What Charlotte needs this week and how you can help (4/20/2020)

In Charlotte, Home, Local Level Advocacy, Social Justice by Judy SchindlerLeave a Comment

In this time of global crisis, we are committed to supporting those in need with our time, our resources, and our voices. Here are several ways that you can make a difference:

Show the Love to First Responders With Food: Support a GoFundMe for First Responders

Our First Responders, Nurses, Doctors, and all healthcare workers are on the frontline every day fighting for the health of our community in Mecklenburg County. Let’s give them one less thing to think about…a meal made with love. 

Food will be purchased from local restaurants who also need our help during this unprecedented event.  The food will be delivered to all hospitals who are seeing COVID 19 patients, all fire departments, police, sheriff, and Mecklenburg EMS Agencies (Medic).   This initiative is organized in partnership with Great Balls of Fire Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts the annual Charlotte Salute to Heroes hockey game.  Our goal is 200 meals a day for the next 60 days! https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/feed-the-frontline-mecklenburg-county-nc

Show the Love to First Responders With Personal Protective Equipment: 3D Printed Face Shields

Queens University has granted permission to Dr. Marco Sciopioni, a Queens professor of Physics, to use the 3D printers hosted in the new makerspace (Spark) to make protective face shields and help healthcare workers in our community. Mark and his colleagues, Melissa Gamez, Kyle Breitinger, are using the university’s 3D printing lab to produce 3D printed face shields derived from the original design developed by Prusa Printers.  As of last week, the Queens’ staff has produced more than 300 masks and delivered 95: 90 face shields to Atrium Huntersville Oaks Rehabilitation and Nursing Home. 5 face shields to Giant Penny, a local grocery store (3330 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28205).

The need is great and we cannot do this alone. If you or anyone you know has a 3D printers and can help print these components visit https://www.charlottemedi.org/ for all relevant details on printing and delivering printed components within the Charlotte area.  We’d love to hear about your efforts so please keep us in the loop. 

Connect to our Charlotte Community-Wide Support Effort: Charlotte Responds Coalition

The Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice and Queens University are part of the CharMeck Responds Coalition (CRC), https://charmeckresponds.org/. The CharMeck Responds Coalition is made up of many faith partners, nonprofits, businesses, and other community organizations that are committed to making sure all the members of our community are cared for during this unprecedented time. This Coalition is part of the city/county’s VOAD Team (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, FEMA’s Emergency Support Function #16), reporting to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management. This allows us let you know how can you give, share and find resources during the COVID-19 crisis

If you are looking for a way to help at this time, we are offering a few options:

  • Collection of PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) – help first responders stay safe by donating these items: N 95 Filter Masks, Surgical Masks, Goggles, Safety Glasses, Face Shields, EMS Medical Gowns, Medical Gloves, Splash Suits/Coveralls, Surface Disinfectant, Sanitizing Wipes. Drop-off locations are located at https://charmeckresponds.org/serve/.
  • We have committed the Greenspon Center team and resources to support Sedgefield Elementary School. Contact us for more information if you would like to be personally involved.

Not to be served, but to serve

Please consider donating juice boxes (100% juice preferred) and salty snacks to our Chaplain, Rev. Joey Haynes, to help provide 600 meals to refugee and immigrant CMS students for the next four weekends. We are partnering with the Migrant Assistance Project to support ourBridge for Kids. Financial donations can be made at https://connect.queens.edu/give/DaviesCenter. If you would like to send juice and snacks directly to Joey, please email him for his home address at haynesj@queens.edu. Thank you so much for your support!

Use Your Voice to Show Your Love for our Neighbors – Advocacy Update

Restorative Justice by Dr. Willie Keaton

COVID-19 has revealed to many what has been America’s worst kept secret. There is a significant gap to quality of life in this country and African Americans are receiving the short end of the stick.  Many low income communities have been hit harder during this crisis, as more people of color are dying at a faster rate than other ethnic communities. How will Charlotte leaders and public officials respond to this crisis? Will Charlotte respond in an authentic way? When the dust settles how will African Americans climb out of the proverbial hole this pandemic has disproportionately dug them in? There was always a crisis in Charlotte (upward mobility). COVID-19 has exacerbated this crisis. May this once in a generation Pandemic make us aware of the enormous pain and tragedy being experienced by a community already suffering. To get involved contact keatonw@queens.edu.

Affordable Housing & Concerns Regarding Evictions During COVID-19 Crisis

The Greenspon Center has been closely following the stay of evictions that currently protects tenants throughout North Carolina from being evicted from their rental units during the COVID-19 crisis.   The Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court has issued a series of orders that effectively stay all evictions of tenants (and other legal proceedings) through the end of May, unless the local Chief District Court Judge determines that it is safe to resume hearings without harm to the participants and the general public.  Given that Mecklenburg County is considered a COVID-19 “hot-spot”, and given the extremely large number of people packed into courtrooms during typical days when eviction proceedings are heard by a judge, it is highly unlikely that evictions would begin to be heard before the end of May. Indeed, it is possible that the stay of evictions will be further extended in Mecklenburg County.  In the meantime, our coalition partner OneMECK, which has spearheaded coordinating much of this work in Charlotte, has two suggestions. First, everyone should continue to follow the stay-safe protocols so that the economy can reopen. Second, those who can do so should assist tenants to access their federal and state COVID-19 related cash benefits, including unemployment insurance, so that tenants can use some of those funds to reduce or eliminate rental debt.  The concern is that once the stay of evictions is lifted, there is a risk of a tsunami of eviction actions for unpaid back rent that the legal system, including Legal Aid, will be ill-equipped to handle.

For more information, contact info@stangreensponcenter.org.

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