• How a partnership is helping families struggling to find affordable housing

    By: Mark Barber

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - It’s one solution to one of Charlotte’s biggest problems, affordable housing.

    It’s an issue so important to our community, Channel 9 dedicated a one-hour special report to it.

    In our “Priced out of Charlotte” special, we promised to help find solutions. For the first time, the Salvation Army gave Eyewitness News an inside look at a program to help struggling families.

    Charlyn Paige and her 12-year-old daughter, M’Kayia, moved from Virginia for Paige’s work. When the position was canceled, she lost her apartment and had to stay on her friend’s couch.

    “I could barely manage,” Paige said.

    Since the Salvation Army found an apartment for her, she’s been studying business administration at Johnson C. Smith University.

    “We would love to see a project like this replicated,” Deronda Metz with the Salvation Army said.

    Charlotte is in an affordable housing crisis right now. More than 1/3 of households in the city are paying more than 1/3 of their income on housing.

    [PRICED OUT OF CHARLOTTE COUNTY-BY-COUNTY RESOURCES]

    The Salvation Army shared with us a program to try and help, called SHIP. The three to five-year program is a partnership. The Charlotte Housing Authority houses families and the Salvation Army helps them with education and training to better their lives.

    "We want to be able to get people to a place where they can live in market rate housing,” Metz said.

    Metz said they've helped house 300 families over the years and 80 percent of them successfully worked their way up to better housing. 

    "I have somewhere that I can rest,” Paige said. “That just means more than anything you can give a person, just safety and security."

    The Salvation Army said it hopes other nonprofits and landlords will see this story and step in to help all the other people who still need a home.

    [RELATED: AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS SPECIAL SECTION]

    The organization also held a recruitment fair for landlords after our “Priced out of Charlotte” special. There was a record turnout of 20 people, compared to the handful they normally see.

    If you’re a landlord and interested in helping, you can contact Metz at deronda.metz@uss.salvationarmy.org

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