Family Focus: Nonprofit helps homeless families find homes, jobs, security

by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - One Charlotte nonprofit is now helping more homeless people after merging three organizations into one.

Glendora Rivera sits in classes, learning about things like financial security and job searches. The mother of two teens has been homeless for a year, living with family members who can take her in.

"I kept my head up and I kept pushing, and reached out for the resources that were in the community," Rivera said.

Those resources came in the form of Charlotte Family Housing.

The nonprofit was created last year by merging Charlotte Emergency Housing with two other local assistance groups.

Since the merger, CFH has helped 20 percent more homeless families.

CFH’s newest shelter, Hawthorne Place, provides shelter for families looking for a permanent home.

Rivera said the classes are a plus because she’s learning how to get out of debt.

"They have helped me tremendously. They have helped me learn how to save a lot better than what I generally do," she said.

Development Director Kelly Lynn said the goal is to empower families.

CFH offers matched savings accounts, interest-free loans and courses that families are paid to attend.

"We do believe in incentives and rewards for having them do things that will really benefit their families in the long-term, so we do pay a stipend of $10 an hour, and have childcare and dinner, so they'll come and learn the skills needed," Lynn said.

As Rivera gets ready to move into her own place, she’s already thinking beyond the roof over her head.

"At some point, I'm going to be on my own without this program. I need to be able to pay my rent, and still have a significant amount of money to pay bills, and have saved and still be able to live," she said.

Charlotte Family Housing will have an apartment ready for Rivera and her children in the next three weeks.

To learn more about CFH and its services, click here.