A New Home
Charlotte Family Housing Joins Shared Services
More than a year ago, the leadership of Charlotte Family Housing (CFH) identified the need for more robust financial, HR and technology services to build the organization’s capacity to raise funds, serve clients and mitigate risk. After extensive due diligence, CFH’s Board of Directors voted to join CFSC Shared Services (SS) to share finance, HR and IT services with seven other nonprofit health and human services organizations.
This strategic restructuring allows the CFH staff and Board to leverage expertise and reallocate internal resources to support grant research and writing, manage earned revenue programs and explore alternate revenue sources. Most importantly, with the support of CFSC Shared Services, CFH will be better equipped to more effectively and efficiently fulfill its mission.
CFH partners with families experiencing homelessness through shelter, housing and comprehensive support services designed to empower them to achieve long-term self-sufficiency. The agency was formed as a result of a 2011 merger of three local nonprofits serving working, homeless families: Charlotte Emergency Housing, Family Promise of Charlotte and Workforce Initiative for Supportive Housing (WISH).
In the first year as a merged agency, CFH served 35 percent more families than the combined efforts of the three separate agencies in the prior year, a resounding affirmation of the merger’s merits.
While CFH serves primarily single mothers with children, they are also one of the limited options for single fathers with children and two-parent families. Each year, the combination of low wages, high urban housing costs and generational poverty leaves hundreds of Charlotte’s working families in homeless shelters.
The vast majority of families referred to the CFH program are single moms with an average of two children. Working in positions such as teacher aides, bus drivers and caregivers for seniors, these people perform some of the most critical low-wage jobs in our community. Because they’re often doubled up with family or staying with friends, the community is not acutely aware of their need; families experiencing homelessness are often considered the “invisible” tier of the homeless population.
CFH uses an innovative model to address homelessness, one designed to produce measurable and lasting change. Their three-pronged approach emphasizes:
- Partnering: CFH customizes their partnership with each family, offering comprehensive support services to empower families to achieve self-sufficiency, from education on financial self-reliance and health and wellness … to career support networks … to ongoing counseling with the staff’s Masters-level social workers.
- Housing: CFH addresses the immediate housing need by sheltering families experiencing homelessness and helping them forge a path to stable housing through professional guidance and short-term rental assistance in apartments and homes throughout the community.
- Empowering Change: CFH empowers families to do what they can for themselves, leading to restored self-worth and long-term self-sufficiency. CFH offers ongoing benefits for partner families, including matched savings accounts and an affordable holiday store. CFH strives to increase personal accountability and preserve dignity.
Charlotte Family Housing is looking forward to realizing all the benefits of CFSC Shared Services and the impact that the collaboration will have, not only on their internal efficiency, but most importantly, on the services they provide to the families they serve.