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Finding Stability

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It is midnight and the huge parking lot in front of Walmart in Concord is almost empty. Only the glow of the bright pole lights make the SUV stand out. Inside the vehicle is a family of three. Dad and son are in the front seat, Mom in back. The family is settling down for the evening, and they pray God will protect them through the night. They pray they will get some rest, in an SUV, in a parking lot, for the next six hours. This true story is just an example of the many crises that CCM sees day in and day out. Today, this family is finding stability in CCM’s Teaching Housing Program

Two years of perseverance and hard work has paid off - Jeff and Julie are in the process of buying a home in their neighborhood. A yard with a fence, a driveway and storage shed out back.  A place to call home; where anything is possible. Julie shared her thoughts;  “I don’t know what I would have done without CCM.”

Yorks

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A Shared Backyard

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“Heather” was a 20 year old with a two year old child; aging out of the foster care system. She was fortunate to be in a “Teen Mother/baby program” but at 21 years old would no longer qualify to participate under their state issued license. She had worked hard, saved well and done all of the things asked of her, but now was facing a big world without experience.  In May of 2016, Heather transitioned from foster care into CCM’s Teaching Housing Program. In the months that followed she has continued to thrive under case management. She has improved her employment situation, maintained her home and car, gone back to school and enjoyed raising her son in their little house in Kannapolis. She is just one of many young adults who will age out of foster care each year.  “Mary” is a grandmother in her 70’s staying from place to place with no place to call home. While her children were becoming increasingly concerned for her health and her safety, she was determined not to be a financial burden on her children. It was easy for Mary to wonder if God still had a purpose for her life. In August, Mary was able to move into one of CCM’s Teaching Houses. Now settled she is able to stay in touch with her children, keep an immaculate house and enjoy stability while living on her own. She loves her little home, if only she says we could find a way to add a front porch! Today Heather and Mary live next door to each other, sharing a backyard where a happy little boy plays under watchful eyes.

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Stable housing

5 Churches Join Forces

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A working family of six was homeless and living in a hotel room. Their crisis was in part due to a health crisis for one of their children. Five churches partnered with CCM to prepare the home, and within days, mom, dad and four children moved out of a hotel room into a place of recovery.

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Teaching house

Unexpected Life Events

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Unexpected life events had left them in a place they never anticipated. Dad slept behind the wheel “just in case”; their son tucked into the front seat and mom in the back seat. Each day was a challenge while dad went to work; each night a heartache with no place to go. Today, they are enjoying safety and stability and making remarkable progress toward recovery in the Teaching Housing program.

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Financial Assistance

Bill's Story

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Bill is a disabled veteran living off of his VA pension. Bill has to go to dialysis several times a week. Bill’s wife is his caregiver at home which is a full time job in itself. Bill was recently hospitalized and new medications were added to the already large list he was taking. Even with his VA benefits, his medication were still costing him more than he could afford with the cost of living, not to mention the transportation costs in order to get to his treatments multiple times a week. The morning that Bill came to us, he was running late to a dialysis treatment. Bill stated that he would skip the treatment if he needed to in order to get his power bill paid. CCM made sure that the power bill was taken care of and that he did not miss his treatment.

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Financial Assistance

A Family's Struggle

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Alisha and Mark have 2 young girls ages 3 and 6. Alisha was working at a company full-time and getting benefits for her family. Mark had recently been laid off from a job but had just started working part-time at a new company. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than nothing. Right before Mark received his first pay check, Alisha’s hours at work were cut back to part- time and she lost all benefits. The two were struggling to pay rent after the cut back and then their power bill came up for disconnection. Both lay awake at night wondering how they were going to explain to their oldest daughter why it was so cold in the house. Alisha and Mark came to CCM looking for help during their time of crisis. CCM was able to help with the bill so that their children would not have to wake up to a cold house.

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Financial Assistance

A Warm Homecoming

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Betty is an elderly woman who is confined to a wheel chair. She does not own a car and uses the bus system to get around. Betty had been in the hospital for over a month due to severe medical illnesses. When she returned home, she learned that her power had been disconnected while she was in the hospital. Betty lives on a low fixed income and could not afford to pay the lump sum owed in order to have the services restored. She came to CCM on a cold morning seeking assistance. CCM was able to help Betty have her power restored that day. Betty was able to go home knowing that she would be greeted by a warm home instead of cold floor boards.

