NEIGHBORHOOD & PARTNER ORGANIZATION RESOURCES AND TIPS
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As the coronavirus continues to spread across the country, many are wondering what they can do to help others, especially the most vulnerable in our communities. There are several recommendations, leadership opportunities and community-building initiatives available as we face a great deal of uncertainty around how COVID-19 will impact our communities. We will share information and resources with you as they become available to increase your opportunities of building and protecting our communities.
Follow these tips and check out these resources to see how you can maintain a healthy social distance while still supporting those around you.
- If you know your neighbors, especially people belonging to the most at-risk populations, ask them how you can help them. Offer to pick up their groceries or walk their dog.
- Check on individuals that may rely on social networks for support. Find ways to connect digitally.
- If you know someone who is struggling to arrange for childcare now that schools have closed, share resources as you become aware of them.
- Individuals working in the service industry will see their earnings decrease as fewer customers will mean less tips. If you know someone working in this industry, consider supporting them financially by ordering takeout or by leaving generous tips.
- Take the time to purchase what you need in terms of groceries, medications, and household supplies, but refrain from overstocking so you don't want to take away supplies from those in need.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors: What have you seen or heard?
A lot has changed over the past month as we adjust to this new lifestyle brought on by COVID-19. One thing that remains steadfast, though, is how neighbors are helping one another get through these times. What have you heard about? What have you seen in your community? We want to hear from you! We've partnered with UNC Charlotte Urban Institute to collect stories to learn what you and your neighbors are seeing and to celebrate people pulling through this together. Share your story with us here.
Each week, our job development team curates a list of employment opportunities with Charlotte Works. Additionally, we also host weekly virtual job fairs. See the latest job opportunities available here. Want to attend our next job fair? Click here for more information.
You can also find additional employment opportunities from the following resources:
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina's website has immediate employment opportunities available.
The Charlotte Business Journal recently published a list of current job opportunities in Charlotte during COVID-19.
If you are beginning or are in the midst of a job search, several resources are available to you. Click here for training opportunities and to learn more about updating your resume, writing cover letters, having a successful video interview, and more.
As we continue to navigate to a more virtual workplace, click here for resources including a parent's guide to working from home, how to continue networking, navigating LinkedIn, and more.
Small Business Resources
The City of Charlotte is continuing to work with our partners to develop assistance for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. You can learn more about the local, state and federal small business resources here.
The City of Charlotte has launched an "Open for Business" digital platform to easily connect local small businesses with our residents who want to support them. If you are a small business owner that is open for business, please complete this brief application. The dashboard has launched on the city's small business webpage, open data portal and the CLT+ mobile app.
Small businesses are the heart of our community and employ a large part of our workforce. We hope this provides increased visibility and support through this time and throughout our recovery. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Small Business Rebound Program at CPCC provides professional services grants to support business services provided by local area professionals — accountants, attorneys, digital marketing strategists, and human resources experts. Services from the grants are contracted and paid for by the Small Business Center.
Charlotte Business Resources offers a list of resources to help your small business respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and support the economic health and well-being of the Charlotte Business Community. Click here for more information.
Businesses are encouraged to follow the CDC's recommendations regarding impacts to the workplace by actively encouraging sick employees to stay home; performing routine environmental cleaning; preparing for an increased number of employee absences; and providing employees flexible working options when possible.
As always, continue to follow Mecklenburg County's Public Health Department website for Charlotte-specific impacts and updates.
Since April, more than 1,500 households have received $1.4 million in mortgage, rent, hotel, and utilities and upfront housing assistance due to COVID-19. This initial funding was limited to those living in CMHP and other city-invested properties who made 80 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) and faced a COVID-19 hardship including job loss, wage reduction, illness or childcare challenges.
With the infusion of $8 million of CARES Act funding, the COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program (RAMP CLT) has expanded to provide over $10 million in assistance for rent, mortgage, long-term hotel stays, and rental and utility deposits. Individuals who make 80 percent or less AMI, who face a COVID-19 hardship, and who cannot make housing payments can apply for rent or mortgage assistance. Rental payments are made directly to landlords and property managers, so in order to receive funding, landlords and property managers must register as part of the program.
Financial assistance is also available for long-term hotel guests who have been living in a hotel for at least 30 days, who are experiencing a financial hardship, and who cannot pay the hotel bill due to COVID-19. Long-term hotel guests who have been approved for permanent rental housing but need help with security and/or utility deposits can also apply for the Deposit Assistance Program, which provides assistance with security deposits and utility deposits.
