Gracious Hands nonprofit providing hope to Charlotte moms looking to own a home

The goal of the program is for each mom to boost their credit score, save $5,000, and get into a new home or apartment.

With the rising cost of living, buying a home for many families can seem like a goal that’s out of reach, but one Charlotte nonprofit is seeking solutions to help single mothers achieve homeownership.

For Gracious Hands‘ founder Dr. Sonja Chisolm, the work is personal, after having her own struggles as a single mother of three.

“I often times found myself robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Chisolm said. “So, I’d often say when I hit the lottery, I was going to one day open up a shelter.”

While she didn’t hit the lottery, she did receive donations. Now, nine years later, Chisolm says more than 360 women and 1,000 kids have been supported by Gracious Hands. Among them is Octavia Lindsay. 

As Lindsay walked the halls of one of the organization’s three homes, she said it brought her back to when she and her daughter first arrived years ago.

“This is where we started at, in this room,” Lindsay said. “I was in an abusive relationship. Somebody told me about Gracious Hands. When I did come in with my daughter everybody was so welcoming.”

Lindsay spoke while sitting on one of two twin beds. They were dressed in yellow bedding and separated by a single nightstand with an open Bible on top. 

“I never grew up where somebody would tell me about finances, homeownership. I was completely oblivious,” Lindsay said, “and [Chisholm] was like ‘we’re going to get your credit together, and you’re going to own your own home’, and my credit got together and here I am, a homeowner.”

The goal of the program is for each mom to boost their credit score, save $5,000, and get into a new home or apartment.

Chisolm says the high cost of living and lack of affordable housing are just some of the barriers moms face. Access to daycare is another.

“We need to make sure we’re listening to the women and their needs because it’s not one path for each woman,” Chisholm said.

While the program provides childcare, Chisholm hopes to see more funding go toward Gracious Hands and others like it so that more moms can have the support they need.

“’Mama, I’m ready to go home,’ — Just for [my daughter] to say that makes me feel good because I have a home for her,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay now works for the program, helping other moms achieve their dreams.

Gracious Hands is working to expand by offering more space for moms with teenaged boys.

The program currently has a waitlist. Those interested in applying or supporting Gracious Hands by donating can learn more on their website.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *