Crisis Assistance Ministry’s Economic Mobility Program helps families move toward financial security and introduces pathways to economic opportunity. Outcomes are improved for families at risk of homelessness by addressing underlying social determinants of quality of life.
Enrolled families work one-on-one with a specially trained caseworker for an average of three months to identify barriers to financial security and to set goals for the future. Housing stability is guaranteed through a rent and/or utility subsidy while customers work towards their goals.
Individuals who are interested in the Economic Mobility Program should first meet with a caseworker in the Basic Needs Program.
Of the more than 1 million items that pass through the Free Store each year, a good number are new items donated by Walmart, thanks to a longstanding partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank. Recently, Walmart made a generous $20,000 donation to Crisis Assistance Ministry to support families struggling to meet life’s basic needs.
For over twenty years, Sheila worked at the same fast food restaurant, making salads for little more than minimum wage. After all that time, she earned just a dollar an hour more than the day she started. When a cut in her hours brought her to Crisis Assistance Ministry seeking assistance, her path began to change.
On May 4, Crisis Assistance Ministry joyfully celebrated the graduations of a new class of Customer Advocates. New graduate Kimberly reflected on her journey from customer to empowered advocate saying: “I have found my voice and will utilize it to the best of my ability to help families like mine understand that there is hope, that life happens to everyone, and that we must not give up but continue to move forward.”
A survivor who proudly proclaims her identity as a “person with a purpose,” Abigail arrived at Crisis Assistance Ministry in the coldest part of winter. Thanks to you, Abigail finally has a place to reclaim her purpose: not just to receive, but to give.
“Economic mobility” is the centerpiece of nearly every Charlotte-centered conversation these days. Wondering why? Here’s the report that started it all: “Where is the Land of Opportunity?: The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the U.S.”, by researchers at Harvard and UC-Berkeley.
When her husband walked out on her, Patricia and her 15-year-old son Jamil were plunged into an unfamiliar world of financial distress. Fully disabled after a surgical mistake years earlier, Patricia had relied on the income from her husband’s job to pay the mortgage and other bills. Left with only her monthly Social Security disability payments, she soon found the situation unmanageable.