Charlotte organizations preparing to help the homeless as cold weather season begins

Another Chance House of Refuge and Crisis Assistance Ministry are just two of the organizations stepping up.
Homeless shelters and utility assistance programs are gearing up for their busiest season.
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Homeless shelters and utility assistance programs are gearing up for their busiest season. Cold temperatures mean more people are seeking shelter and looking for ways to access power.

Another Chance House of Refuge is located at 1818 Kennesaw Drive in north Charlotte and they do it all. They provide housing, clothes, food, and resources, but it takes a village to make their house run.

Creator Shekieta Maloye said she knows how valuable these resources are to people experiencing homelessness because she was once in their shoes.

“I know what it’s like to not have shelter, I know what it’s like to not have food,” Maloye said.

Not knowing where one is going to spend the night or where their next meal will come from can be an isolating experience.

When Maloye got her feet under her, she knew giving back to the community was her passion.

“We are a family, and what better way to get support than to have someone standing behind you with lived experience,” she said.

Another Chance House of Refuge offers support all year long, but the colder months are when they really get down to business.

“When it’s getting cold people are looking for shelter from the rain, from the storms, from the cold,” Maloye said.

Not only does Another Chance house around a dozen people at this location, but they also provide outreach to people in the community. Blankets, sleeping bags and socks are the items in demand for the next several months.

For people who do have somewhere to go at night, that doesn’t guarantee warmth.

“Families will go all summer without electricity or gas, it’s had to believe but when the first cold snap comes it’s really a safety issue if they can’t come in and get help,” Crisis Assistance Ministry CEO Carol Hardison said.

Crisis Assistance Ministry helps people with utility bills. Hardison said during the pandemic some people racked up thousands of dollars in utility debt and they still can’t get out.

“We haven’t seen any reduction in need since the pandemic began,” she said.

Around 100 families are coming in daily, and that number is expected to go up as the fall continues. They are counting on community support to keep these families in safe and warm homes.

“People have stretched dollars as much as they can. There is no more stretching they can do,” Hardis said.

Related: Roof Above apartments have opened for tenants experiencing chronic homelessness