Charlotte can be a costly place to live, especially with the average rent climbing higher and higher, it’s becoming impossible for some people to live alone, even if that’s what they want. Public conversation often circles around solving the affordable housing shortage, but little is discussed about how the lack of affordable housing causes unsafe living situations, leaving some fellow Charlotteans tethered to unsafe home lives. Because of SHARE Charlotte’s network of nonprofit agencies working to help those in harm’s way. There are plenty of ways to help, if we know where to start.
Last month, my husband and I were enjoying one of the longer days by sitting on our front porch, talking when our neighbor’s truck barreled up the hill, not blaring music but his temper. I wish I could say it was a song, and he was jamming, but, instead, it was clear he was lambasting whomever the person was in the passenger’s seat. We couldn’t clearly see but saw both car doors slam and heard the yelling that continued as they walked in the house.
I immediately went into “Fix it” mode, but I realized I didn’t have a mental contact list for this sort of situation.
This scene lingered, so recently, I sent a text to my neighbor’s wife, “Call me when you have a moment.” I divulged what I saw and how I was not trying to be nosy but was concerned. Our neighbor admitted she wanted out of her marriage but was not financially secure enough to leave him - and she works for CMS.
Let’s stop leaving each other alone - stuck - to live in houses (not homes) where we subject our children and, potentially, ourselves to biting words and flinching physicality. After the loss of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain recently, we must pay attention and rescue one another - ask questions - care.
SHARE Charlotte is all about that - caring for those around them - Sharing knowledge, resources and time so you don’t have to start from scratch. SHARE's nonprofit partner, Safe Alliance provides “hope and healing to those impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault.” They are always in need of donations and volunteers help their shelter run more smoothly.
Naturally, I called Safe Alliance and spoke with a volunteer who said they were willing to talk with my neighbor if that was the help she was seeking. I found out that Supportive Housing Communities and Carolina Family Connections both work to help with housing and family ties that may be damaged due to abuse or side effects from mental health.
My neighbor still is in her current situation. Like many she’s suffering silently because she wants to keep her family together, or really has to keep her family together because it is almost impossible to live alone here in Charlotte on an average salary, unless much is sacrificed. Right now, that’s safety for my neighbor. Safety is a basic need; take a look at SHARE's partnering organizations to find a way to help ensure someone’s safe, whether they are buried under an exorbitant rent or receiving counsel at a discounted rate. Before more affordable housing is available, there are ways we can help improve living situations. Click HERE and check out ways for you to help make sure our neighbors have safe places to live.Written by Anonymous