Canopy Housing Foundation awards $73,050 to Charlotte-area nonprofits

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Sept. 9, 2020

Contact: Kim Walker

Charlotte, N.C. – As Charlotte-area residents endure nearly six months of partial shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Charlotte Realtors® continue their unwavering mission to serve those most in need at the grassroots level by awarding more than $73,050 in Community Grants to area nonprofits working to address unmet housing needs across the Charlotte region.

More than a 100 area Realtors® gathered for the Canopy Housing Foundation’s Opening Hearts, Opening Doors virtual celebration to recognize the dedication and work of 18 non-profit organizations with $48,550 in funding. The Foundation’ also awarded $24,000 to eight area Habitats for Humanity through the Habitat Support Program, which began in 2007 to help fund the good work Habitats do within the region.

The virtual celebration also recognized this year’s Youth Excellence in Service (YES) Award recipient, 16-year old Alexa Nicole Suarez, a sophomore student at Marvin Ridge High School. The YES Award seeks to recognize and encourage youth ages 10 to 18 who are engaged in service. During her freshman year, Suarez founded the HILL Project, which stands for Hispanic Initiative for Literacy and Learning. The HILL Project’s main goal has been to increase the literacy rate and reduce the high school dropout rate in the Latino community.  Since starting the HILL Project, more than 40 Latino children at Benton Heights Elementary school have improved their reading level.  Suarez has even recruited her Spanish teacher and a small army of 15 student tutors to help mentor children. As a part of the mission, the HILL Project has collected and delivered more than 250 books to children in need. As the 2020 recipient of the YES Award, Suarez received a commemorative plaque and a $500 donation in her name to award to the nonprofit of her choice.

Canopy Housing Foundation’s Community Grants Program was launched in 2009 and awards funds to nonprofits in Mecklenburg, Iredell and Haywood counties that work to address housing issues.  Each grantee must be supported by a letter of recommendation from an active Realtor®. Canopy Housing Foundation’s Habitat Support Program was formalized in 2007 and provides monetary support to area Habitat for Humanity organizations, including Habitat for Humanity Haywood County.

To date, Canopy Housing Foundation has distributed $586,749.70 through the Community Grants Program and the Habitat Support Program to community organizations and Habitats in the region over the past 14 years.

Canopy Housing Foundation serves as the charitable arm of Canopy Realtor® Association and is dedicated to creating a community where all housing needs are met. The Foundation and its core of Realtor® volunteers work toward this goal through funding, education, advocacy and leadership programs that are focused on fair and affordable housing and workforce-housing initiatives.

The following organizations received Community Grants this year:

 Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen

Received $3,000 to provide rental assistance for five families at a cost of $600 per family.  Realtor® referral: Mary Howard, EXP Realty LLC

Beatties Ford Vocational Trade Center

Received $3,000 to provide rental assistance for six students at a cost of $500 per student. This will off-set the six months of housing that is provided to students acquiring their apprenticeship certification. Realtor® referral: John Stroup, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Beds for Kids

Received $3,000 to purchase 20 beds for children sleeping on the floor at a cost of $150 per bed set (new twin mattress box spring and metal bed frame). Realtor® referral: Cullen McNulty, McNulty Realty

Changed Choices

Received $3,000 to provide five one-month residences in the Ruth Snyder Home, which provides stable re-entry housing to women completing their prison sentences.  Realtor® referral: Caroline Grossman, Allen Tate Co.

Charlotte Family Housing

Received $3,000 to house families at hotels due to the reduced shelter capacity for distancing purposes as a result from the COVID-19 pandemic. Realtor® referral: Dan Cottingham, Sr., Cottingham Chalk

Crisis Assistance Ministry

Received $3,000 to provide emergency financial assistance to families facing eviction or utility disconnection in Mecklenburg County. Realtor® referral: Joe Naccarato, Allen Tate Co.

Diakonos (Fifth Street Ministries)

Received $3,000 to assist with transportation and case management services in the Heroes House program and to help veterans repair their lives as they move into permanent housing. Realtor® referral: Mary Palmes, Allen Tate Co.

Families Forward Charlotte

Received $3,000 to support families in the Family Success Program with housing assistance who are facing housing instability, either through homelessness, threat of eviction or inability to maintain rental payments.  Realtor® referral: Caroline Cox, Cottingham Chalk

Foundation for Girls

Received $3,000 to support six young teen mothers and their children with rental assistance of $500 each to secure their rental homes.  Realtor® referral: Gitanjali Mathur, Allen Tate Co.

Furnish for Good

Received $1,500 for moving expenses for 15 needy families at a cost of $100 per family.  Realtor® referral: Lesley Faulkner, Lilac Realty

Greater Steps Scholars (formerly Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund)

Received $1,500 to support the cost of mentor training, mentor and mentee activities, and career prep workshops for students for two months. Realtor® referral: Brenda Hayden, Keller Williams


Received $2,050 to provide teens who will be aging out of foster care with a suitcase filled with essentials and a Bed-in-A Bag so they will have some basic needs met to assist in avoiding homelessness.  Realtor® referral: Antonio Worsham, Equity-USA


Received $3,000 to assist up to 12 individuals with special needs in their quest to maintain their housing.  Realtor® referral: Mary Beth McIntyre, Belle Properties

Matthews HELP Center

Received $3,000 to provide housing / rental assistance for four families. Realtor® referral: Brooke Bryant, Bryant Realty Homes

Project One

Received $3,000 to provide rental assistance to three upperclassmen (juniors or seniors) who are living in off-campus housing, and to eliminate their burden of housing instability. Realtor® referral: Moneen Allen, Black House Realty

Roof Above

Received $3,000 to purchase bus passes for individuals enrolled in the emergency shelter for men to help them acquire and retain employment, earn income, and serve as a conduit for housing access. Realtor® referral: Thais Marineli, Coldwell Banker Realty

The Relatives

Received $1,500 to purchase new mattresses for young adults in the housing programs who leave homelessness during this year. Realtor® referral: Carolyn Taylor, Dickens Mitchener

Thompson Child and Family Focus (A Child’s Place)

Received $3,000 to provide rental assistance for six families served by A Child’s Place at a cost of $500 per family.  Realtor® referral: Adam Sellars, Keller Williams

Applications for the annual Community Grants Program and Habitat Grants Program are rated according to community impact, project feasibility, fiscal strength and Realtor® support.  Funds are restricted and must be used by December 31, 2020.  Funds cannot be used for capital costs, staff/administrative expenses or debt reduction.

For more information about Canopy Housing Foundation, Canopy Realtor® Association or Canopy MLS, visit

Canopy Housing Foundation is the charitable arm of the Canopy Realtor® Association and is dedicated to funding, education, advocacy and leadership programs that are focused on fair and affordable housing and workforce-housing initiatives. The Foundation serves to position and educate Realtors® as leaders, promote homeownership and provide funding to create housing opportunities. To learn more about the impact area Realtors® are making visit

Original Publish Date: 9/9/2020