In a vibrant city like Charlotte, it’s easy to overlook the fact that many are suffering amid affluence. Our Civic Engagement Program increases awareness of the complex issues facing more than 100,000 neighbors living in poverty.
Even families whose income is twice the Federal Poverty Level struggle to afford safe housing, reliable transportation, child care, utilities, food, and other necessities. An unexpected event such as an illness or job loss can send an accomplished person into a downward financial spiral.
The Civic Engagement Program engages and empowers the community to be advocates for people facing poverty by:
The most powerful advocates are customers themselves. We provide training to highly motivated individuals interested in sharing their story and effecting positive change for others living in poverty.
Since 2008, Crisis Assistance Ministry has been the local lead facilitator of the Community Action Poverty Simulation (CAPS), a two-hour interactive, immersive experience designed to create awareness among participants of life at the bottom rung of the economic ladder. The simulation presents participants with real-life scenarios and challenges faced by people living in poverty and is immediately followed by a group debrief, during which participants reflect on the experience, discuss insights, and consider next steps.
Martin Luther King Day, the only federal holiday designated as a day of service, is observed on the third Monday of January, near his birth date of January 15. It is a time to not only reflect on his life and legacy but also to find ways to further his work toward racial and economic justice. Fifty-five years after his death, Dr. King’s dream has yet to come true. Although progress has been made in many areas, there is still much work to be done.Read More
With the winter upon us, families in Charlotte, and across the country, are struggling to make ends meet. Inflation growth has outpaced wage growth, resulting in a three percent decline in real hourly earnings. People are working harder than ever but still falling behind on rent and utilities. The amount of their past due bills is increasing but their paychecks are not. To put it simply, people need more money. But should we use policy to get more money into the hands of those who need it the most?Read More
Steve’s Coats for Kids welcomes new or gently used coats of all sizes, from children’s sizes up to adult sizes, and the coats that are collected in Charlotte-Mecklenburg will be added to the Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store or distributed to our countywide Partner Agencies to provide to their clients.Read More
The world is hot, but it’s even hotter inside of cities, partly due to the “urban heat island,” which occurs “when cities replace natural land cover with dense concentrations of pavement, buildings, and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat.” It’s an issue of inequity that often directly affects customers who visit Crisis Assistance Ministry.Read More
Juneteenth marks a celebration of freedom—at least in the legal sense of the word. But it also evokes several bitter truths surrounding emancipation and its legacy. We see the ripples of that legacy here every day as we work to help our neighbors whose struggles are made more difficult by the social and systemic legacies of chattel slavery in the United States.
As we reflect on a historic moment in time, we can’t overlook the centuries of disenfranchisement that have followed legal emancipation and consider whether true freedom, equity, and equality have yet to arrive for many of our fellow citizens.
Observed worldwide as a celebration of “the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women,” International Women’s Day is also a global call to action for accelerating women’s equality. At Crisis Assistance Ministry, we see women’s extraordinary perseverance and potential every day. Hardworking women like Mariagrazia, who was sidelined by an accident but refused to give up, and Shavonna, whose tenacity and grace are a testament to her indomitable spirit.Read More