by: Stephanie Coueignoux Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - State funding cuts have led to a growing concern that the local homeless population could rise even in well-off towns like Davidson.
The state eliminated the $3.9 million budget for the North Carolina Community Development Initiative this year.
It's an organization that gives funding to groups that help low-income families.
The nonprofits are now scrambling to find other funding options.
”We had committed three-year grants to groups like Davidson Housing and were unable fulfill the second and third year of those grants,” NCCDI CEO Tara Kenchen said,
The Davidson Housing Coalition helps low-income individuals across north Mecklenburg and south Iredell counties.
Isabel Martinez moved to Davidson because she wanted a safer place to raise her now 13-year-old son.
“I was worried about him growing up in a big city with everything that is going on right now,” she said.
She found work at a pizza shop but couldn't afford housing. That’s when the DHC stepped in.
“These are people who are trying to figure out if they can buy groceries and buy medication,” said Marcia Webster, executive director with the DHC.
Webster said the future may seem bleak but they’re now working hard to raise money to keep the DHC running.
She said it’s in the state’s best interest to fund these types of programs.
She said if not, low-income families could end up homeless,
“We have a homeless situation in the town of Davidson. People don't realize that because we don't have homeless standing on the street corner. We have people who are sleeping in garages. We have people sleeping in cars,” Webster said.
She said that creates a financial burden on communities, and ultimately taxpayers.
Martinez, who wants a better life, is worried about her family's future,
“I'm just happy to be here. I'm very blessed with the community,” Martinez said.
Eyewitness News emailed Gov. Pat McCrory's office to ask why funding for this program was eliminated and whether the state could reinstate it in the future. So far, we have not heard back.