More than 700 Realtors – armed with hammers and rakes, a can-do attitude and a commitment to safe housing – will get to work across Mecklenburg and Iredell counties on Friday, April 20 to help homeowners with critical exterior repairs and adaptive and safety modifications. The work day, which has been happening every April for a decade, begins at 8 a.m. and is expected to conclude by 5 p.m. Realtors Care Day (RCD) is an initiative of the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association’s Housing Opportunity Foundation.
Realtors are being deployed to 23 sites in the two counties, including 11 homes in the historic Camp Greene neighborhood just west of uptown Charlotte, as well as to the Mooresville Soup Kitchen. The Camp Greene area work marks the third year Realtor volunteers have joined with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership in a neighborhood revitalization effort.
“Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis impacts homeowners just as much as renters,” said Julie Porter, president of The Housing Partnership and Housing Opportunity Foundation board member. “Many residents on fixed-incomes simply can’t afford to maintain or renovate their older homes, which is why our Realtors Care Day partnership is so invaluable. It’s an honor to work alongside the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association to ensure homes are safe and habitable for many years to come in neighborhoods like Historic Camp Greene.”
Other sites from Mint Hill to Mooresville will also get needed repairs. RCD volunteer teams repair gutters, build and repair decks, paint, build wheelchair ramps and more.
Special projects always accompany the home repair work on RCD. This year, a team of Realtors will help the Mooresville Soup Kitchen by building an awning to connect the pantry storage and food service sections of the building. Visitors who come to drop off food for the kitchen on rainy days or exceedingly hot days will now have protection from the elements. The kitchen serves 150 people per day, and the adjacent pantry serves 400 families per week.
In Charlotte, a group of Realtor volunteers will be painting and landscaping at two transitional living houses at the Harvest Center of Charlotte. The Harvest Center’s Transformation Program, which began in 2013, provides transitional housing, counseling and job skills training to lead people living in poverty toward productive and self-sufficient lives.
For the second consecutive year, Realtors are including a canned food drive with the safe shelter component of RCD. The public responded generously last year and is invited to participate again. The Charlotte Regional Realtor Association office at 1201 Greenwood Cliff is the primary drop-off site for nonperishable items like beans, rice, pasta, peanut butter; and household supplies such as dish and laundry detergent, trash bags, paper towels and napkins. For a complete list of acceptable food donations and drop-off points, visitwww.carolinahome.com/food-drive.
“Everyone believes that safe, secure housing is an imperative,” said RCD Chair Tiffany Johannes. “But Realtors see up-close how great the need is and what unsafe or inadequate housing looks like. Food insecurity is as big an issue in our community as a lack of safe, affordable housing. On April 20, we’re addressing both.”
- The Mecklenburg County food pantry benefitting from the food drive is The Harvest Center of Charlotte.
- In northern Mecklenburg County, food donations will benefit The Mooresville Soup Kitchen.
The cumulative RCD volunteer efforts represent:
- Total financial impact exceeding $1 million
- $304,192 in volunteer time
- 231 homeowners
- Nine nonprofits
“When hundreds of us pull together, we’re a mighty force for good,” added Johannes. “Most of the residents we assist are elderly or disabled and unable to make these critical repairs themselves. It’s an honor to do our part.”
“For 10 years, hundreds of Realtors set business aside to serve our community,” she continued. “Our members’ commitment to this effort grows stronger each year. And we couldn’t do it without professional assistance from our partners – builders, developers, painters and home inspectors. It is a joy to be part of this team effort.”