One of the keys to ending homelessness is putting people in homes they can afford. Unfortunately, our community needs over 16,000 affordable rental housing units, with or without services, to prevent and end homelessnesssource. How can you help expand affordable housing availability?
By clicking on one of the puzzle pieces above, you are taking a crucial first step to end homelessness in Charlotte. Educate yourself on the existing efforts, then get involved with one of the agencies listed with each puzzle piece and make a difference.

Building or Renovating

Developers often receive incentives to create affordable housing, including:

  • Grants
  • Low-interest loans
  • Discounted/free land

Developers can use these resources to build new housing units or renovate existing ones. The State of North Carolina and the City of Charlotte manage housing trust funds, with limited funds to assist developers.

Subsidizing Rent

By providing rental subsidies, our community can quickly increase the supply of affordable homes.

Consider the typical family that earns $1,200/month after taxes. It can afford about $400/month for rent, but very little exists at this level, and what does exist is often substandard. But a $200 monthly housing subsidy would allow this family to spend$600/month for rent, greatly improving the chances to find a safer, more appropriate home.

While some households might need long-term rental subsidies, other households only need temporary help until their incomes increase or stabilize.

The Housing Partnership

Our mission is to expand affordable and well-maintained housing and promote stable neighborhoods for low and moderate income families with a continuing interest in the ability of occupants to more fully enter the economic mainstream.

  • Volunteer As An Individual
    Office Work
    Assistance with office work, such as copying, filing, etc.
  • Must be 18+ and able to pass a background check.

  • Donate Items
    Funds for housing programs.

Supportive Housing Communities

Our mission is to provide affordable housing to alleviate homelessness and human suffering.

  • Volunteer As An Individual
    Work in the community garden, show residents how to cook healthy food or sing in our community building choir on Thursdays.
  • family-friendly opportunity

  • Volunteer As A Group
    Prepare a meal or provide a cookout for residents.
  • family-friendly opportunity

  • Donate Items
    • Kitchen dishes, pots and pans
    • Cleaning Supplies
    • Bedding for single and queen sized beds
    • Laundry supplies
    • Bathroom supplies (towels, shower curtains,bathmats, etc)
    • Air miles
    • Gift cards
    • Bus Passes

Charlotte Family Housing

Our mission is to empower homeless families to achieve long-term self-sufficiency through shelter, housing, support services and advocacy.

  • Volunteer As An Individual
    Volunteers are needed to serve as overnight hosts Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at each shelter site. Overnight hosts arrive at 8:00 p.m. and can leave after 6:30 a.m. the next morning. We offer a private room with a private bath for our volunteers, as well as WIFI, a private TV and coffee. Serving as an overnight host saves CFH over $100 per night at each of our shelter sites, and is a critical volunteer need for our program.
  • family-friendly opportunity
  • Background screening required for overnight volunteers.

  • Volunteer As A Group
    Groups and individuals are needed to organize activities for children, maintain the landscaping and assist with regular deep cleaning of the facilities. Volunteers are welcome to suggest other activities where they can share their gifts and talents.
  • family-friendly opportunity

  • In-Kind Donations
    Welcome basket items, which are given to families when they enter one of our shelters and are taken with them when they move into housing, including full/twin sheet sets, full/twin comforters, bath towels, plate sets, utensils and pots and pans.

Community Link

Our mission is to enable individuals and families to obtain and sustain safe, decent and affordable housing.

  • Volunteer As An Individual
    Guest Services Member
    Availability: M-F, 8-5; times vary
    If you enjoy greeting and talking with people, this is the role for you! We look for enthusiastic individuals to help manage our front desk. For consistency, we ask for a commitment of at least once a week for at least two hours.

  • Committee Service
    Availability: Ongoing, monthly
    Serving behind-the-scenes might be your passion. If so, we hope you'll consider sharing your time and expertise on one of our organizational committees (audit, endowment, finance, human resources, marketing/development, strategic planning, Sweet Escapes Special Event). Meeting times are limited, but your involvement is priceless. You'll offer feedback and insight to help develop, guide, and strengthen Community Link. And, it's a great networking opportunity!

