"I did not find out about Charlotte Family Housing until it was almost too late." Chris remembers the daily anguish of dropping his son off at school and knowing he had to find somewhere for them to stay that night before picking him up. He had to sell his young son on the idea that their dire situation was okay, engaging him at night with games and drawing, anything Chris could do to keep his son's active mind "from wondering."
"You don't remember many nights, but I remember the first night." Upon acceptance into the program, Chris recalls the first night he and his son spent in shelter was, "...like Christmas. I could breathe. To go from 'not okay' to 'way better than okay'... the quality of rest was very impactful."
The consistent support of his social worker also proved crucial as Chris embarked on his journey to self- sufficiency. She helped him "keep everything straight" when he really needed that focus amid a battle for custody of his son. She referred Chris to a steady full-time job. She expanded his financial literacy. Chris reflects that, "once I bought into filling out those budget sheets, it showed me I could make it." Indeed, he has.
Chris' son is thriving. He does well in school and competes in disc golf tournaments. Chris describes Charlotte Family Housing as life-changing and encourages others, "They give you all the tools and will customize a plan to meet your needs and help get you back on your feet."
Connecting with us through a domestic violence shelter, Sheneathia took advantage of many CFH programs over a two-year period that empowered her on her path to self-sufficiency.
Sheneathia graduated from our program and achieved her goal of home ownership earlier this year! She also progressed from a warehouse job to a housing coordinator for a major housing and mortgage assistance provider.
Her children endured harassment, when classmates discovered they were homeless. But, today, Sheneathia reports that their journey has taught her children that "hard work can get you through hard times" and they have a positive outlook and confidence in dealing with life changes.
Sheneathia greatly appreciates that, during an exceedingly stressful time, her social worker had no bias, provided clarity, and helped rebuild her self-esteem. She is thankful that Charlotte Family Housing is "there to help you help yourself."
Upon entering Charlotte Family Housing (CFH), he lacked transportation, savings and other resources; but CFH promptly connected him with community supports to secure affordable childcare.
Lamont is a hardworking dad, but only had experience working what he called "common jobs," and he desired to learn marketable skills to maintain steady long-term employment with the opportunity for advancement. After CFH housing resource coordinators assisted him in finding permanent housing, one of his job assignments ended, leaving him without income. He, however was committed to creating a good life for his daughters, and through a CFH collaboration with the Goodwill Career Center, Lamont participated in 12 weeks of HVAC training, which positioned him to receive a better job. Soon after his Hope Team partners reached out on his behalf, and provided the social capital support that led Lamont to a position with Piedmont Natural Gas.
While in the program, Lamont's CFH social worker, in collaboration with Common Wealth Charlotte, guided him in repairing his credit, establishing monthly savings, and obtaining a vehicle through Charlotte Family Housing's transportation program, Jumpstart. After his first six months, his pay increased with more room for advancement. Upon completing the CFH program, Lamont was making preparations for home ownership.