Coming in March: A series exploring the future of affordable housing in Charlotte

Heeding the Call to Neighborliness: The future of affordable housing in Charlotte
Wednesdays, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., March 8-April 5, Fellowship Hall (main)

Learn about the issue of affordable housing in Charlotte from nonprofit leaders, advocates and experts in the field. What are barriers to economic stability? What do we know about access to schools, transportation and healthy food? As part of the experience, we'll hear personal stories from members of our community who have struggled to get by. For details, contact Carla Leaf.

• Session One, March 8 - The Unavoidable Burden of our Neighbors.

Darren Ash, former director of Charlotte Family Housing, and Laura Belcher, CEO of Habitat Charlotte, will talk about predatory lending, the importance of education and issues surrounding housing and mobility. Darren now leads a financial education and lending nonprofit for low-wage families.

• Session Two, March 15 - The Underbelly of Growth and Development.

Greg Jarrell, director of QC Family Tree; Julie Porter of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership; and Mack McDonald, CEO of Renaissance West; will talk about how the lack of affordable housing threatens the health and vibrancy of real people.

• Session Three, March 22 - The Difference a Home Makes.

Laura Belcher of Habitat and Bo Henderson, a Charlotte native who grew up in a working class neighborhood, will share success stories.

• Session Four, March 29 - And Who is My Neighbor?

Liz Clasen-Kelly of the Men's Shelter of Charlotte; Stephen Smith of Charlotte Family Housing; Deronda Metz of Salvation Army's Center of Hope; and Blake Bourne of Charlotte Bridge Home will talk about caring for men, women, families and veterans who live at or below the poverty line.

• Session Five, April 5 - Heeding the Call to Neighborliness.

How do we as individuals, churches and communities resopnd?

Suggested reading to support the series

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by JD Vance
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond


Photo above: Renaissance West, a mixed-income village on the site of the former Boulevard Homes public housing complex off Billy Graham Parkway