Youth Villages: Giving every child a deserving chance

Youth Villages: Giving every child a deserving chance

When the crisis of the coronavirus hit Charlotte, the United Way of Central Carolinas and Foundation For The Carolinas partnered to launch the COVID-19 Response Fund.

The COVID-19 Response Fund supports a range of nonprofits, assisting the people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Importantly, this fund will help not just those who get sick, but also those who are economically impacted.

One of the recipients of the grants was Youth Villages, a nonprofit that provides support services for children and young people facing emotional, mental and behavioral problems.

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The organization received assistance in the amount of $20,000 to provide emergency financial support for those children and their families.  

“Funding is necessary because the children and families we help are generally low-income families that are more likely to be impacted by the pandemic due to loss of job [or] income,” said Spenser Lewis, senior PR coordinator for Youth Villages.

With the grant, Youth Villages was able to supplement costs for its families including housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, medical, childcare and basic need items.

Over a three-month period, the organization has allocated $200 per family, per month for 40 families.

In addition to providing financial support, Youth Villages equipped those families with mobile devices and internet connections to ensure they had access to the organization’s telehealth services.

“Our hope is that we’ve been able to help children and families be safe and make progress toward their emotional behavior goals,” Lewis said. “We know that strong families make strong communities and that is something we all should care about.”

Youth Villages is one of many organizations working to support those in need of food, financial and housing assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the next month, Crisis Assistance Ministry expects an unprecedented emergency for those who have lost their jobs or had their work hours cut amid the crushing economic downturn, and due to the financial repercussions the virus has caused.

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

The combination of difficulties paying rent, mortgages and utilities, spikes in foreclosures and evictions, the need to assert tenants’ rights, homelessness and a potential second wave of the coronavirus this winter will be a heavy 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.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Sinead Taylor, WSOC-TV community affairs specialist, at