In a presentation that felt like an awards ceremony, Mecklenburg County leaders presented 75 community groups and nonprofits with more than $99 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
The county opened applications for the COVID-19 relief funding in October and received more than $450 million in proposals. The community groups who received funding say the funds are game changers.
On Tuesday afternoon, Kendal Carrick was hard at work making candles, but her real passion is baking.
“My grandma taught me about it,” she said.
She’s one of 10 employees at Cakeable.
The Oakhurst nonprofit hires people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and sells baked goods throughout the community.
“This is my dream, actually,” she said. “I want to be a baker one day, to have my own cafe one day.”
Her dream to have her own cafe is coming true. The county is giving Cakeable $810,000. The funds will allow the nonprofit to open a storefront in Uptown and hire people from its 40-person wait list.
“They remind me every day to see people, to see a person, by their abilities first,” owner Renee Ratcliffe said. “These students are so capable.”
The new Cakeable location will be near the old Rock Bottom Brewery at 401 North Tryon St. It is expected to open in late spring.
“We were stunned and were just so excited,” Ratcliffe said. “We made a request and we hoped we would get a little of our request and then we found out we were funded in full.”
Another nonprofit receiving funding is Freedom Fighting Missionaries. Executive Director Kenny Robinson’s nonprofit helps formerly incarcerated people transition back into society. The $1.3 million his nonprofit is receiving will help build 16 affordable housing townhomes.
“Historic. (This) has never happened before in the history of Mecklenburg County,” Robinson said.
Robinson says he received an email on a Saturday morning notifying him of the approval in funding.
“I am used to getting denied so I am looking for the Keep swinging at them, Kenny-type of email,” he said. “I was so ecstatic.”
Belmont neighborhood nonprofit, The Bulb, is receiving $919,000. The Bulb plans to work with Freshlist to provide fresh food boxes to residents in east and west Charlotte.
“Our motto is, ‘Take what you need. Give what you can,’” said Dulce Jarquin, who is with The Bulb.
The food is sourced from local farms and donated by Trader Joe’s.
“We are really excited to show Charlotte what we can do,” said Erin Bradley, who is with Freshlist.
The nonprofits all have different approaches, but they are connected in their mission, which is to make Mecklenburg County a better place. The COVID-19 relief funding helps that happen.
“It can bring people together and make happiness,” Carrick said.
Projects approved by the board are:
Affordable Housing and Homelessness
CrossRoads Corp. for Affordable Housing & Comm. Dev. Inc., $144,900
Town of Davidson, Comprehensive Housing Affordability Program, $1,000,000
Dominium, Creekridge On The Park, $5,000,000
DreamKey Partners, Johnston Oehler Seniors, $2,750,000
DreamKey Partners, Easter’s Home at Caldwell, $2,500,000
Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region, Hope Springs Infrastructure, $1,737,249
Laurel Street Residential, LLC, Mount Moriah Seniors, $6,000,000
NHP Foundation, LaSalle at Lincoln Heights, $1,100,000
Urban Trends Real Estate Inc., Lakeview Apartments, $1,600,000
West Side CLT, West Side Community Land Trust, $650,000
Department of Community Support Services, Coordinated Entry Expansion, $612,349
Department of Criminal Justice Services, Vendor Housing Expansion, $1,458,287
Freedom Fighting Missionaries Inc., Second Chance Homeless to Housing, $1,250,000
Coalicion Latinoamericana, Multisector Response Network for Humanitarian Relief, $2,000,000
County Manager’s Office, West Charlotte Homes, $6,000,000
Matthews Help Center, $350,000
Salvation Army, Expansion of Center of Hope Shelter, $3,156,389
Pineville Neighbors Place, Better at Home, Part 2, $2 300,000
Roof Above, Expansion and Enhancement of Day Services Center, $710,000
Veterans Bridge Home, Mecklenburg County American Rescue Plan Act ‐ VBH Housing Sustainability Program, $1,013,200
