Community Engagement

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NEIGHBORHOOD & PARTNER ORGANIZATION RESOURCES AND TIPS

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Updated 6/16/20

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.
 

Employment Opportunities

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 transition 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 openforbusinessdashboard@charlottenc.gov.

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.


Housing

The City of Charlotte is partnering with The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership to provide mortgage assistance to homeowners who need help with mortgage payments due to COVID-19.  Please note that due to limited funding, applications will be approved, and assistance will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Click here to learn more.

If you're experiencing a financial hardship with paying your rent due to COVID-19, the Emergency Rent Assistance Program for the City of Charlotte (ERAP-CLT) may be able to assist you.  ERAP-CLT is a partnership between the City of Charlotte and The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership. Please note that due to limited funding, applications will be approved, and assistance will be provided on a first come, first served basis. For eligibility requirements and to complete the online application, click here.  If you have any questions, please email erapclt@cmhp.org or call (704) 351-6382.

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. 

 

Utility Support

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 compiled a list of COVID-19 resources related to affordable internet options, technology and free digital literacy training, and built a map of no-cost and low-cost public wireless networks access locations across Charlotte.

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.

Healthcare

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.


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.

Mental Health
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.
  • 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.

 

Food Access

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.

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.

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


Many local grocery stores have started dedicating their first hour open to seniors and other at-risk groups so they can shop without being exposed to everyone else.

Click here to see a list of these stores and special hours.

Seniors can also 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.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) continues to distribute meals. Children must be present. Learn more about CMS's meal distribution locations here.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) will continue to distribute meals during the summer months. Click here for distribution sites and more information.

  • 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. Learn more about its staggered opening here.


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.


In these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to be able to effectively engage and support youth well-being and mental health. The Talking to Kids: Preventive Benefits of Social Emotional Learning webinar series seeks to do just that and is relevant for a broad range of youth service providers and professionals who work with or on behalf of youth, including parents and caregivers. Each interactive webinar will explore best practices to introducing and discussing challenging social-emotional learning topics with children and youth.

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.


Senior Resources
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.

 

Financial Support
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

On March 27, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARE Act), which provides financial relief for individuals, small businesses, and others affected by the pandemic. Click here to view a summary of how this Act could affect you.

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.

Common Wealth Charlotte (CWCLT) 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.

Legal Assistance

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.

 

Digital Access

In an effort to continue to support the digital and media literacy skill development of our community, Digital Charlotte has launched open office hours via Zoom meetings. Community members will have an opportunity to ask basic to intermediate computer and internet skills questions and receive support from a facilitator. Office hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. through June 7. Both English and Spanish speaking facilitators will be available for questions. Community members do not need to sign up to participate, and participants may join and leave the Zoom meeting at any time during the 2-hour window.

Click here to learn more.

 

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 fifadministration@inreachnc.org 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.
https://www.mecknc.gov/news/Pages/COVID-19-Toolkit.aspx

 

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. You can also find multilingual resources from the CDC including Fact Sheets in English, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese, and hand washing posters in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Portuguese and Urdu.

 

CharMeck Responds
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.
https://charmeckresponds.org/

 

Delayed Census Deadline

The Census Bureau is closely monitoring the coronavirus and has delayed the Census deadline as a result. Additionally, the Bureau is anticipating additional changes as the COVID-19 situation progresses across the country. Click here to read the official Census Bureau statement.

Activities and Opportunities

  • You Matter, Be Counted! Take this opportunity to complete your 2020 Census form by mail, phone or online. Learn more here.
  • 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. 


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Stay At Home Order With Translations:
https://www.mecknc.gov/news/Pages/Stay-at-Home-Order.aspx

Several other community resources are also available for adults and children in need. Click here to learn more.

Learn more about citywide service impacts on the City of Charlotte's COVID-19 Updates webpage. https://charlottenc.gov/covid19/