A program representative will work one-on-one with all applicants to determine their eligibility for each of these programs. More information is available at rampclt.com. Rampclt.com also provides information and resources for those facing eviction.
Dialing 2-1-1 or visiting http://nc211.org is the first step to finding help for you, your family, or someone in need. For detailed information on resources such as food and meals, rent, mortgage, or utility help, and any other programs as they become available, call 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. You can also search NC 211's database of community resources.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development launched a new mortgage and housing assistance website that consolidates the CARES Act mortgage relief, protections for renters, resources for additional help, and information on how to avoid COVID-19 related scams. It also provides lookup tools for homeowners to determine if their mortgage is federally backed, and for renters to find out if their rental unit is financed by the Federal Housing Authority, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Dispute Settlement Program
Are you a tenant facing eviction? Are you a landlord seeking rent or restitution for damages? Would you like to resolve your issues outside of court? With 1,800 eviction filings awaiting court reopening and the economic impacts of COVID-19 on Charlotte residents, you may want to learn more about the free Dispute Settlement Program offered through Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations. 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. Rental assistance may be available via referral. Call the Landlord-Tenant line at 704-336-5330 or visit charlottenc.gov/communityrelations for more information.
AT&T will not disconnect any services due to the inability to pay for 60 days until June 30, 2020. This includes wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customers. All charges for domestic wireless plan coverage for data, voice, or text for residential and small business customers also are waived.
Spectrum is offering free Wi-Fi and broadband access up to 100 Mbps to any household with K-12 and/or college students that doesn't already have Spectrum until June 30, 2020. Installation fees will be waived for these households. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.
Digital Charlotte has built a map of no-cost and low-cost public wireless networks access locations across Charlotte.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library said it will extend WiFi signals at all branches "to reach the perimeter of the facility" 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During the closures, library staff will oversee online chats for those navigating the system's website.
The N.C. Broadband Infrastructure Office created a map of all the low-cost/emergency broadband offers from providers. North Carolinians can enter their address to see which offers are available to them at their location. It will be updated as new offers from providers with footprints in NC are announced.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has expanded COVID-19 testing and contact tracing across the state to help keep everyone's families and neighbors safe. You can now access online tools to determine if you should consider being tested and to find a testing site near you.
- Visit Check My Symptoms (www.ncdhhs.gov/symptoms) and enter your symptoms to determine if you should consider getting tested for COVID-19. If a test is recommended, you will receive a link to a list of nearby testing sites via email or text.
- Visit Find My Testing Place (www.ncdhhs.gov/TestingPlace) and enter your county or ZIP code to access a list of nearby testing site locations online.
The Hope4NC Helpline (1-855-587-3463) is a resource which connects North Carolinians to additional mental health and resilience supports that help them cope and build resilience during times of crisis.
Do you need a COVID-19 test? Mecklenburg County has created a COVID-19 Testing Sites locator for our region. Click here to see a list of testing locations. Contact your preferred location before arriving. Remember to wear your mask! If you don't have one, you can ask for a free mask on site.
Atrium recently launched their new Mobile Health Unit. Community members will not need an appointment, and the screening and testing will be conducted on a walk-in basis. Atrium Health healthcare professionals will screen for COVID-19, and immediately conduct a test when the symptoms meet the testing criteria.
The Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic has transitioned temporarily into a COVID-19 respiratory assessment center and two mobile health units are offering COVID-19 screenings in East and West Charlotte. Together, these services will provide COVID-19 education, assessment and testing to Charlotte's most at-risk communities. Learn more about the clinic and mobile units here.
Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) is seeking to hire a bilingual Case Investigator and Contact Tracers to support the NC Contact Tracing efforts. Contact tracing is a key element in Governor Cooper's strategy of testing, tracing and trends aimed at gradually easing stay-at-home restrictions and supporting a safe economic recovery. Click here to learn more.
Mecklenburg County's Department of Social Services (DSS) has partnered with Bio-One to offer a free one-time COVID-19 professional disinfecting service to residents who are 60 years of age or older.
Bio-One will apply a CDC/EPA-approved chemical to all surfaces, doorknobs, handles, light switches and high traffic areas of the home. The chemical is safe for pets and children.
