Canopy Housing Foundation awards $80,750 at Community Grants to area nonprofits

July 29, 2021

Contact: Kim Walker, 704-940-3149

Canopy Housing Foundation awards $80,750 in community grants to area nonprofits and youth engaged in service

Charlotte, N.C. – As North Carolinians continue to deal with the economic aftermath of the pandemic, the rising cost of living and decreasing affordability within the housing market, Realtors® continue in their mission of outreach and service to the community, working at the grassroots level and awarding $80,750 in grants to area nonprofits working across the region to address unmet housing and educational needs. 

Nearly 100 area Realtors® and representatives from community organizations gathered for the Canopy Housing Foundation’s Opening Hearts, Opening Doors Celebration to recognize the dedication and work of 17 non-profit organizations with $48,550 in funding. The Foundation’ also awarded $21,200 to seven 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 celebration also recognized this year’s Youth Excellence in Service (YES) Award recipient, 12-year old Anirudh Sengupta, a 6th grade student at Community Housing Middle School.  The YES Award seeks to recognize and encourage youth ages 10 to 18 who are engaged in service. Anirudh, along with his sister Aditi (who is a junior in high school) recognized that education, especially on the elementary level, was being severely impacted by the pandemic during lockdowns. Both siblings decided that they would use their knowledge and skills to teach students, math and public speaking using online sessions and formed the nonprofit, Xcelerate NC, which has a mission to accelerate the growth of young minds and help them excel.

Since Anirudh excels at math, he taught classes for children in the U.S. and India, as well as elementary school children as part of a 5-week summer camp while raising funds for local charitable causes.  He has even partnered with a non-profit organization in Tanzania,, that runs a children’s home for underprivileged students. For more than six months every Sunday, he taught children math and prepared customized lessons based on their math curriculum in Tanzania.  In all, 105 students within North Carolina and across the globe have been positively impacted by Anirudh and Xcelerate NC’s programs. As the 2021 recipient of the YES Award, Anirudh Sengupta received a commemorative plaque and a $500 donation for Xcelerate, NC.  

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 $663,999.70 through the Community Grants Program and the Habitat Support Program to community organizations and Habitats in the region, over the past 15 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: 

  1. Ada Jenkins Families and Careers Development Center, Inc.

    Recommendation: $2,000 to support four client families at $500 each to provide a portion of monthly rent to keep the families in their homes.  Realtor® referral: Arlene Arciero, Southern Homes of the Carolinas
  1. Beatties Ford Vocational Trade Center

    Recommendation: $3,000 to provide housing for five women at $500 each who are homeless; all women are students of the center learning a viable trade in which they can support themselves in the future.  Realtor® referral: John Stroup, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 
  1. Beds for Kids

    Recommendation: $3,000 to assist in the purchase of 79 twin box springs at $38 each to provide 70 complete bed sets to children currently sleeping on the floor. Realtor® referral: Cullen McNulty, McNulty Realty 
  1. Bright Blessings LKN

    Recommendation:  $3,000 to help purchase hygiene kits, sleeping bags, pillows, snack bags and comfort items for homeless and impoverished children in the Mooresville and Iredell / Statesville School Systems; this would lend itself to creating a stocked ‘Care Cupboard’ in each participating school. Realtor® referral: Stephanie Richart, Allen Tate 
  1. Changed Choices

    Recommendation: $3,000 to support five one-month residences in the Ruth Snyder Home, which provides stable reentry housing to women complete their services. Realtor® referral: Caroline Grossman, Allen Tate 
  1. Charlotte Family Housing

    Recommendation: $3,000 to support four working families experiencing homelessness with move-in expenses at $750 per family as they transition from leaving the shelter and into subsidized housing phase.  Realtor® referral: Dan Cottingham, Sr., Cottingham Chalk 
  1. Connecting the Gap

    Recommendation:  $3,000 to assist three children in housing emergencies including college student housing after the loss of a parent. Realtor® referral: Tiffany Johannes, RE/MAX Ballantyne 
  1. Diakonos (Fifth Street Ministries)

    Recommendation: $3,000 to assist in funding the case management budget, which is used to address common barriers to permanent housing. Realtor® referral: Mary Palmes, Allen Tate 
  1. Families Forward Charlotte

    Recommendation: $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: Jennifer Vick, Keller Williams 
  1. Foundation for Girls

    Recommendation: $3,000 to support six homeless mothers and their children at $500 each for rental assistance when transitioning from shelters to housing. Realtor® referral: Gitanjali Mathur, Allen Tate Co. 
  1. Gracious Hands Transitional Housing for Women and Children

    Recommendation:  $1,550 to assist in the purchase of necessary housing items such as dressers; nightstands; plastic bins; crib sheets, comforters and blankets; diapers, cookware, silverware and linens. Realtor® referral: Joan Inglis, CD Realty 
  1. Greater Steps Scholars

    Recommendation:  $3,000 to support the facilitation of mentor training, mentor and mentee activities, and career prep workshops for 100 students for two months at $30 per scholar. Realtor® referral:  Brenda Hayden, Keller Williams 
  1. Home4Me

    Recommendation: $3,000 to meet unmet housing needs of 23 youth aging out of foster care during their transition to college, dorm, or the next place to live.  These funds will provide 5 college kits, 7 filled suitcases, and 11 bed-in-a- bags. Realtor® referral: Antonio Worsham, Equity-USA 
  1. Lotus Campaign

    Recommendation:  $3,000 to support the Landlord Participation Program which will facilitate placement of housing for four individuals at an average annual cost of $800 per person.  Realtor® referral:  Anne Brade, RE/MAX Executive 
  1. Project One Scholarship Fund

    Recommendation: $3,000 to provide housing support of three low income off-campus university students $1,000 each) as they complete their 2021 fall semester of schooling.  Realtor® referral: Moneen Allen, Black House Realty    
  1. Safe Alliance

    Recommendation: $3,000 to provide shelter services designed to transition victims of domestic violence from homelessness to affordable and violence-free housing. Realtor® referral: Lynn Johnson, Savvy + Co. Real Estate 
  1. The Relatives

    Recommendation: $3,000 to assist in the purchase of new mattresses for 10-12 young adults who leave homelessness as part of their housing program. Realtor® referral: Carolyn Taylor, Dickens Mitchener 

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, 2021. Funds cannot be used for capital costs, staff/administrative expenses or debt reduction.

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

Canopy MLS is a wholly-owned subsidiary corporation of Canopy Realtor® Association and is the private broker cooperative used by Realtors® to bring buyers and sellers together with access to thousands of residential listings in a multicounty service area, including Charlotte, the mountains area of North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond. Canopy MLS, which has 20,600 subscribers, provides the most trustworthy, timely, accurate and complete property data along with proprietary tools for showings, market stats, predictive analytics, and more. Canopy MLS is used by its members to support consumers in their residential real estate transactions, whether selling, buying, investing or renting.

Original Publish Date: 7/29/2021