Residents, non-profit organization say they were evicted from home after filing complaints

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A home in west Charlotte was a saving grace for six families who battled homelessness.

But the residents said the conditions inside weren't right so they pushed for change.

[Affordable Housing Crisis Section]

Now, the residents have to be out by the end of the month.

The house is part of a nonprofit called Gracious Hands, which serves women and children in Charlotte who would have otherwise been homeless.

"I left Pennsylvania off a suicide attempt. I planned on leaving my child and something I wanted to run away from," Lyn Alexis said.

Sonja Chisolm, the founder of Gracious Hands, was also a single mother. She said she was never homeless, but she understood the struggle.

Now, Chisolm faces a new struggle. By the end of the month, her program and the six families at the home have to move out.

"It is hard enough if one person gets evicted, if one person loses their home. We're talking about six families and five children," Chisolm said.

The property's landlords opted not to renew the lease. They told Channel 9's DaShawn Brown they had other plans for the property.

The two sides are also at odds over another issue inside the home - a "horrid" smell.

"It's horrid, completely horrid," Alexis said.

Chisolm said the smell is so bad she filed a second complaint with the city of Charlotte's Code Enforcement.

The agency confirmed to Channel 9 it found a violation after inspecting the property.

"It bothers her more than it bothers us, I guess, because this is her project. This is her baby and she cares for us," Alexis said.

"And then I had one that said 'At least it's better than sleeping outside." They shouldn't have to live that way. I don't live that way, and I don't want them to have to live that way.

Channel 9's DaShawn Brown sat down with the property's landlords, who declined to go on camera. They did produce several receipts from their attempts to repair the house.

The claim will go before Code Enforcement at the end of the month.

Read more top trending stories on