Participants must be a resident of Mecklenburg County, 60 years of age or older, and able to leave their home for approximately three hours while services are rendered
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 980-314-6800 or email SFA-Events@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov. Appointment slots are limited. Services will be provided until funds are exhausted.
While there is no cleaning method that guarantees total elimination of the virus, Bio-One's cleaning protocol can help reduce the spread and threat of coronavirus.
The National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) hosts several online communities where people exchange support and encouragement.
Some of these resources include:
- 7cups.com is a online text chat with a trained listener for emotional support and counseling. It also offers fee- for-service online therapy with a licensed mental health professional. This service and website is also offered in Spanish.
- Emotions Anonymous is an international fellowship of people who desire to have a better sense of emotional well-being. EA members have in person and online weekly meetings available in more than 30 countries with 600 active groups worldwide. EA is nonprofessional and can be a complement to therapy.
- Support Group Central offers virtual support groups on numerous mental health conditions that are either free or low-cost. The website is also offered in Spanish.
- TheTribe Wellness Community is a series of online peer support groups offering members facing mental health challenges and/or difficult family dynamics a safe place to connect. Support groups include Addiction, Anxiety, Depression, HIV/AIDS, LGBT, Marriage/Family, OCD and Teens.
- A warmline is a confidential, non-crisis emotional support telephone hotline staffed by peer volunteers who are in recovery. To find a warmline that serves your area, visit the NAMI HelpLine Warmline Directory on the NAMI Resource Library page.
- Youth meditation takes place weekly on Wednesdays at 10 a.m for parents and teachers who may need new tools for their peace of mind.
Governor Roy Cooper announced that parents who need food help can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. The service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877. Parents can simply enter their address and then receive a text with the location and serving times for nearby pick-up free meal sites.
No Kid Hungry has created a map of local school sites, community organizations and food assistance programs across NC where families can access food. The interactive map can be viewed here and is updated daily.
The COVID-19 Emergency Food Resources Map is an online tool that provides information about different emergency food resources. On the LOCATION SEARCH tab, you can search for resources within a customized radius of any location (such as your home). On the FOOD RESOURCES OFFERED tab, you can filter by specific resources, such as food boxes or free lunch for children. On the HOW YOU CAN HELP tab, you can find organizations that could use your help - food donations, financial donations, volunteer efforts or other support.
WSOC-TV has compiled a list of food banks and soup kitchens that can provide help. Please call ahead to confirm hours and availability.
Thanks to the Federal "Farm to Family Food Box" program, Loaves & Fishes is distributing boxes of excess fresh produce and dairy at a series of pop up food shares this summer in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Free fresh produce and dairy are available while supplies last, and registration is required. For a list of upcoming food shares and to register, click here.
Free food for those in need is also available at the following locations:
First Baptist Church West offers free grab and go lunch Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Please pick up a meal for yourself / neighbor, meals are delivered to your car. Please know your total number of meals that are needed when you arrive at the church.
Mt. Moriah Primitive Baptist Church (727 W. Trade Street) give out boxes of food every Wednesday and Thursday 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The boxes include chicken, lunch meat, and canned goods.
Dilworth Soup Kitchen is a nonprofit organization providing hot, nutritious lunches every Monday of the year to approximately 150 neighbors and guests from throughout Charlotte. An all-volunteer team prepares and serves fresh, high-quality food, generously donated by local partners, including individuals, businesses and corporate donors. Learn more online.
Seniors can reserve meal pickup at Christ Resurrection Church (4527 Freedom Drive). Visit christresurrectionchurch.org or call 704-398-3244 for more information or to reserve a meal. The Senior Congregate Nutrition Program has closed its in-person sites and is delivering all its meals to food insecure customers. For delivery confirmation, call 704-432-1111.
Loaves and Fishes has invited more families to participate in their emergency food supply, but a referral is required. Their referral protocols have loosened a bit with the pandemic. There are mobile units providing a 7-day supply of food to families at predetermined locations. More families are welcome to receive the food, but a referral is necessary. For more information and to learn how to get a referral, click here or call (704) 523-4333.
Several restaurants are also offering meals for children.
- Cuzzo's, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday to Friday. Child aged 12 or younger must be present.
- Enderly Coffee, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday for any child on free lunch program. Child does not need to be present.
- Noble Smoke, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday for any child on free lunch program. Child does not need to be present.
- St. Luke Missionary Baptist and Sacred Souls Community Church, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday. Child must be present.
- Food within Walls at Movement Center (2225 Freedom Dr) will have Grab and Go lunch and breakfast Items from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Child does not need to be present.
