The mission of Crisis Assistance Ministry is to provide assistance and advocacy for people in financial crisis, helping them move toward self-sufficiency.
The following FAQs provide information on how to get help during COVID-19.
A: If you are at risk of eviction or utility disconnection while experiencing COVID or COVID-like symptoms, please do not come in person to seek assistance. If you or someone in your household has COVID or is experiencing symptoms of COVID, please email our Financial Assistance team directly for further instructions.
A: The CDC’s moratorium was struck down by the Supreme Court on August 26, 2021. This means that landlords can begin eviction proceedings against tenants who were previously covered by the moratorium.
A: There are six key points to know about the eviction process. You can find that and other information here: Eviction: Know Your Rights.
A: If you have questions about the eviction process and think you need legal help, please call Legal Aid at 1-866-219-5262 or visit www.legalaidnc.org.
A: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations offers the Dispute Settlement Program, a free mediation service with a trained, neutral third party (mediator) who will work with disputants to reach an agreement. It’s an opportunity to express concerns, interests, needs and wants in a confidential setting, and it provides an avenue for paying restitution for damages, losses or rent. Landlords and tenants interested in resolving issues outside the courtroom can call the Landlord-Tenant Line at (704) 336-5330 or visit www.charlottenc.gov/communityrelations for more information.
For additional concerns (including hotel eviction), call 2-1-1 to be connected to appropriate resources.
A: Funding is available for energy assistance through the Crisis Intervention Program (CIP), which is managed by the Department of Social Services (DSS). You can receive up to $600 per year towards past-due heating or cooling bills if you meet certain criteria.
To be eligible for CIP, your household must:
There are several ways you can apply for CIP:
Crisis Assistance Ministry also offers utility assistance to MecklenburgMeckelnburg County residents in financial crisis, regardless of the cause of their hardship.
A: Crisis Assistance Ministry provides rent and utility assistance to Mecklenburg County residents in financial crisis. This includes individuals facing eviction or utility disconnection. Our caseworkers are trained to understand many different challenges and to help you stay housed, keep your utilities on, and plan to avoid a future financial crisis. You and your caseworker may discuss different options that could help you after the interview.
A: A paper application is available onsite at 500-A Spratt Street. You can pick one up Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm. You will need to provide copies of your documents, such as ID, social security documentation, proof of income, and past-due bills or notices. Our lobby is open Monday-Friday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm. You can return your application then to have it reviewed.
Once your application is received, all follow up, including the caseworker assessment, is conducted by phone and/or utilizing electronic or telephonic signatures to complete additional documentation. We are also happy to mail a paper application that will be pre-stamped for ease of return. To receive a paper application, please email a request and include your mailing address to: [email protected].
A: A friend or family member can pick up or drop off an application on your behalf, as long as the signatures received are the customer's. All follow up, including the caseworker assessment, is conducted by phone and/or utilizing electronic or telephonic signatures to complete additional documentation.
A: The federal aid has been a lifeline for many families in Mecklenburg County impacted by COVID as they have been able to get assistance with several months’ rent/utilities, both past due and upcoming bills. However, not all families qualify or are able to prove that they qualify for government funding and with multiple places now providing rent and utility assistance, there is added complexity for people to navigate. Whenever someone comes to Crisis Assistance Ministry for help, we ask a series of questions to determine if they might qualify for government aid, and if they do, we educate them on how to apply as we want to ensure they have exhausted those funds first.
A: When someone seeks help at Crisis Assistance Ministry, they fill out one application, but their eligibility is assessed for multiple funds that we manage. Often, we tap several funds to come up with the amount needed to resolve their financial crisis, but all the customer knows is that their landlord received a check and they were able to avoid eviction. Our caseworkers also provide a lot more than just a financial assessment when working with customers. They assess a customer’s eligibility for public benefits, make referrals to other service providers, and provide coaching and education on household budgeting and finances.
A: Though it seems like jobs are everywhere, many are unable to work due to health concerns or childcare. For those who are able, finding a living wage is next to impossible, and our region’s affordable housing crisis has only worsened during COVID. Renters must now earn more than $19/hour to afford a 1-bedroom apartment in Charlotte, according to the Low Income Housing Coalition’s recent Out of Reach 2021 report.
A: Unfortunately, at times there are reasons a customer does not receive financial assistance. These are varied and often specific to the situation but could be related to income being too high, incomplete information, or the customer not responding to emails/calls. If a case is closed without assistance being distributed, we always provide a customer receipt. You can ask for the receipt and then make your decision, knowing that a Crisis Assistance Ministry caseworker has completed a full assessment.