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.

National Voter Registration Month

September is National Voter Registration Month! Election Day may still be weeks away, but now is the time to act to ensure your voice is heard this November.

Read More

Labor Day

For most Americans, Labor Day evokes parades, backyard barbecues, and the unofficial end of summer. But the laid-back holiday we observe today is a far cry from the original “workingman’s holiday” that grew out of a particularly tumultuous era in our history.

Read More

Eviction: Know Your Rights

Being served with a summons to eviction court is panic inducing. If you or someone you know receives court papers like the one below, the best advice is to stay calm, learn the process, and know your rights.

Read More

Six Facts About Racial Disparity in Mecklenburg County You Should Know

We know that access and opportunity open doors. And we may even know that access and opportunity are not equally distributed to all of our residents. But, do we know exactly what those disparities look like? And, further, the actions we can take to address them head-on?

Read More

The Tragically Unsurprising Truth About COVID-19

While it may be true that no one is immune to the novel coronavirus, some have a socioeconomic resistance that protects them from the disease’s most ravaging effects. Others are left exposed and vulnerable.

Read More

I Am An Advocate

For Deborah, your support when she was at her lowest point was more than a lifeline. It was a life-changing gift that empowered her to reclaim her true self.

Read More

The CARES Act

The recent passage of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which directs $2.2 trillion towards the coronavirus crisis, is a ray of hope in an otherwise desperate time.

Read More

Kim’s Current Situation

The last time Kim shared her story, she was in the midst of putting her life back together after a medical emergency and a job lay-off sent her family into a tailspin. We checked in with her for an update in the midst of our community’s current crisis.

Read More

What To Do If You’re Out Of Work Or Have Lost Income

COVID-19 has already changed the economic landscape for many of us. If you’ve been laid off or lost income due to the threat of the novel coronavirus, it’s a scary time. Here are some helpful resources if you’re one of the more than 100,000 people in North Carolina in this situation right now.

Read More

Funds Available To Help Families Behind on Utility Bills

Right now, many families are struggling to make choices between rent, groceries, and utility bills. Crisis Assistance Ministry can help. Special funding is currently available to prevent a disconnection of electricity or gas utilities for low income Mecklenburg County families.

Read More

Black History Month Focuses on Right to Vote

As February ushers in this year’s national Primary season, it’s important to remember the sacrifices and historic milestones that brought each of us (at different times, through differing means) the right to vote. One way to celebrate history is to educate yourself on the issues and the candidates – from the most local offices to the White House – and make a plan for when and how you will vote.

Read More

Poverty Simulation Prepares Nursing Students for Community Practice

For aspiring nurses, an understanding of what life is like for people in underserved communities is a critical part of their education. At UNC Charlotte, students have a chance to experience what their patients may face on a day-to-day basis through Crisis Assistance Ministry’s Poverty Simulation.

Read More

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.

Julia’s Journey Continues

When we first met Julia, she was struggling to stay housed and grieving the death of her teenage son. Though she was in the lowest place she had ever been, she never lost hope that there would be brighter days ahead.

Read More

Midori is Grateful to Give Back

As Midori joined fellow Elevation Outreach volunteers at Crisis Assistance Ministry last week, she quickly earned the title of “Chief Encourager.” As she began to greet people in cars arriving for curbside assistance, she saw herself in every harried face.

Read More

Moving Forward is All About Empathy

We could all use more empathy during these challenging times. Scott was able to move forward several years ago when he received empathy and emergency financial assistance after falling behind on his rent. Now stably housed, he helps his students and others in the community find their voice.

Read More

Tanisha Invites You to Move Forward Together

Tanisha came to America as a hopeful child. After a difficult struggle, she now feels able to fully realize those childhood dreams thanks to generous individuals like you.

Read More

Keisha Fights an Uphill Battle

Laid off from her job waiting tables at a local restaurant, Keisha now spends her days alone in the hotel room she’s called home for the past two years, working to create a good home for her son.

Read More

Ethiopia is Optimistic Thanks to You

Ethiopia had a good job at the airport; in fact, she had just been hired permanently after months of working through a temp agency. Eighteen days later, she was laid off due to COVID-19.

Read More

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. 

2020 Charlotte CROP Hunger Walk Goes Virtual

For 42 years, the Charlotte CROP Hunger Walk has invited the community to walk together against hunger—locally and globally. This year’s (virtual) walk is scheduled for Sunday, October 11th, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. in a neighborhood or park near you.

Read More

Julia’s Journey Continues

When we first met Julia, she was struggling to stay housed and grieving the death of her teenage son. Though she was in the lowest place she had ever been, she never lost hope that there would be brighter days ahead.

Read More

Crisis Assistance Ministry Update from CEO Carol Hardison

Carol has a quick video update on what has been going on at Crisis Assistance Ministry and how we are currently helping those in need in our community.

Read More

Non-Event Gala Playlist

Keep your #NonEventGala going with this playlist full of hits to get you on your feet. While enjoying the at home party take a moment to make a gift to help families on the edge avoid eviction.

Read More

Moving Forward is All About Empathy

We could all use more empathy during these challenging times. Scott was able to move forward several years ago when he received empathy and emergency financial assistance after falling behind on his rent. Now stably housed, he helps his students and others in the community find their voice.

Read More

Tanisha Invites You to Move Forward Together

Tanisha came to America as a hopeful child. After a difficult struggle, she now feels able to fully realize those childhood dreams thanks to generous individuals like you.

Read More

Crisis Assistance Ministry Encourages Those in Need of Rent and Utility Assistance to Seek Help Now

Crisis Assistance Ministry is offering multiple safe, convenient ways for Mecklenburg County residents to receive financial assistance with rent and utility payments.

Read More

Time Is Running Out to Double Your Impact

You can join the Challenge by making a life-changing gift for our neighbors in need. See why other people are joining the Challenge and make a gift by April 30 to double your impact with a matched gift.

Read More

This Volunteer is Actually A Rock Star

Randy Franklin is truly a rock star volunteer. As he plans what he hopes will be his 11th annual benefit concert featuring local musicians, he shares why he continues to work on behalf of families served at Crisis Assistance Ministry.

Read More

Your Help Makes It Possible

Carol has a special video message to thank all of our donors and supporters as well as those on the front lines helping us stay safe and healthy. Though our doors are closed temporarily we are working to help our neighbors in need from home and planning for the future of the agency.

Read More

We All Depend Upon Each Other

Due to health and financial issues, Tangejula was already at risk when the coronavirus appeared. Thanks to help from people like you she has something to be grateful for right now.

Read More

We Are All In This Together

Emily and Jacob understand that we need to work together to lift our community up in these uncertain times and they invite you to do the same. Join the challenge and your gift will be matched up to $250,000 through April 30.

Read More

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.