Local organization helped mother improve life in her time of crisis

Local organization helped mother improve life in her time of crisis

CHARLOTTE — A local mom found herself in crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic and had to make a drastic change.

That didn’t stop Ebonie Etherly from coming out strong.

“I was in a toxic relationship for a long time, and I fled the situation last August 2019,” she said.

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Etherly found an emergency shelter at The Salvation Army Center of Hope.

They moved her to a hotel after seven months thanks in part to $11 million that Mecklenburg County dedicated to affordable housing before the pandemic.

Her family is now in a new home. Rent for one year is already paid.

“They transitioned us into a beautiful three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment on April 9," Etherly said. “It’s absolutely gorgeous -- space for the children to run around.”

Now, Etherly is looking to the future.

“It made me think on a whole different level of responsibility of how to protect my children, how to investigate and having multiple streams of income -- of how that would be beneficial to my children and I,” Etherly said.

So, she started a business.

“People are going to find a way to eat and eat desserts and that's what I do,” she said. “I bake for a living. I social distance myself via curbside drop-off and deliveries.

She said she went back to the shelter to show her appreciation.

“I just thank them and grateful for them to just believe in me and allow me this second chance to help me rebuild myself,” Etherly said.

The program that helped was Meck Home.

The county funding helped move 200 people out of the shelter in weeks and will subsidize their housing for up to two years.

Hundreds stand in cold, rain to apply for affordable housing at new development