In interview with James Lee, Greenspon Community Advisor, making a difference every day

In Affordable Housing, Charlotte, Home by Judy SchindlerLeave a Comment

How did you start with the Greenspon Center?

In January 2019, I attended an “Agenda 2019” Greenspon Center meeting and raised my hand to advocate for affordable housing. At that time, I was unstably housed. A friend brought me there because he thought I’d be interested. That commitment to volunteering became my life mission – to ensure that those who were challenged with housing could have a voice. I began to learn alongside with others folks how to organize and advocate. I embrace the mission of supporting those who earn 30% of Area Medium Income and below because that was me, my family, and so many who came from Grier Town where I was raised. Affordable housing means many things to different people but to me, I advocate for those earning the lowest wages who can’t afford to live here and who can’t afford to leave.

Tell us about your work today.

Starting in the summer of 2021, I became a board member of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Continuum of Care Governing Board which represents a group of agencies who come together to allocate state and federal funds towards homeless prevention. We not only help to distribute that money but we help to analyze what’s wrong with the system so we can improve it. I occupy the lived experience seat as I experienced homelessness off and on over the last 20 years. During the last episode, I was homeless for an entire year straight.  I am a community advisor to the Foundation for the Carolinas, to the United Way, and to the national organization called Results National.  Results National is a well-established organization that advocates on a federal legislative level.

What are your hopes and dreams for the Greenspon Center? 

My main dream is to help others to begin to find their path to advocacy. I don’t want to be the only one, I want to mentor others in my community so they can have the extra training and support they need. I want to give back to those who may want to fill my shoes.

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