West End Fresh Seafood Market is serving as a distribution center for free all-natural baby food. The baby food is natural, frozen and for children who are aged 6 months or older. Simply stop by and say you need baby food to gain access.
West Side Connect has complied a list of organizations based or operating in the West End that are providing assistance, including special food services for children, youth and seniors.
The Charlotte Regional Farmer's Market will be open for normal business hours Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Vendors have been moved to comply with social distancing guidelines. Click here to see the new vendor locations.
Certain farmers markets participate in the County's "You SNAP We Match" double bucks program. When you go to one of these markets, go to the information tent and swipe your EBT card to double your dollars, up to $20 per EBT card. You can then use these double bucks to purchase fresh produce, like fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more! Click here to see a list of markets that accept SNAP dollars.
The Uptown Farmer's Market has made its (online) debut. The market is in a three-phase process until they can open on-site at their location in Second Ward.
Childcare & Youth Resources
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has launched a hotline to help critical care workers connect with child care for infants through age 12. For information about local options, call 888-600-1685, Monday through Friday (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
The YMCA of Greater Charlotte is providing free childcare for children of essential employees of Atrium Health and Novant Health at nine different locations. Children must be ages 5-12 years. Extra precautions are being taken at the childcare facilities, including health screenings in partnership with Public Health Nurses, limited adult access, and low staff-to-child ratios to allow for required distancing. Learn more and sign up here.
During the week, teens and young adults ages 13 to 20 are invited to come get free dinner, learn about job training, get creative with art and music, or get active playing sports at several YMCA locations. Level Up your Friday and Saturday nights! Teens ages 13 to 18 are also invited to come get free dinner, hang out with their friends, play games, watch movies and win some awesome prizes. Teens can participate at the following branches: Johnston YMCA, Keith Family YMCA, McCrorey YMCA, Simmons YMCA and Stratford Richardson YMCA. Face coverings will be provided. Visit the Level Up website for more information.
The International Minority Coalition recently launched Framework4Future MathSmart, a virtual math tutoring program for students in grades three through six. Click here to learn more about the program and to sign up.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step toward free or affordable college. The application is open to all current and prospective students, both undergraduate and graduate, in the U.S. to determine their eligibility for financial aid. Last year, North Carolina students missed out on $89 million in Pell Grants because they didn't fill out a FAFSA. As of May 15, a little more than half of North Carolina high school seniors have completed a FAFSA. Students and their families are leaving money on the table. The priority deadline to complete the application is June 30. Visit FAFSAfrenzyNC.com for more information and to apply.
Read Charlotte has introduced a free reading checkup for all K-4 students. Two quick online quizzes will reveal your child's reading level, and you'll learn which specific reading skills your child should focus on. Then, you can access the recommendations for home activities that perfectly align to your child's needs. Your child can retake the quizzes every six weeks to ensure the recommendations are accurate as they progress. Visit ReadingCheckup.org for more information and to access the quizzes and recommendations.
J1C – Just one call – is a one-stop source of information and assistance for seniors and adults with disabilities living in Mecklenburg County as well as their families and professional caregivers - wherever they may reside.
Many residents are experiencing employment interruption as businesses close to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and many are struggling to pay their bills. Some companies are extending grace to customers who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus. You may be able to defer payments on your mortgage, credit card, auto loan, private student loan, or personal loans by calling your bank.
Please consider these quick tips before taking action:
- Don't stop paying your bills without saying anything
- Do a quick online search, but expect to call your lender
- Make sure you have your account information
- Write down the details of your conversation
Contact Information for 15 Major Banks
COVID-19 Mortgage Assistance Links for Major Banks
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has compiled several resources on how consumers can protect their finances during the pandemic, including what you need to know about student loans and the pandemic, federal mortgage relief options, a guide to economic stimulus checks, and helping small businesses during COVID-19. You can find these resources and many others on the CFPB blog.
Common Wealth Charlotte has established an "COVID-19 Financial Question" system. This system is designed specifically for low-income wage earners having concerns about current (or impending) financial hardship due to loss of income from job cessation, voluntary or mandatory quarantines or other hardships caused by COVID-19. Access the system by texting the word "finances" to 474747.