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Teaching Housing Program

Jenni's Story

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Jenni helped us tell her story at CCM’s Celebration of Hope. She came to CCM in 2013 from another shelter program. The folks there did an excellent job during Jenni’s short stay to separate her from tragedy and to connect her to a place where she could restore the ability to move on.  CCM’s Mothers & Children (MaC) Housing Program is where she and her son began the long and challenging path to recovery. According to Jenni, restoring her faith and her self-esteem were the first big hurdles. While satisfying the requirement to engage in work, service or education, Jenni’s volunteer service transitioned into a part-time job. During this time of healing both spiritually and emotionally, her young son recognized the changes in her and she was further inspired to persevere.  Her attitude and performance led from part-time to full-time with her employer. She gained her own transportation and transitioned in 2014 to CCM’s Teaching Housing Program. Now on her own, with shared responsibility for her housing and support of a case manager, Jenni began her recovery.  Hard work and perseverance have resulted in Jenni’s acceptance into Habitat for Humanity’s home-ownership program. She has already exceeded the minimum volunteer requirements and anticipates becoming a homeowner in 2017. Today, Jenni gives back by serving at the MaC when needed and providing inspiration to other single moms just beginning their own transformation.

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Homelessness

Focus on the Future

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A day in the life of a homeless person is surviving, eating, sleeping, staying warm or staying dry and staying invisible.  Imagine adding to this challenge, responsibility for 2-3 children.  Quite often for a single mother who is homeless, even bad choices look “good” when she is trying to feed her children and put a roof over their heads.  So time and again, she becomes the victim of decisions made in desperation...and the cycle of loss continues. The moment a single homeless mother moves into My Father’s House or the Mothers & Children Program, that cycle stops. She can begin to focus on a future that she once thought impossible.

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Food Program

Jeremy's Story

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Jeremy got the call on Friday morning. He would receive custody of his six month old child today! Never had he been so blessed; and never had he been so unprepared. His sister connected him to Cooperative Christian Ministry on Friday afternoon. Many services, including CCM’s Crisis Center, were already closed for the week, but a CCM staff person answered the call. The food pantry could help with diapers, formula and some supplies, but it wouldn’t be enough. A personal call to a partner at Gateway Pregnancy Center was the spark of hope that made a world of difference. The Center responded, after hours, with quickness and generosity that overwhelmed Jeremy and his supportive family.

One call, one person, one child, one hope, another future. God is good!

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Food Program

Thanksgiving Miracle

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There is an urgency at the Crisis Center the day before Thanksgiving. The requests for food and utility assistance are higher than most Wednesday mornings. Staff and volunteers are serving with the efficiency of a team who has performed these tasks many times before until….God interrupts the routine.  “What I really need”, she explains, is her nutritional supplement. She has completely run out. She has no money to buy any more. The volunteer knows that we ran out of the supplement yesterday, but she walks to the back, stalling, thinking, praying, for an idea or referral to help her. She finds volunteers in the warehouse, unloading a pallet of nutritional supplement that was just delivered. “This is my Thanksgiving miracle”, she said, as she left with a 40-day supply. (from November newsletter)

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Mother's & Children Housing

Top of the Class

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Crystal came to CCM with her 5-year-old daughter. In the safety of the Mothers & Children Housing Program, she enrolled in community college and graduated among the top 3 of her class. She has since secured a car and is pursuing her career position. She is currently serving in a role at CCM that allows her to be an inspiration to those just getting started on their road to recovery.

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My Father's House

Answer to Prayers

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Nicole was referred by a veteran services organization. She and her two children had been living in her car and from place-to-place since she returned from Kuwait. She had applied for public housing many months before, but to no avail. Now seven months pregnant, receiving little to no prenatal care, her six and eight-year-old children were not regularly attending school. She had no place to go. Moving into CCM’s My Father’s House provided food, safety, and housing for Nicole and her family. She was immediately enrolled in pre-natal care and her children enrolled in school. She actively engaged in the services provided and her children received the tutoring services available through the program. During her stay, she stabilized her family, received many necessary baby care items from CCM partners, gave birth to a healthy baby and restored her self-confidence. An offer for public housing came in early October and Nicole was able to say yes and qualify for acceptance. For Nicole and her family, it was the answer to her prayers….a prayer which, two months earlier, seemed an impossible dream.

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