Financial crisis more dire than ever for Charlotte families facing eviction

COVID-19 case numbers may be decreasing but economic fallout is being felt on a record level

Over the past week, there have been some encouraging signs in this pandemic, but for a lot of families, things are not looking up. Many of them are turning to Crisis Assistance Ministry looking for help.

We won’t tell you their names, but we will tell you some of their stories.

One by one, people in the midst of hardship and personal struggle came to Crisis Assistance Ministry looking for help.

“Before I got laid off, I was paying my own bills, but when I got laid off, I fell behind a bit,” said a client of Crisis Assistance Ministry.

COVID-19 case numbers may be decreasing across the state, but Crisis Assistance Ministry officials say the economic fallout is still being felt on a record level.

Each day, many people arrive at Crisis Assistance Ministry to apply for help with bills, to keep the power on or to avoid being evicted. To make matters worse, it’s costing the agency more to assist than it used to.

“Prior to the pandemic, on average a family would need $400 to revolve resolve financial crisis. It’s at least one and half times that, sometimes double, to keep family safely housed now,” said Liana Humphrey, chief marketing officer at Crisis Assistance Ministry.

Crisis Assistance Ministry provides assistance and advocacy for people in financial crises, helping them move toward self-sufficiency.

Many say without the nonprofit’s help, they don’t know how they would survive, but because of the agency’s rent and utility assistance, they can keep going.

“They have helped me a great big with my life. Along my journey, so I’m thankful for them,” the client said.

Officials say they are paying close attention to the federal eviction moratorium which expires at the end of March. Crisis Assistance Ministry is hoping that moratorium is extended to keep more families in their homes.

Charlotte was facing an affordable housing crisis before COVID-19. The situation has only become more challenging for those who lost jobs, had their income reduced or suffered a health crisis due to the pandemic. Many now find themselves on the verge of homelessness.

The need for help in Carolina communities continues to grow because of the financial ramifications of the novel coronavirus.

To assist our neighbors in need, WSOC-TV is partnering with Crisis Assistance Ministry to help 9 Crisis Help raise funds for those who are struggling amid the economic downturn.

9 Crisis Help’s mission is to give help and hope to people with limited financial resources.

On Sept. 4, 2020, the federal government issued a moratorium on evictions for tenants, lessees or residents of residential properties to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The order prohibits residential landlords nationwide from evicting certain tenants through March 31, 2021.

The current eviction moratorium offers temporary protection. It may or may not be extended again, but when it does eventually expire, renters will be held responsible for all unpaid rent or mortgage payments.

The difficulties people have making rent, mortgage and utility payments lead to spikes in foreclosures and evictions. Many renters and residents do not know their rights or are not able to advocate for themselves in court. This is a heavy weight for many families to carry.

Crisis Assistance Ministry, a resource aiding those in need, recognizes that keeping a family in a home is far less expensive than getting a new home for a family who has lost one. You can offer timely assistance to families facing eviction due to the pandemic.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW TO 9 CRISIS HELP.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.