Nonprofits offer help for families in south Charlotte forced to leave homes

CHARLOTTE — Nonprofits are offering assistance to Sterling families who are forced to leave their south Charlotte homes. In the neighborhood, you can already see signs that things are changing. Several homes appear vacant. Mattresses and other personal belongings are waiting to be picked up.

As Keesha White prepares to leave her home of seven years, she says she is grateful for more time. Her landlord sent her a new letter this week telling her that the move-out date has been pushed back to June 30. White said that will allow her nephews to finish the school year without disruption.

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“It is a relief,” she said on Thursday.

Two weeks ago, the new landlord gave people a 28-day notice to leave and offered financial incentives for people to leave by the end of the month. The letter sent to White stated that financial incentives are still available for people willing to move out by May 29.

“Quite a few people moved out,” White said. “I have no idea how many, but I saw truckloads and people just hauling and going and I was, like, ‘I am going to be left by myself still looking for a place to go.’”

More than 100 people are looking for a new place to live.

Nonprofits are stepping up to help the dozens who are still here. DreamKey Partners and Social Serve are helping with money and finding people a new home.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” said Daryle Smith, operations manager at Social Serve. “They’re just here. They want help.”

Social Serve helps a steady stream of residents find new places to live, while DreamKey Partners helps with finances.

Resident Denita Bailey found out on Friday that DreamKey Partners will cover up to three months of her rent after she moves into her new apartment.

“I am so happy right now I can’t stop smiling,” Bailey said. “I am just so happy and so blessed.”

(Watch the video below: Agencies help residents find new homes after being forced out of Sterling neighborhood)

Pineville Neighbors Place is filling in the gaps. Executive Director Jane Shutt heard about what is happening up the street and knew she had to act.

“It is traumatic,” Shutt said. “We are talking about people who have lived in their homes for years and years and now they don’t know where to go. A resident told Channel 9′s Joe Bruno that she has never lived in an apartment before, and there is no way she is going to find a house for the price she was paying.

Pineville Neighbors Place is helping with moving expenses and food.

“They are losing not only their home, but they are losing their community,” she said. “These are friends and families they’ve lived with, and this is just horrible.”

White is still looking for somewhere to go with her family, but she says she is thankful for all the help and is hopeful something will come soon.

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“I’m more hopeful because I have help looking for places,” White said. “It was more stressful going to places running into loopholes where they don’t have vacancy, or they don’t have the number of bedrooms I am looking for.”

DreamKey Partners, Social Serve and Pineville Neighbors Place was at China Grove A.M.E. Zion Church Friday help residents apply for assistance.

For more information on how to donate to Pineville Neighbors Place to help Sterling residents, contact the nonprofit through its website.

(Watch the video below: Residents scramble to find new place to live after notice to vacate from new landlord)