For decades, Supportive Housing Communities (SHC) has provided affordable housing and support services to formerly homeless individuals and families in Mecklenburg County.
Using a permanent supportive housing approach, the organization focuses on breaking the barrier that prevents people from finding affordable housing and aiding them, economically and emotionally, until they reach self-sufficiency.
“We work with the most vulnerable, chronically homeless and individuals and families that are at the lower end of the income spectrum,” said Sherrill Hampton, chief executive officer. “What is good about that permanent supportive model is the supportive piece. We have ongoing case management for people throughout their time in our program.”
Hampton said that many of their program participants have disabling conditions that are often mental, emotional or health related. Through collaborative partnerships, SHC connects them with organizations that can assist with their other needs.
“We are deeply appreciative and thankful for all of our community partners,” Hampton said. “We have to work together in the eco-system. We have to, to mitigate homelessness.”
Some of those partners include Urban Ministry Center, Roof Above (formerly Men’s Shelter of Charlotte), The Salvation Army, Crisis Assistance Ministry and Loaves and Fishes.
SHC is a two-time recipient of the COVID-19 Response Fund grant receiving $75,000 in the first and third rounds.
Its first grant was used to fund infrastructure needed to allow employees to work remotely, behavior wellness and mental health counseling for program participants and rent and utility assistance for participants who’d recently lost their job, were laid off or had reduced hours due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The second grant will help SHC address food insecurities that many of its residents are facing.
Hampton hopes to partner with grocery stores so they can offer monthly vouchers to residents to buy food.
Since the pandemic, SHC has provided rent and utility assistance for 31 households and funded mental health counseling for 18 households.
“[We’re] really appreciative of Foundation for the Carolinas and United Way for these funds to help us because all nonprofits are going to have to operate differently,” Hampton said.
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.
SHC is one of many organizations working to solve the affordable housing crisis in the Charlotte area.
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 crunching 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, utility payments, spikes in foreclosures and evictions, asserting tenant's rights, homelessness, and a second wave of the coronavirus this winter will be a heavy weight on tens of thousands of families.
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 Sinead.Taylor@wsoc-tv.com.