Our West Charlotte Neighbors Experience Reality of Toxic Stress

October 4, 2019

Our neighbors in west Charlotte are experiencing firsthand the impact of our city’s lack of affordable housing. The condemnation of Lake Arbor apartments has left 171 families searching for a new place to live, with some families living in motels or cars as they search for a solution. The documentary Resilience, which many of us viewed together on a Sunday evening last month, showed us the impact of toxic stress on children, and housing instability is certainly a source of incredible stress.

You may learn more online about this situation, as well as our decision to provide financial support in a collaborative effort of Charlotte nonprofits to secure housing for affected families. Right now, based on what we know, there are two ways you can help:

  1. support financially via the United Way, who is overseeing the collaborative nonprofit effort and
  2. identify (or provide) affordable rental housing. If you are able to offer a housing solution, please contact Shantiqua Neely.

FPC staff is working with school counselors and the school’s Communities in Schools site coordinator to determine how best to support affected Westerly Hills families. As we know more we will keep the congregation updated so that we may respond.

Resilience is a skill needed not just by those who experience poverty and housing instability. Of the 73 who responded to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) survey at the September 22 movie showing, 67% had one or more ACEs, and 24% had 4 or more ACEs. In fact, everyone has some form of stress and has good reason to build resilience.

There are many ways to offset the effects of toxic stress.  The experts who were part of the Resilience event offered ways to support others and yourself. Below is their contact information:

If you want to refresh your memory of or share the findings from the movie, this TED Talk with Dr. Nadine Burke Harris:  How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime summarizes the information.

– Garrell Keesler