Elevation Church donates $300,000 in homeless aid

Matthews-based Elevation Church has donated $300,000 to Charlotte’s fight against homelessness, Mayor Patrick Cannon announced Wednesday.

The donation will go to the Social Impact Housing Endowment, a project that seeks to raise $20 million to help struggling families and veterans become financially stable with short-term rent assistance and social programs.

The Elevation gift puts the total raised so far at $16.3 million. That includes $10 million that will be provided by the city over five years.

Foundation for the Carolinas is heading the campaign to raise the money, which will be focused on families and veterans earning 50 percent or more below the area median income.

“It’s refreshing to see the faith-based community stepping up to help solve this social crisis,” Cannon said. “Donations to this fund from the private, nonprofit and now faith-based sectors are a perfect example of how working together works.”

Elevation Church’s donation was announced to its members in a video. Church officials said members gave enthusiastic support to the plan.

“When I heard about your recent endeavor to end homelessness for hard-working families and other people in the city, I was moved and inspired to help,” Steven Furtick, pastor of the church, said in a letter to Cannon.

“Affordable housing has been a problem in Charlotte for many years…together we can lead the way in ending homelessness one family, one senior and one veteran at a time.”

Furtick and his wife started Elevation Church in 2006 with seven other families. The church has worship services at 10 locations in the Charlotte area that draw more than 14,000 people weekly.

“This is a wonderful gift from a church that has quickly earned the reputation for being very thoughtful and strategic with their philanthropy,” said Brian Collier, senior vice president of community programs and civic leadership with the Foundation for the Carolinas. “We are thankful for their generosity.”