis Assistance Ministry is offering multiple safe, convenient ways for Mecklenburg County residents to receive financial assistance with rent and utility payments. Individuals can go online to www.crisisassistance.org/applynow and complete a short form to begin the process. They can also drive-thru financial assistance at 500-A Spratt St on Monday-Friday from 8:30am – 7:00pm. Saturday hours are also being added through the end of June from 9:00am – 5:00pm.
Given the tremendous need in the community, Crisis Assistance Ministry will be offering extended hours for curbside service this Memorial Day weekend. Packets will be available for pick up on Saturday, May 23 and Monday, May 25 from 9:00am – 5:00pm.
Extra funding is available through the end of June for families with past-due utility bills. While rent may be the bigger concern for many, warmer weather and higher cooling costs are around the corner so individuals should get caught up now on their gas or electric bills.
“Even though families may not be facing immediate eviction or utility disconnection, it is important for people to get help now and avoid bills piling up,” said Carol Hardison, CEO of Crisis Assistance Ministry. “Our team has completely reengineered our emergency financial assistance service to make it safe for customers and employees and to limit the spread of COVID-19. Help is available and we encourage anyone in need to seek it now.”
In order to focus all agency resources on the greatest need at this time – rent and utility assistance – the Free Store and Furniture Bank remain closed to customers, volunteers, and donors. The lobby is also closed to customers; however, financial assistance is available and staff are working remotely. Further updates on hours and operations will be provided at www.crisisassistance.org.