Charlotte Family Housing

How We Empower

CFH’s unique empowerment-driven model is designed to produce healthy, deep, measurable and lasting change with our family participants and volunteers. Rather than adhere to charity models that “give” to our families, our social workers and volunteers are trained to “motivate” and “transact” with them, thereby preserving dignity and self-esteem, increasing personal accountability and decreasing dependency, all of which are critical in achieving self-sufficiency.

As families meet agreed-to and upfront goals, the program responds proportionately by offering the following Empowerment Rewards:


  • Interest-Free Microloans: When a medical emergency occurs or a family experiences a short period of job interruption, families take out an interest-free microloan. Families are also encouraged to keep current on loan re-payments so they can “pay it forward” to other families facing similar emergencies in the future.
  • Matched Saving Accounts: This assists the family to build assets and wealth to help maintain housing post-graduation from the program.
  • Jubilee Store: This is a holiday store where families budget for and purchase gifts for a portion of the price, thereby preserving dignity and self-esteem, increasing personal accountability, and decreasing dependency. Funds from the Jubilee Store are recycled back to the Microloan fund.

“The Jubilee Store is a great opportunity for families to have a hand up, not a hand-out. Things at the store are not free, but discounted so that you get a bargain. I can spend my own money and get a good deal; it’s not just handed to me. I don’t want to feel like everything is free because of my situation. The store gives me pride and honor by giving me a chance to buy my own gifts. Everyone did a fantastic job with organizing the store. It was wonderful!”

-CFH mother in our program