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Charlotte Area Fund assistance programs.

On rare occasions, limited amounts of financial assistance may be available from the Charlotte Area Fund. The non-profit community action agency has a formal application process in place and applicants will need to meet a number of conditions in order to qualify. Any aid is offered as a last resort, in a crisis, and can help pay for rent, food, utilities, or medications.

Most of the support from the organization is focused on self-sufficiency and case management. This means that families from Mecklenburg County North Carolina will be assigned a case manager and they will partner together to address the root cause of their struggles.

Emergency Financial Assistance is offered for basic needs. This will only be for Self-Sufficiency Project individuals. They need to be faced with a crisis situation that was not caused by them. The Charlotte Area Fund (CAF) may pay limited amounts of financial assistance to address the situation. The applicant will need to maintain an independent status, gain stability, and pay the bills on their own going forward.

When funding is available and if the individual qualifies, the community action agency may pay funds for rent or other expenses. The Charlotte Area Fund can help those who are late in their rent due to the crisis situations.

Utilities, such as natural gas, electricity, heating oil, and cooling bills may be partially paid too. The non-profit may also provide limited assistance with the purchase of prescription medicines. They can also direct clients to other utility bill assistance in North Carolina.

For those that receive financial aid, Counseling and Follow-up Assistance is required. Each applicant will receive continuous counseling from a case manager and this is done throughout the self-sufficiency plan. Staff will also help clients with their employment search and training.

After the clients gets a job, a case manager will continue to periodically follow-up with clients to inquire about their employment and offer additional guidance, support, and assistance as needed.




Every applicant will undergo Individualized Assistance. Clients of the non-profit will be assigned to a personal case manager for both Consumer Education and Employment components. There is a intake and assessment process that will need to take place during this period. The individuals will be assessed to determine their current skill levels relevant to employment, education, credit scores, managing money and nutrition goals. Then they will work on addressing these challenges.

Job Readiness Training is undergone with a specialist. This will provide skills and workshops such as  employment application completion help, resume development, tips on interviewing techniques, and the latest job retention strategies, and more. For those that succeed in this process the Charlotte Area Fund may provide them with a small cash allotment to use for job and education expenses. Or the residents can seek income working from home as they go through the programs at the Charlotte Fund.

GED/ABE training on instruction classes will be held. The community action agency, working with other local and national instructors, offer certified instructors that will work with clients to help them prepare for their GED or coordinate other educational skills. The Charlotte Area Fund (CAF) will sponsor individuals and work with them as they obtain skills such as the GED.

The non-profit will Sponsor those who are seeking Apprenticeships, Specialized Skills Classes and Internships. Also included are Computer Training Classes such as PowerPoint, Windows, WORD, Excel, and Internet usage. All of this and more is provided by the Fund at no cost to Mecklenburg County families who meet the groups requirements.





Vocational Training is available for Certified Nurse’s Aide, Customer Services, Pharmacy Technician, and other Human Resources Management classes. These will be provided in cooperation with other local Mecklenburg County certified training providers.

The Charlotte Area Apprenticeship Training program consists of sessions held on site training with area companies and employers. The sessions will further enhance employability skills, provide experience as well as create an opportunity to attain employment for the client. The client will be provided a minimal salary, up to 40 hours a week, and maybe even some other benefits. They will also gain hands-on skill building and experience within a certain career and vocational training area.

The training is limited in scope and only a small number of people may qualify. The Charlotte Area Fund case managers will need to decide who can participate and it is often restricted to those who meet entry level qualifications. Each client who is successful and is assessed as job ready will be referred to appropriate employment opportunities in the county.

Independence Through Entrepreneurial Development (ITED) is for those Mecklenburg County North Carolina residents that have a desire to own their own business and become entrepreneurs. They will be provided the means and opportunity to acquire the abilities and skills necessary to become successful business owners. Classes and workshops are held on topics and issues such as marketing strategies, business plan development, hiring techniques, and accounting.

Financial Assistance for Employment Expense is for qualified students. The client may receive Limited cash assistance with paying for transportation, tools, work related clothing, supplies, and any other needed work requirement. Charlotte also has several colleges nearby and in the county. The Fund can direct students to non-profit and corporate scholarship programs.

Money Management Training Sessions will teach individuals how to improve their credit and better account for their money and income. The sessions organized by the community action agency include education, budget development, debt reduction, establishing credit, home buying, and more.

Goal Setting and Budget Counseling Sessions are offered to income qualified families and individuals. The non-profit will assist Mecklenburg County families in managing household resources to reduce debts, avoid crisis situations, possibly establish credit and also realize a savings. Clients of the sessions will work with case managers to adopt family budgets, establish goals regarding their income, develop individualized plans, and locate other local resources toward the achievement of the goals. During the months of the program, qualified clients may receive a stipend check for participating.

Food club can offer Nutrition Assistance. Low income clients that have successfully completed the money management training (per above) may participate in the Food Club program. Each and every month all qualified clients may receive, for free, groceries and supplies from the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Those low income clients and families with special dietary needs may be able to receive free food vouchers to shop at local grocery stores. Those vouchers will allow them to purchase groceries such as vegetables and fruits to meet their dietary needs.





The CAF Food Pantry may also pass out emergency food to individuals from the community who do not qualify for the Self Sufficiency Project due to a valid inability to seek employment.

CAF will also provide emergency food through the pantry to individuals who do not qualify for the Self Sufficiency Project due to inability to seek employment, such as a disability. Vouchers or certificates may be used by these clients too.

All resources from the Charlotte Area Fund depend on government grants and other funding levels. They can be reached at 901 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28206. Call (704) 372-3010.


By Jon McNamara

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