Beginning with a conversation
In September, SVP Charlotte hosted its first book study of Evicted written by Matthew Desmond. The story follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Guests Adrienne and Emmanuel Threatt of Hope Vibes joined in the discussion to share their prospective of how lack of stable housing affects the clients they serve. In the past eight years, there has been an 88% jump in the average cost of a two bedroom rental in Charlotte. The book discussion included how cost prohibitive the initial deposit (first and last month’s rent) can be for a family searching for affordable housing options.
The book discussion was sponsored by the E3 (Explore, Educate, Engage) Committee. This SVP Committee engages Partners in an impactful way through issue focused educational events. It also provides a landing space for Partner ideas and suggestions regarding new nonprofits, current issue areas, and topic areas for exploration and education.
A Plan into Action
E3 Committee member Cristy Travaglino was particularly moved by the discussion. She also serves as the Board Chair for Commonwealth Charlotte, a past Investee of SVP. Cristy shared,
“SVP’s Evicted Book Talk was eye opening for me. It provided me with a clearer understanding of the causes of homelessness as well as what prevents people from finding long-term, stable housing. Most importantly, I wanted to do something to help address it. This led to conversations with Chuck Jones who is the Executive Director of Common Wealth Charlotte (CWC), a former Investee of SVP. I’m so excited that just three months later CWC is rolling out a new product called Housing Opportunity Loans. These low-interest loans are specifically designed to help low-wage earning families pay the security deposit and upfront rent required by landlords. These loans remove one of the major barriers families face when seeking permanent housing. Through CWC’s trauma-informed one-on-one financial counseling combined with stable housing, we are expecting to see increases in employment and financial stability for these families, which will put them on the path towards upward economic mobility.”
The CWC Housing Opportunity Loans roll out was recently featured on WBTV.
We look forward to seeing the impact of this program in the coming year!