  • Tax Aide
    Availability: Yearly - Jan.-April
    Site Coordinator
    Quality Reviewer
    Tax Preparer

    Training: 16-24 hour classroom training or online self-study for most positions. Must pass volunteer certification.

    The first answer to your question is no - you don't need to be a tax attorney to lend your time as a Tax Aide. But yes to making a positive impact on the lives of seniors and low-income individuals and families. You'll complete basic tax returns for a targeted population in our community that are challenged to pay out of pocket for these services. Training is provided. Maybe not wanting to file taxes? Other opportunities include appointment setters, greeters, and site coordinators as well.

  • Financial Coach
    Availability: Ongoing, monthly

    Training: Up to two hour orientation, provided the third Thursday of each month.
    Stretch a mind to exercise good financial decisions! You'll pair with a Community Link customer to mentor them on basic financial decision-making and help that individual build a better future. A certified financial advisor is not who you need to be - rather, you'll become a trusted friend to join a customer on their journey to self-sufficiency.
  • family-friendly opportunity

  • Volunteer As A Group
    Welcome Crew
    Welcome a formerly homeless family to their new home - with a provision of supplies. Perhaps it's a bed and bath basket; children's needs; or just basic household supplies.

    Groups enjoy collecting these treasured items knowing they'll make a huge difference in a family's life. In some cases, you might be able to make the delivery!

  • Donation Request
    Bathroom cleaner, brooms/mops, paper towels
    Laundry baskets
    Pots, pans, dishes
    Shower curtain, shower hooks
    Toothpaste, tooth brushes, toilet paper
    Towels, dish cloths, dish towels

Mecklenburg County Community Support Services

Our mission is to Offers assistance to domestic victims, offenders and child witnesses as well as displaced homemakers, veterans, homeless individuals and individuals living in targeted neighborhoods.

"We strive to improve citizens' self-sufficiency, health and safety through a wide array of quality services and community partnerships."

  • Volunteer As An Individual
    Homeless Resource Center
    The Homeless Resource Center partners with community organizations and faith based groups to provide meals to the homeless and help link them to other needed services. There are volunteer opportunities in this setting. Mecklenburg County partners with Hands On Charlotte and there are also opportunities through that collaboration. The Veterans Stand Down is held annually with volunteer opportunities.
  • family-friendly opportunity

  • Volunteer As A Group
    Please see above.

  • Donate Items
    We collaborate with community organizations who donate such items for the homeless and for veterans.

Urban Ministry Center

The Urban Ministry Center is an interfaith agency dedicated to bringing the community together to end homelessness...one life at a time.

  • Volunteer As An Individual
    We invite volunteers to be part of our weekday support team. Volunteers help us run our basic services through a variety of positions:
    • Front desk or upstairs reception
    • Counselor
    • Personal services assistant (shower and laundry)
    • Computer lab support
    • Job search support
    • Van driver
    • Mail sorter (10:30 – 12:30)
    • Office & staff assistant (times flexible)
    • Data Entry (times flexible)
    Visit our website to learn more about becoming a volunteer.
  • family-friendly opportunity

  • Volunteer As A Group
    Operation Sandwich
    Urban Ministry Center serves nearly 300,000 sandwiches in one year! We invite your group to prepare sandwiches for our soup kitchen through our "Operation Sandwich" effort. Click here to learn more.

  • Donate Items
    • Men's razors
    • Spray deodorant
    • Feminine hygiene products
    • Hand sanitizers (32 ounce & travel sizes)
    • Reading glasses
    • Backpacks
    • Towels & washcloths
    • Bathrobes
    • White socks (new, men's and women's)
    • Gain liquid laundry detergent

Agencies Involved

Charlotte Family Housing
Community Link
Supportive Housing Communities
The Housing Partnership