Session Approves Response to Housing Crisis in West Charlotte

September 25, 2019

While many of us gathered in Wood Fellowship Hall recently to view the documentary Resilience, our Session voted to approve a response to this housing crisis, which will touch as many as 35 families and 50 children from our partner agency, Westerly Hills Academy.

Here’s the background:

  • Residents at the Lake Arbor property have learned that the landlord intended to vacate all units. That process began in August.
  • This action follows a series of complaints from residents surrounding unsafe living conditions, poor property management, and a neglectful landlord. This led to the filing of a class action lawsuit on behalf of the residents. That lawsuit is now under appeal.
  • Six of First Presbyterian Church’s nonprofit partner agencies are collaborating to help the Lake Arbor residents with relocation and critical needs, including Charlotte Family Housing, Community Link, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, The Salvation Army, and Urban Ministry Center. United Way serves as a convener to the group and Community Link is taking the lead in organizing support for the families’ needs.

Who’s been impacted:

  • 177 residents must find new housing; units will be vacated now through mid-2020
  • 35 families, including 50 children who attend Westerly Hills

How you can help:

  • Permanent housing: The first step is to provide stability through permanent housing for these families and students. If members of First Presbyterian Church have local rental property, and are willing to rent for an affordable rate, contact Shantiqua Neely, Director of Outreach and Mission.
  • Immediate basic needs: While the search for permanent housing and/or emergency shelter is taking place, collaborating nonprofits will provide for the families’ basic needs using funds from the Critical Need Relief Fund. First Presbyterian Church has answered the call and contributed $5,000 to this fund to be used for the most critical immediate needs. You can donate online  or via mobile giving by texting HELPCLT to 71777 to receive a text to the direct link.