City approves much-needed grants for nonprofits

CHARLOTTE — Some nonprofits are getting come much-needed funding from the city of Charlotte.

Leaders with local nonprofits were upset when, in 2021, the city hired a national group to run the Alternatives to Violence Program on Beatties Ford Road.

Some of them felt that the program mimicked work they’d already been doing in the community for years.

At-large Charlotte City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield, said local nonprofits, especially those focused on reducing violence have complained they have felt overlooked by the city when it comes to doling out grant funding.

“I was happy to see that some organizations that have been around for a decade-plus are on that list to finally receive funding,” she said. “And you see other organizations come in and receive access to $50,000, $25,000, $100,000. It can be discouraging.”

That trend is now shifting following the city council’s budget passage earlier this summer.

Channel 9 reported earlier this month that the nonprofit, Heal Charlotte, founded by Greg Jackson, received $2.25 million to provide housing for the homeless in an east Charlotte hotel.

“I saw an opportunity to put their name on the table and ask for a funding request,” Mayfield said.

The Male’s Place, another nonprofit, got a $100,000 grant from the city.

“We build and develop Black boys 12 to 18 to be responsible, respectful, upstanding young men,” said Reggie Singleton, who co-founded the organization in 1993.

Singleton said they focus on mentorship, community service, and agriculture.

“To be able to serve and meet the needs of, particularly those that are suffering in our community from food insecurity,” he said.

Singleton said in the past they’ve relied on private donations, and that the investment from the city took a while to come true.

“If we don’t get tired. If we don’t quit, good things are going to happen to this organization,” Singleton said. “We, obviously, will be able to add at least 15 more young men. We hope to be able to expand the production of our agriculture.”

Mayfield is encouraging grassroots groups that may have lost faith in gaining support from the city to not give up.

“We’ll put it out to the community,” she said. “This is your opportunity to put your best foot forward. Have your financials together. Make sure that your books are accurate. You need to have a plan to scale because we are not going to provide you funding in perpetuity. It’s not forever.”

$5 million of the city’s budget that passed earlier this summer is earmarked for nonprofits, as well as for-profit corporations.

The funding is to continue work in the city’s corridors of opportunity, which are six historically under-invested areas where the city is aiming to make systemic changes and build economic growth.

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Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.