Just a week after news emerged of a 23 percent jump in homeless families in Charlotte, Bank of America Foundation announced its giving $1.2 million to 16 local charities that help house, feed and stabilize troubled families, the elderly, and homeless individuals.
The awarded charities include Crisis Assistance Ministry ($75,000), which keeps families from being evicted, and the Mens Shelter of Charlotte ($15,000), which recently opened a resource center to connect homeless men with benefits that will help them pay rent.
These grants will assist nonprofits addressing Charlottes immediate needs while also supporting services that will help people get back on their feet, said Charles Bowman, North Carolina and Charlotte market president for Bank of America.
A recent study released by the United States Conference of Mayors reported Charlotte had a 23 percent increase in homeless families in 2012, the third year in a row the community has had a double-digit rise in that category.
Charlottes 2012 population of homeless families consisted of 3,314 people living in emergency shelters and over 1,000 in transitional housing, the report said.
Charlotte agencies working with such families focus not just on housing them, but on teaching them the necessary skills to avoid falling back into homelessness.
Charlotte Family Housing was given $25,000 for programs that get homeless families into housing and teach them how to stay financially stable. The Salvation Armys Center of Hope shelter for women and children has a similar housing program, which won $35,000 in support. The shelter currently has over 350 tenants, including 150 children.
The largest grant, $860,000, went to United Ways 2012 campaign, which supports 87 charity programs in the region.
Other nonprofits getting support include: Cabarrus Meals on Wheels, Hope Haven, Safe Alliance, the Ada Jenkins Center, Charlottes Urban Ministry Center, Charlotte Rescue Mission, Florence Crittenton Services, Second Harvest Food Bank, Operation Home Front and the YMCA.
The $1.2 million in grants is part of $22 million the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave to over 1,000 nonprofits across the country. The majority of grants support nonprofits serving low-income communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic downturn.