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.

How Will Biden’s First Ten Days Affect Working Families?

In his first ten days in office, President Joe Biden signed a flurry of legal actions. All the president’s orders are consequential, but some will have a direct impact on the hardworking families that are served daily at Crisis Assistance Ministry.

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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.

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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.

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What We’re Reading in 2021: Our Top Ten Picks for the New Year

Following a year that exposed so much racial inequity ingrained in the bedrock of our society, we are focused on understanding and finding ways to dismantle structural racism.

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Are You Ready to Vote?

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Partnership Provides for Community Needs

On a cold February afternoon, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) staff from 29 schools are streaming into the McCrorey YMCA armed with lists of student names and sizes—looking for just the right coats and shoes for students attending schools where they serve.

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Thank You From the Bottom of My Heart

Patricia has seen hard times, she says, but she’s also seen blessings. This year, she counts Crisis Assistance Ministry as one of those blessings.

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Shannon’s Hope

Ready for 2021? Shannon is thanks to your support. We need your help to ensure that 2021 starts right by providing hope and home.

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You Gave Kim Peace of Mind and Home

After a medical emergency, Kim and her family found themselves on the brink of homelessness. Your support helped keep them housed and now she is thriving!

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Amy’s Giving Tuesday Update

A year ago, we shared Amy’s story of homelessness and housing instability after she fled domestic violence. Thanks to your support, she was better prepared when COVID-19 hit for the hardships that came along with the pandemic. This #GivingTuesday, help us ensure that 50 families like Amy’s remain stably housed.

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Princess the Support Dog

Julia is a customer and advocate for people in crisis in our community. Along with her husband and support dog, Princess, she is rebuilding her life thanks to amazing people like you.

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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. 

Crisis Intervention Program Helps Families Stay Warm This Winter

Winter months bring an increase in heating costs, which can put a strain on household budgets. Crisis Assistance Ministry wants struggling families to know that help is available to keep the heat on.

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Partnership Provides for Community Needs

On a cold February afternoon, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) staff from 29 schools are streaming into the McCrorey YMCA armed with lists of student names and sizes—looking for just the right coats and shoes for students attending schools where they serve.

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Stacey Says Thanks for Your Compassion

Due to job loss and lack of income caused by the pandemic, this holiday season is a lot harder for many people in our community. Stacey has seen this firsthand with the families she has been assisting in the Free Store and wants to say thank you for your compassion and generosity.

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Honoring Volunteers In 2020 Style

In fiscal year 2020, volunteers collectively contributed over $1 million worth of time and expertise to meeting the basic needs of families in our community. During a video conference celebration, volunteers were honored for their continued commitment to preventing homelessness and preserving dignity even in 2020’s ever-changing and challenging environment.

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Thank You From the Bottom of My Heart

Patricia has seen hard times, she says, but she’s also seen blessings. This year, she counts Crisis Assistance Ministry as one of those blessings.

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Electrolux Stocks Charlotte Kitchens

Electrolux and Crisis Assistance Ministry teamed up to stock kitchens with hope throughout the Charlotte region for the holiday season.

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Shannon’s Hope

Ready for 2021? Shannon is thanks to your support. We need your help to ensure that 2021 starts right by providing hope and home.

Read More

You Gave Kim Peace of Mind and Home

After a medical emergency, Kim and her family found themselves on the brink of homelessness. Your support helped keep them housed and now she is thriving!

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Aaron’s Giving Tuesday Request for YOU

Your help kept Aaron and his family housed last year. This #GivingTuesday he is asking for your help to ensure that 50 families avoid eviction with heat and water.

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Amy’s Giving Tuesday Update

A year ago, we shared Amy’s story of homelessness and housing instability after she fled domestic violence. Thanks to your support, she was better prepared when COVID-19 hit for the hardships that came along with the pandemic. This #GivingTuesday, help us ensure that 50 families like Amy’s remain stably housed.

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Giving Thanks for You and Our Community Today and Every Day

Saying thank you to people like you and Sarah will never seem like enough. Your support this holiday season and throughout the year is the greatest gift of all.

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Princess the Support Dog

Julia is a customer and advocate for people in crisis in our community. Along with her husband and support dog, Princess, she is rebuilding her life thanks to amazing people like you.

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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.