Volunteers recognized for work with Grier Heights residents

At their June meeting, the Board of Directors of CrossRoads recognized Sustain Charlotte Community Corps (SCCC) volunteers for their excellent and committed work alongside Grier Heights residents in the first half of 2016. CrossRoads Corporation for Affordable Housing and Community Development, Inc. is a faith-based non-profit organization in partnership with Myers Park Presbyterian Church, the residents of Grier Heights and numerous other stakeholders of Grier Heights in the revitalization of the neighborhood.


Sustain Charlotte Community Corps partners closely with Grier Heights residents!

Gloria Green, Director of the Grier Heights Community Center, applauded Sustain Charlotte’s approach for truly working with residents rather than imposing a pre-determined agenda on them as some well-intentioned organizations do. “They really listen and work with us to find out what this community needs.”


SCCC volunteers Alison Gay and Josh Banning shared their experiences with CrossRoads board members.

Responsiveness to neighborhood needs and sensitivity to working with their vision (rather than imposing our own) has been a key rule of engagement for our Sustainable Neighborhoods Program since it began in 2012. It’s a commitment that is yielding incredible results in neighborhoods like Grier Heights, where our staff and volunteers are connecting residents to community resources in ways that will allow neighborhood leaders to access those resources without our help in the future.

Our SCCC partnered with Grier Heights on a neighborhood health & wellness walk on May 14 honoring the late community leader Jonathan Belton. As a result of that partnership, Grier Heights is now connected with numerous wellness resources throughout the city. Our health & wellness team volunteers created a detailed list of contacts and event planning history so that Grier Heights leaders can readily plan similar events in the future.

But the SCCC’s 2016 partnership with Grier Heights is just getting started! An amazing benefit of engaging so many community volunteers is the ability to crowdsource solutions to sustainability challenges. Grier Heights opened their beautiful Community Center last year, but it still lacks the computers they urgently need to provide career and digital literacy training. In a neighborhood with far higher unemployment and far lower levels of educational attainment than the rest of Charlotte, access to computers and computer-based training is critical.

One of our SCCC volunteers connected the Community Center’s leadership team to Skanska, a project development and construction firm that is donating 40 high quality lightly used laptop computers with upgraded components! We’ll be installing those in mid-July with help from the Grier Heights community. We’re also partnering to work on some community beautification projects in early fall.

Long-term sustainability for neighborhoods depends on committed leadership, resident involvement, knowledge of sustainable practices, and bridges to community resources. Our role is helping neighborhoods tie these elements together.

Sustain Charlotte’s project work in Grier Heights is funded by Wells Fargo, Foundation for the Carolinas’ Social Capital Grant, and Duke Energy Foundation.

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