When the coronavirus crisis hit Charlotte, the United Way of Central Carolinas and Foundation For The Carolinas partnered to launch the COVID-19 Response Fund.
The fund supports a range of nonprofits, assisting people most badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Importantly, this fund will help not just those who get sick, but also those who are economically impacted.
“The funds will help cover operating expenses including food, utilities, cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, and staff salaries for My Sister’s House,” said Jennifer Coble, executive director of Friendship Community Development Corporation.
My Sister’s House Transitional Living Program is a facility for single, homeless women, opened in 2010 at 3239 Beatties Ford Road. It provides temporary housing in a safe environment, while offering life skills focused on six key areas that help residents become self-sufficient: empowerment, and mental, physical, financial, spiritual, and legal health.
“The need is always greater than the resources, and during this unchartered time with so many unknowns, the need has been amplified,” Coble said.
A majority of My Sister’s House’s annual revenue is generated by “Friendship Gardens”, “Great Things” and “Sweet Creations” – all projects that have experienced a sharp decline in revenue due to the residual financial impact of COVID-19.
“My Sister’s House residents are vulnerable members of our community. They are employed in essential jobs and unable to work from home or to isolate from others,” Coble said. “Some of our residents also have chronic illnesses, which increases the likelihood they will suffer severe impacts of COVID-19.”
The organization’s residents struggled to maintain the resources to support themselves before coming to My Sister’s House, and the pandemic has exacerbated their situations.
“We anticipate the need for My Sister’s House residents to remain in the program longer due to reduced hours or layoffs,” Coble said. “Additional counseling will also be required to assist them with the stressors and anxieties related to the economic pressures of transitioning to safe, sustainable, independent living.”
My Sister’s House may need to continue operating the program with reduced capacity to support social distancing within the residential facility. It will continue to be flexible in its service delivery and will implement new processes and procedures to ensure the safety of its team, residents and community.
“Our community has really come together to support each other through this pandemic in ways that I knew were possible – but weren’t always imaginable,” Coble said. “There has been a generosity, courageousness, and selflessness of spirit that I hope continues after the crisis subsides,”
Over the next month, Crisis Assistance Ministry expects an unprecedented emergency for our neighbors who have lost their jobs or had their work hours cut amid the crushing economic downturn, and due to the financial repercussions and disasters the virus has caused people.
Crisis Assistance Ministry provides assistance and advocacy for people in financial crisis, helping them move toward self-sufficiency.
The combination of difficulties people have paying rent, mortgages and utility payments, spikes in foreclosures and evictions, asserting tenant's rights, homelessness, and a potential second wave of the coronavirus this winter will together be a brutal burden for tens of thousands of families to bear.
In response, WSOC-TV has launched 9 Crisis Help. The funds collected will go directly to Crisis Assistance Ministry to help people pay essential bills.
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