Behavioral Health and Health Equity
Hope Haven Inc., Increasing Access to Services for Substance Use Disorder for Underserved Populations, $604,167
HopeWay, Mental Health Equity: Providing Evidence Based Psychiatric Care in Community Clinics, $800,000
On Eagles Wings, OEW ARPA Safe House with comprehensive services, $865,400
Pat’s Place Child Advocacy Center, Improving Outcomes for High-Risk Youth, $437,865
ProCure Therapeutic Agency, Inc., Expanding Access to Community‐Based Mental and Behavioral Health
Safe House Project, Equitable Access to Services for Survivors of Human Trafficking, $503,439
Time Out Youth, Protecting the Mental Health of LGBTQ Youth in Mecklenburg County, $315,000
UMAR, Van Replacement, $283,161
Ada Jenkins Families and Careers Development Center, Sustaining a Healthy Lifestyle, $363,746
The Bulb Gallery, Promoting Equity in Locally Grown Foods, $919,432
Carolina Farm Trust, Local Foods Production and Distribution Center, $3,000,000
Hearts and Hands Food Pantry, Food Security Initiative, $666,700
LMC Children Services, Meals On‐The‐Go, $423,294
Loaves and Fishes, NourishMeck‐A Hunger Hub for Hope, $2,000,000
County Manager’s Office, West Blvd Food Cooperative, $250,000
Department of Social Services, Food Insecurity, $989,000
C. W. Williams Community Health Center, Inc. (CWWCHC), $2,052,195
Camino Community Development Corporation, Inc., Access to Bilingual Dental Care, $4,683,215
Charlotte Community Health Clinic, Inc., $3,810,415
Charlotte Transgender Healthcare Group, Providing Access to Trans Health (PATH), $1,168,502
Department of Community Support Services, Multi‐Interdisciplinary Outreach Team, $650,000
Johnson C. Smith University, Community Outreach‐Black Birthing Professions, $943,000
Department of Public Health, The Way Forward Community Violence Prevention Plan Implementation, $3,260,500
Department of Public Health, Pediatric Dental Clinic, $1,453,904
Department of Public Health, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Services, $845,772
Village HeartBeat, Inc., $750,000
Vision To Learn, Eye Exams and Prescription Glasses Provided Aboard New Mobile Vision Clinic, $708,114
Childcare and Early Childhood Development
Castle’s Daycare Academy, $450,000
Center For Community Transitions, Families Doing Time, $300,000
Charlotte Bilingual Preschool, Early Learning Center, $3,000,000
Freedom School Partners, 2023‐2024 Freedom School Summer Program, $260,000
Greater Enrichment Program, Transportation, $130,000
Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Youth Academic Enrichment Program, $415,000
POP’s Passion, $400,000
Save Our Children Movement Inc., KEFA Tutoring and Mentoring Academy, $782,320
Department of Social Services Early Childhood System Building, $706,000
StriveCLT, Strive to Thrive, $325,536
YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Parents as Teachers, $250,000
Parks, Environment and Infrastructure
Town of Davidson, Baccalaureate School Gymnasium Renovation, $2,000,000
Land Use and Environmental Services Agency, Irwin Creek Stream Enhancement Project at the Old City Landfill, $2,350,000
Land Use and Environmental Services Agency, Ambient Air Monitoring Program, $420,000
Department of Park and Recreation, Inclusive and Accessible Playgrounds with Path of Travel, $2,960,000
Workforce and Economic Development
Academy of Goal Achievers, Goal Achievers Mentor Program, $443,925
Angels and Sparrows Community Table and Resource Center, Pathway Program Enhancements, $395,055
Cakeable Charlotte, Inc., Cakeable Vocational Training and Café, $810,500
Charlotte Is Creative, Creative Entrepreneurs Initiative, $384,750
Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce, Healthcare Workforce Development, $600,000
Mecklenburg County Emergency Medical Services, $1,200,000
Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte, $1,500,000
Per Scholas, IT Training, $400,000
Public Library, Digital Divide, $2,917,635
The ROC Charlotte, Inc., $900,000
She Built This City, Workforce Development, $540,413
Smart Girls HQ LLC., Smart Girls Squad STEM Program, $435,800
Department of Public Information, Marketing of ARPA Spending, $500,000