Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement Program

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 living in poverty.

Even families whose income is twice the Federal Poverty Level struggle to afford safe housing, reliable transportation, child care, utilities, food, and other necessities. An unexpected event such as an illness or job loss can send an accomplished person into a downward financial spiral.

More than 100,000 of our neighbors live in poverty. 

Empowering Advocates

The Civic Engagement Program engages and empowers the community to be advocates for people facing poverty by:

  • Increasing awareness of the complex issues that make it challenging for some neighbors to make ends meet
  • Encouraging community dialogue and participation in removing barriers to financial security
  • Changing attitudes and policies that create barriers to economic mobility

The most powerful advocates are customers themselves. We provide training to highly motivated individuals interested in sharing their story and effecting positive change for others living in poverty.

Poverty Simulations

Since 2008, Crisis Assistance Ministry has been the local lead facilitator of the Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS), a two-hour interactive, immersive experience designed to create awareness among participants of life at the bottom rung of the economic ladder.  The simulation presents participants with real-life scenarios and challenges faced by people living in poverty and is immediately followed by a group debrief, during which participants reflect on the experience, discuss insights, and consider next steps.

Dr. King’s Other Dream

As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this year, we examine his “other dream” through his writings on the elimination of poverty among all Americans.

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In Her Own Words: Julia’s Story

Last year, Julia shared her story of Thanksgiving after a visit to Crisis Assistance Ministry. Yet, hidden in that one brief moment were so many more moments of loss, resilience, and hope. This fall, Julia shared her journey with Crisis Assistance Ministry volunteers gathered for their annual recognition dinner. Here, in her own words, is her story.

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You Gave William Hope

“You gave me hope when I had none. And when you’re struggling like I am, hope means everything.” That’s how William describes his visit to Crisis Assistance Ministry while trying to get through the devastating impacts of renal disease, job loss, and a neglectful landlord.

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Legal Aid Partnership Addresses Critical Need

Legal Aid of North Carolina’s Homeless Prevention Project volunteers call it a labor of love. Since the project began in 2014, volunteers have faithfully taught more than 3,000 residents during one-hour classes at Crisis Assistance Ministry.

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Biology and Poverty: How Low Income Women Pay the Price

Period poverty. It’s not a topic normally raised during economic equity discussions, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant. For half the world’s population, menstruation is a biological reality that brings added expenses and, all too often, unwarranted stigma.

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Monthly Mythbusters: Who Is Affected By Housing & Poverty?

Discussions of poverty and its impact in Charlotte-Mecklenburg often uncover a few myths and misconceptions about who is affected, how they are affected, and how the needs of struggling neighbors are (or are not) met equitably.

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Interfaith Poverty Simulation Spurs Action in Matthews-Mint Hill

In the fall of 2016, with political acrimony and discord rocking the nation, retired pastor Reverend Richard Little looked around the congregation at Morning Star Lutheran Church and thought to himself, “If we can’t get together in the church to talk about our differences, where can we do that?”

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National Voter Registration Day

Last year, millions of Americans didn’t vote because they missed a registration deadline. National Voter Registration Day is a day of action before state deadlines begin in October.

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating Cultures and Contributions

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! This annual celebration of the cultures and contributions of Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, runs from September 15 through October 15.

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Monthly Mythbusters: Poverty, Rural vs. Urban Impact, and Banking

Discussions of poverty and its impact in Charlotte-Mecklenburg often uncover a few myths and misconceptions about who is affected, how they are affected, and how the needs of struggling neighbors are (or are not) met equitably. Each month, we’ll compile relevant topics here that show up in social media and community discussions.

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Small Miracles Lead to Big Impact

Kim is a portrait of resilience and persistence. After a medical emergency and a job layoff left her and her children at risk of eviction, she turned to Crisis Assistance Ministry for help. Thanks to community support, she found a way forward and few “small miracles” along the way.

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August 26 is Women’s Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920, which guaranteed women the right to vote. Nearly a century later, has that legal right translated to equality for women?

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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.
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.

A Little Bit of Help, Hope, and Home

When little Myla wasn’t even a year old, she learned about the warmth of community — thanks to life-changing assistance just when it was needed most.

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When Working Hard Isn’t Quite Enough

Schawniekaw has worked three jobs sometimes to keep a roof over her family’s head. Still, it’s not enough. With the threat of eviction looming over her head, she turned to the community for help.

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Finding “Good” In A Moment of Need

As a single mother of two, Courtney works full-time, drives ride share, and sells plasma to make ends meet. for herself and her two children. But, sometimes that’s not enough.

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It’s Not Too Late to Make a Difference

Donna and Aynsley needed a hand up during a tough time and you were there for them. Unfortunately, their story is not unique. Nearly 200 a day turn to you for help here at Crisis Assistance Ministry.

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A Home For Edna

It’s been a while since Edna had the luxury of lingering over a cup of coffee. Over the past four years, she has crashed with friends, lived in her car, and most recently, lived at the Salvation Army Women & Children’s Shelter. That all changed thanks to your support and Edna’s hard work overcoming chronic homelessness.

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In Her Own Words: Julia’s Story

Last year, Julia shared her story of Thanksgiving after a visit to Crisis Assistance Ministry. Yet, hidden in that one brief moment were so many more moments of loss, resilience, and hope. This fall, Julia shared her journey with Crisis Assistance Ministry volunteers gathered for their annual recognition dinner. Here, in her own words, is her story.

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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

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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. 

Dr. King’s Other Dream

As we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this year, we examine his “other dream” through his writings on the elimination of poverty among all Americans.

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Hours Left to Make Your Impact

Tanqueray would love for you to make your impact in 2019 by making an end of year gift. You have hours left to make a life changing donation to assist our neighbors in need.

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You Have the Power Today

Dr. Friend tells you why he is committed to making a difference with his support for Crisis Assistance Ministry. You can end 2019 by making a life changing gift to help hard-working families.

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A Little Bit of Help, Hope, and Home

When little Myla wasn’t even a year old, she learned about the warmth of community — thanks to life-changing assistance just when it was needed most.

Read More

When Working Hard Isn’t Quite Enough

Schawniekaw has worked three jobs sometimes to keep a roof over her family’s head. Still, it’s not enough. With the threat of eviction looming over her head, she turned to the community for help.

Read More

Holiday Jams Playlist

If you are looking for a family friendly holiday playlist – you have come to the right place. Deck your halls or have a holiday dance party today!

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It’s Not Too Late to Make a Difference

Donna and Aynsley needed a hand up during a tough time and you were there for them. Unfortunately, their story is not unique. Nearly 200 a day turn to you for help here at Crisis Assistance Ministry.

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Join the Giving Tuesday Movement

Stacey knows what it is like to grow up in poverty and that is why she feels so passionate about her work at Crisis Assistance Ministry. This Giving Tuesday you can make a difference and support Stacey’s work by making a gift.

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Thank You for Being a Friend!

Your support touches so many people and we just want to take this opportunity to say thank you. Without you, more families in Charlotte would have a dark and cold holiday season.

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Home is a Safe Place Again for Olivia

Olivia has a full time job but it just wasn’t enough to keep her young family stably housed. When she needed help, you came through and lifted her up and set her on the right path.

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Holiday Cards and Card Inserts – SOLD OUT

Holiday cards and card inserts are available now! Make a gift and send cards or card inserts to honor someone in your life today.

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Providing Help, Hope, and Home this Holiday Season

What does home mean to you? As we move into the season of giving, instead of providing a gift in a bag or box, you can give the gift of help and hope to our neighbors.

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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.

Ready to learn more about how you can help
Make a Difference?

Preventing homelessness. Preserving dignity.