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.
The Civic Engagement Program engages and empowers the community to be advocates for people facing poverty by:
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.
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.
Juneteenth marks a celebration of freedom—at least in the legal sense of the word. But it also evokes several bitter truths surrounding emancipation and its legacy. We see the ripples of that legacy here every day as we work to help our neighbors whose struggles are made more difficult by the social and systemic legacies of chattel slavery in the United States.
As we reflect on a historic moment in time, we can’t overlook the centuries of disenfranchisement that have followed legal emancipation and consider whether true freedom, equity, and equality have yet to arrive for many of our fellow citizens.
Observed worldwide as a celebration of “the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women,” International Women’s Day is also a global call to action for accelerating women’s equality. At Crisis Assistance Ministry, we see women’s extraordinary perseverance and potential every day. Hardworking women like Mariagrazia, who was sidelined by an accident but refused to give up, and Shavonna, whose tenacity and grace are a testament to her indomitable spirit.Read More
You’ve probably heard the saying that numbers don’t lie. But when it comes to understanding poverty, the numbers certainly can be deceiving. Mecklenburg County’s Scorecard, based on data from 2019, paints an optimistic picture overall. On most measures, our community appears to be thriving. But when those numbers are broken down by race, a very different picture emerges.Read More
“Maid” is a new drama on Netflix that portrays a domestic abuse survivor, Alex, and her two-year-old daughters attempt to flee an abusive relationship. The themes represented are themes we often see in our daily work with neighbors who turn to Crisis Assistance Ministry for help.Read More
This year, over 200 Atrium Health staff and medical students have participated in virtual poverty awareness experiences with Crisis Assistance Ministry. The sessions are part of an ongoing partnership between Atrium and Crisis Assistance Ministry that aims to sensitize healthcare providers to the challenges their patients may face outside the walls of the examining room.Read More
When you think about poverty, transportation is probably not the first issue that comes to mind. But having a reliable and affordable means of getting around town is fundamental to accessing vital resources.Read More
Americans who struggle to afford healthy food for their families will soon receive a much-needed boost. In a historic move, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recalculated how Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are determined. As a result, the average SNAP recipient will see an increase of $36.24 per person per month, beginning on October 1, 2021.Read More