CWC participants only need to attend one, one-hour financial empowerment workshop session in order to be eligible to work with staff one-on-one and apply for an opportunity loan, credibility loan or housing loan. Participants can also apply for an account through Charlotte Metro Credit Union and CWC will cover the $5 membership fee if the participant qualifies for the account. The next workshops are at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. on July 23 and 28. The same Zoom address will be used for all meetings, and there is no need to register. Click here to learn more.
Meeting ID: 291 230 9794
CWC has expanded its qualifications for income-gap loans to Mecklenburg County residents. Now, anyone qualifies who works in the restaurant, food service, hospitality, retail, customer service, call center, professional services (hair stylists, nail technicians, pet groomers, etc.), transit (Uber/Lyft) and other service industries who have been laid off, furloughed or had hours reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans have 0% interest and a 12-month repayment term, after a 6-month no-payment-due grace period. Clients receive financial counseling at no cost. Full service is also available in Spanish. Text the word FINANCES to 474747 or Mande un texto con la palabra FINANZAS al 474747 for more information.
The service industry represents our city's fourth largest industry. The NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund and Charlotte Agenda's Give a Virtual Tip resource provide assistance to service workers affected by COVID-19.
The Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy can assist individuals and families who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. They can answer questions and assist with unemployment benefits, stimulus payments, evictions, foreclosures or utility shut-offs, health care coverage, and food assistance. Learn more here.
COVID-19 Relief for Individuals with Disabilities
First in Families (FIF) has been providing services for individuals with disabilities and their families since 1995. Due to COVID-19, special funding is available to support individuals of any age who have experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury. Families who have already applied for assistance in the last 12 months can apply again, and individuals can temporarily receive assistance for rent and utilities.
In order to be eligible for FIF services, an individual with an intellectual/developmental disability or Traumatic Brain Injury, including those who are medically fragile and/or have a dual diagnosis of mental health or substance use disorder, must live in the household. Household income must not exceed 65K after taxes, and the individual must live in their own home, or with family, and not in a licensed setting.
For more information about services in Mecklenburg County, please contact Keiba Young at email@example.com or call 704-536-6661 ext. 437.
Learn more about services here.
Immigrant Eligibility for Public Programs During COVID-19
The National Immigration Law Center and CLASP have developed a general overview of some of the federal public programs available to support immigrant individuals and families during the COVID-19 crisis under existing law, as well as the recently passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Beware of COVID-19 Scams
We need your help protecting our neighbors and friends from scams. You can help spread awareness by sharing these graphics on social media. Each graphic is available in 5 languages. Please download and share.
COVID-19 Health Messaging Toolkit for Vulnerable Populations
Public Health has released a communications toolkit to better inform vulnerable communities about the COVID-19 virus with information, tips, and where to get help if and when they need it.
The new toolkit is available on the County's website, MeckNC.gov, for anyone to access and use. County staff is also working to share this information directly with community organizations, faith organizations and community leaders. The toolkit includes:
- Flyers that can be shared digitally with detailed information about how the African American community is being affected by COVID-19.
- Infographics, digital images, and other messages that can be shared on social media, in mass email blasts, or on websites.
- Accurate talking points on COVID-19 topics like the Stay at Home Order, how to protect yourself, etc.
- Click here to learn more and to access the toolkit.
City of Charlotte Service Impacts
Solid Waste Services is now operating on a normal schedule.
More information on City service impacts is available on the City of Charlotte's COVID-19 Updates webpage.
Mecklenburg County Service Impacts
Several County resources have also been impacted, including the Department of Social Services. Click here for more information.
Mecklenburg County has also established a website with information about COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus outbreak, to help educate the public. The website includes various resources and updates to the impact of COVID-19 on our community and uses Google translate.
Mecklenburg County has created a poster on how to stay heathy during this outbreak, which can be printed and displayed at churches, schools and organizations.
The CharMeck Responds Coalition is a unified response to the COVID-19 crisis for the purpose of coordinating volunteering and donation efforts. Led by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office, the coalition is made up of faith partners, nonprofits, businesses and other community organizations in the greater Charlotte area.
Activities and Opportunities
Add yourself to NextDoor's Neighbor Help Map as someone who can pitch in for neighbors who need help.
Charlotte on the Cheap has a virtual events calendar so you can find your favorite (virtual) event to attend.
The N.C. Office of Early Learning has a list of educational resources (birth – grade 2) for parents who are trying to keep their young children engaged and learning while schools and care facilities are closed.
Connect with ASC Culture for All for virtual arts, science and history experiences all hosted by local artists, scientists, historians and organizations.