Working families experiencing homelessness begin their journey to self-sufficiency in the Shelter Phase, either at Plaza Place or in a Charlotte Family Housing (CFH)-approved hotel. While in the Shelter Phase, families are empowered to manage a household budget, establish healthy routines, and become more involved in their children's education-all of which improve the quality of a child's educational experience and can help improve academic performance. Families also begin to work with their social workers, who provide wraparound supportive services. They address barriers to family stability and facilitate pathways to financial literacy, education, health and wellness, and job readiness. CFH is a trauma-informed agency that employs nationally recognized practices to help families heal from the trauma of poverty and homelessness. CFH organizes our services in ways that address and mitigate the effects of traumatic stress.
Plaza Place is a 15-bedroom house that provides short- term shelter for homeless families while providing comprehensive support. All families have their own bedroom and most have their own bathroom (smaller families may share a bathroom). Each family has access to a small refrigerator and cabinets to store their own food and is responsible for cooking their own meals.
Hawthorne Place is a six-bedroom church wing located on Hawthorne Lane (inside St. John’s Baptist Church) that provides short-term shelter for homeless families while providing comprehensive support. All families have their own bedroom and may share a bathroom with another family “Jack and Jill” style. Meals are shared “family style” two nights a week and for Sunday lunch, and families have access to their own refrigerator/cabinets to prepare their own meals the other nights of the week. Staffing is provided by a combination of paid employees and volunteers.
After completing the Shelter Phase, families transition into the Housing Phase. Housing resource coordinators connect families with housing through a network of over 70 partner housing providers in 21 zip codes across Mecklenburg County. We work with participating housing providers and provide rental subsidies that span the gap between the families' earning capacity and the market rental rate until they can sustain housing on their own. Staff determine the size of the unit and the rent range, while the participant has input into the location (as availability allows). These factors are dependent on family size and the amount of income of each participant. Rent is calculated using a consistent formula for all participants. CFH provides a full year of social work services during the Housing Phase, with the potential for renewal if the family continues to meet eligibility requirements.