Defining the connection between poverty and mental illness is a chicken-and-egg scenario: does mental illness create an inability to overcome a state of poverty, or does poverty increase or perpetuate the occurrence of mental illness?
The theme for Black History Month 2023 is “Resistance”, a single word that encompasses so much. Through the centuries, a long line of brave and committed Black Americans have battled injustice, some on the public stage and others behind the scenes. But for every high-profile or large-scale act of resistance, countless others go unnoticed. At Crisis Assistance Ministry, every day, we see brave and committed Black Charlotteans struggling to resist the forces of an unjust society right here in Mecklenburg County.
The impacts of wealth inequalities are quite evident every day at Crisis Assistance where we see people, through no fault of their own, struggling to pay rent, keep the lights on, and afford clothes for their children. In a community that is majority white, the overwhelming majority of people who seek help with basic needs here are Black and Hispanic. But the reality is that the nonprofit sector can only do so much to address the long-term struggles of the economically disenfranchised. Systemic policies have created and sustained the continued wealth gap, and it will require a systemic approach to reverse that impact.
With temperatures rising to life-threatening levels this week, Crisis Assistance Ministry continues to offer emergency financial assistance for Mecklenburg County residents at risk of utility disconnection or eviction. Families in need of help should visit https://crisisassistance.org/gethelp for detailed instructions on how to seek assistance and what to bring when submitting an application for assistance.
To help prevent utility disconnection, $3.5 million in federal Crisis Intervention Program (CIP) funding is available now for Mecklenburg County households with overdue utility bills.
Right now, many families are struggling to make choices between rent, groceries, and utility bills. Crisis Assistance Ministry can help. Special funding is currently available to prevent a disconnection of electricity or gas utilities for low income Mecklenburg County families.
As February ushers in this year’s national Primary season, it’s important to remember the sacrifices and historic milestones that brought each of us (at different times, through differing means) the right to vote. One way to celebrate history is to educate yourself on the issues and the candidates – from the most local offices to the White House – and make a plan for when and how you will vote.
Inside this issue of The Advocate newsletter, read about individuals and families who found hope because of your support, a key partnership helping neighbors understand their rights in the face of rising eviction rates, and more.