The Charlotte nonprofit has opened a community resource center on Beatties Ford Road | WFAE 90.7 | Daily News Byte

The Charlotte nonprofit has opened a community resource center on Beatties Ford Road |  WFAE 90.7

 | Daily News Byte

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For Struggle is a nonprofit organization founded to fight and protect against systemic injustices in Charlotte. On Thursday, members of the west Charlotte community came out to celebrate the grand opening of the organization’s first community resource center. Programs offered include a senior food program and a home repair program.

A large sign is posted outside the new office and community resource center on Beatties Ford Road for the nonprofit called For The Struggle. Not far from the signpost, community members gathered around the organization’s founder, Alesha S. Brown, as she talked about the importance of providing resources for the community.

“The Beatties Ford Road Corridor is Charlotte’s historic Black corridor, and it has been under-resourced for far too long,” Brown said. “And so, it’s very important that I play some kind of role in addressing that and making sure that people have access, whether it’s digital access, access to a laptop or a computer, access to a fax machine, a printer, a scanner .”

As you walk through the center, four laptops are available for visitors. Sitting near the laptops with a drum between his legs is Wali Salahuddin. He is one of the recipients of the Elder Response Initiative, which provides free meals through the nonprofit’s Senior Feeding Program.

“Every Monday and Wednesday, they bring us hot food, salads, fruits, and vegetables. And that is a blessing,” said Salahuddin.

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Wali Salahuddin (left) and Gary Mumford (right) at the event wearing west African attire on December 15, 2022.

The meals come from Black-owned businesses within the corridor, and so far, nearly 100 adults are fed through the program. Jessica Davis and her seven-year-old son Mason Davis were among the guests mingling outside the tent. Mason is part of the nonprofit’s Giving Circle initiative.

“My son wants to make a difference,” Davis said. “So, he said, ‘I want to be a part of this’, so he takes $20 of his allowance every month, and he donates it to For The Struggle for the senior feeding program, and we almost do it. it’s been a year now.”

Since 2019, Brown has operated For the Struggle from his home. Now that there is an operating community hub, Davis said the center can become a focal point for residents.

“It’s powerful, in other words, to have one location, a community resource center right here in the middle of the Beatties Ford Road corridor, on Russell Avenue, throughout the Northwest School of the Arts; it’s big,” Davis said. “It’s accessible, it’s on the bus line, seniors in this community can walk here, and not just seniors, but anyone who needs the resources that the nonprofit can provide this.”

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Alesha S. Brown (right), with seven-year-old Mason Davis (left), wear a Black For The Struggle t-shirt at the event on Dec. 15, 2022.

Another resource offered is the critical home improvement program. Participants can receive basic home repairs, free of charge. Anything from roofing, flooring and plumbing to electrical work and energy efficient kitchen appliances and windows. To qualify for this program, seniors who are at least 62 years old must earn about $35,000 or less. Brown said he decided to include this part because of the impact of gentrification.

“Black people are losing their homes, and Black people are disproportionately affected by the displacement that comes with gentrification,” Brown said. “We always hear the word equity like it’s a very sexy word. Equity means we pour into communities that haven’t been poured into; we pour into the communities that need us the most.”

To preserve the history and culture of historically Black communities, Brown said it’s important to love the elders.

“The best way to do that is to take care of our historians, and that’s our elders. We need them here; we need them to tell the story,” Brown said. “We need them to make sure our younger people understand generation what it means to live in the Beatties Ford Road corridor as Charlotte’s historic Black corridor.”

The For the Struggle community center is now open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Three full-time employees, six part-time staff members, and volunteers contribute to the nonprofit’s mission with plans to expand its efforts in South Carolina in the new year.

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