CHARLOTTE — The way Crisis Assistance Ministry in Charlotte helps people with rent and utilities may look different these days, but their mission is still the same.
“We’ve gone from stopping hotel evictions to now our traditional rent and utility service,” said CEO Carol Hardison.
>> Have questions about the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the Carolinas? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak -- CLICK HERE FOR MORE.
When COVID-19 first rocked the region, the ministry committed $700,000 to keep families in their motels during our stay-at-home order. Now, as the state inches toward being more reopened, Crisis Assitance is bracing for its new normal.
Hardison is concerned there will be a backlog of overdue rent and utility bills when the halt on evictions expires on June 1. She’s urging people to start applying for help now.
There are 1,800 eviction cases already filed in Mecklenburg County court, and that number continues to climb.
Workers at Crisis Assistance are ramping up their efforts in order to help, but in the age of coronavirus, the agency isn’t opening its doors. Instead, they’ve transitioned to online and drive-thru applications, added more staff and moved people from across the agency to help with the requests to ensure they meet the need.
They’ve also added another workday through the end of June.
“We’ve added Saturday right now because of the unprecedented need in our community,” Hardison said.
>> We’ll bring you LIVE updates on Channel 9 Eyewitness News. Get extended coverage on the free WSOC Now app on Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV.
Crisis Assistance is prepared to help upwards of 300 people per day thanks to more than $1 million in special federal funding, but that expires at the end of June.
“We have the staff, we have the preparation, and we have the tools in place,” Hardison told Channel 9. “Help is there, and it won’t take long at all.”
Crisis Assistance has also added a phone bank. Once an application is submitted, a team member will contact the applicant to confirm it has been received.