Addressing economic opportunity through affordable housing

Bank of America recently announced a major commitment of nearly $3MM to 38 nonprofits working to make a positive impact in Charlotte by addressing issues at the root of economic mobility. As part of this grants announcement, Bank of America named its 2017 Neighborhood Builders® recipients: Charlotte- Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte.

Each of 38 grant recipients is working in some way to address community needs like workforce development, education, community development and basic needs. Through Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program, two nonprofits annually receive a unique combination of leadership development (for the executive director and a developing leader), $200,000 in flexible funding, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital in order to expand their impact in the Charlotte community.

“To help our entire community thrive, we must address the underlying issues that drive economic mobility,” said Andrea Smith, chief administrative officer at Bank of America. “We’re investing in these organizations so that they can continue to help make our community stronger.”

Expanding affordable housing in Charlotte

Charlotte’s fortunate to have so many organizations committed to believing in what’s possible for the people and communities they support.

Charles Bowman
Charlotte Market President for Bank of America

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership’s mission is to expand affordable and well-maintained housing in stable neighborhoods so that occupants are able to more fully enter the economic mainstream. Beyond providing affordable housing, the organization also provides financial literacy coaching and helps low-income seniors pay their property taxes in gentrifying communities.

“Our biggest challenge is rising land and construction costs, which make it difficult to build affordable housing,” said Julie Porter, executive director of the Charlotte- Mecklenburg Housing Partnership. “I encourage everyone to understand the housing needs in your community. Safe, attractive neighborhoods with good schools and job opportunities should be available in every corner of Charlotte.”

The organization plans to use its Neighborhood Builder grant to expand a pilot program to provide property tax relief to elderly and disabled homeowners.


Providing safe, emergency shelter while working to end homelessness

Men’s Shelter of Charlotte provides emergency housing to homeless men, with an overarching goal to help end homelessness in our community. What many don’t realize is the Shelter also provides programs that help men find employment as well as affordable housing.

“We have a small team that partners with employers and workforce development programs to help men find stable employment,” said Liz Clasen-Kelly, executive director for the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte. “For housing, we provide short-term subsidies and support services to move men into housing and get back on their feet.”

The Men’s Shelter’s biggest need is financial contributions to help increase capacity due to an increased demand the organization is experiencing. In-kind needs include new boxer-briefs, gloves, blankets, shower shoes, body wash, disposable razors and shaving cream.

Economic Mobility Grants

“When it comes to our community, we want to be part of the solution and support organizations that are doing great things to help people lead productive, successful lives,” said Charles Bowman, Charlotte Market President at Bank of America. “Charlotte’s fortunate to have so many organizations committed to believing in what’s possible for the people and communities they support.”

In addition to the two Neighborhood Builders, the following nonprofits are this year’s economic mobility grant recipients:

  • A Child’s Place
  • A Way Home Endowment
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte
  • Charlotte Family Housing
  • Charlotte Rescue Mission
  • Char-Meck Library Foundation
  • Citizen Schools
  • Communities in Schools
  • Community Culinary School of Charlotte
  • Community Link
  • CPCC Foundation
  • Crisis Assistance Ministry
  • CrossRoads Corporation
  • Dress for Success
  • Freedom School Partners
  • Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont
  • Grace-Mar Services
  • Habitat Charlotte
  • Hope Haven
  • Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas
  • Mayor’s Youth Employment Program
  • MeckEd
  • Mosaic Development Group
  • Project Scientist
  • Safe Alliance
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina
  • Supportive Housing Communities
  • Teach for America
  • The Center for Community Transitions
  • The Salvation Army
  • United Way of Central Carolinas
  • Urban League of Central Carolinas
  • Urban Ministry Center
  • Veterans Bridge Home
  • YMCA of Charlotte
  • YWCA of Central Carolinas

Learn more about Bank of America’s latest Neighborhood Builder winners: Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership and the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte.


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