Thursday, August 27, 2009

Realtors help shelter the needy

Realtors make their living selling houses. But this week they demonstrated their belief in the notion that everyone -- even the neediest among us -- deserve a roof over our heads.

Through a new grants program, the housing foundation for the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association awarded a total of $10,000 to five organizations that are trying to make a difference, each addressing unmet needs in their communities.

The association, with 7,000 Realtor members in Mecklenburg and Iredell counties, says it is dedicated to creating housing opportunities, promoting homeownership and educating its members to be leaders.

The grants provided anecdotal evidence to those claims.

The five are:

Wesley Community Development Corporation: Was awarded $2,500 to help with pre-development costs for a three-bedroom home to be built in Cornelius to house three mentally disabled adults.

Latin American Coalition: Will get $2,500 for its foreclosure prevention workshops and training for immigrant families. The funds will also support staff in assist Latinos who are at risk of losing their homes.

Urban Ministry: Awarded $2,000 for the agency's Substance Abuse Education and Recovery drug-treatment program. The money specifically will be used for phone lines that clients can use to secure stabilized housing and employment.

Salvation Army: Is getting $2,000 for its Center of Hope to buy bus passes for female residents seeking permanent employment and housing.

Hope House: Will get $1,000 to help build a children's recreation room at Hope House, a transitional facility for single women and women with children in Huntersville.

It's an impressive first effort. In the current economic strife, every dollar helps fill a critical need.