Habitat Charlotte Region Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region has been communicating over the last several weeks about COVID-19; our concerns for the safety of our team, the families we serve and the general public that support our mission.
In response, we have closed all seven ReStore locations, eliminated Critical Home Repairs and reduced our new home builds due to COVID-19 implications. We have seen the elimination of retail revenue, a reduction in donations, and anticipate a decline in mortgage payments in the coming days.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to keep every teammate actively working through this time of uncertainty, following Governor Cooper’s state-wide mandate to Stay-At-Home, we had to make the difficult decision to enact a COVID-19 temporary layoff and a reduction of hours for certain positions, which affected many members of the Habitat Family.
When our world returns to normal, Habitat Charlotte Region stands ready to welcome back our friends, associates and partners who’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and relaunch our operations aggressively.
Thank you for your support and faithful partnership during this challenging time.
During a company-wide virtual Town Hall meeting this morning, Laura Belcher, President & CEO of Habitat Charlotte Region, announced the April 1, 2020 layoff of retail employees who work in our seven Charlotte and Lake Norman/Iredell Habitat ReStores. With stores closed, and the inability of our staff to run retail operations from home, we were forced to make this difficult choice. Habitat Charlotte Region will pay affected employees through April 14. On April 15 affected employees are eligible to receive NC unemployment benefits to help cover a portion of their lost wages. Habitat will continue to cover employees’ medical, dental and vision insurance through May 31. This layoff is temporary, and Habitat Charlotte Region fully intends to bring our retail associates back to work in their current positions as soon as we can resume normal operations in their areas of responsibility.
At Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region our greatest priority is for the safety of our homeowners, volunteers, staff, customers, visitors and the greater community as we take proactive steps to minimize the health impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19). As circumstances evolve we will update this page with the latest information and our affiliate’s actions.
Leading health experts recommend that we all practice “safe-distancing” to minimize contact and prevent the spread of the virus. As of now, Habitat Charlotte Region has eliminated large group meetings, is currently cleaning and sanitizing our work and retail spaces, and putting in place work practices to minimize health risks.
This unprecedented pandemic hinders our ability to serve the community through cancelled construction shifts and closed ReStores. We are all impacted by this crisis, but if you can, please help Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region – and our community – weather this storm with your financial support.
For more information on the various aspects of the organization, please click to expand a section below.
We have proactively communicated to Homeowners-in-Process (HIP) about the potential impact to home construction timelines. We have also moved HIP classes for our current cohort online and have temporarily postponed future HIP classes until further notice. Additionally, Homeowners-in-Process will not be penalized for missing sweat equity hours due to impacts of the virus but must inform the Family Services team.
Current homeowners will be receiving communication from our Family Services team about mortgage payments and other items.
We will suspend all Construction, ReStore and Office volunteer activities starting on Wednesday, March 18th to maximize the safety of our volunteer work force and staff.
We will close all Habitat Charlotte Region ReStores, including Julia’s Café & Books, starting Wednesday, March 18 through March 31. Employees will continue to work to clean, sanitize and organize the stores as well as address special projects during the time the stores are closed. ReStore associates may be deployed to other locations from time to time where they are needed most.
We will suspend the acceptance of product donations while ReStores are temporarily closed.
For the safety of our teams, we will immediately implement a remote work practice for office associates where the nature of their job lends itself to working remotely.
Starting Wednesday, March 18 office associates who are unable to work remotely will begin to use a split shift office work system or distance themselves within the building to minimize contact with fellow employees. Supervisors with team members who must work in the office will divide their teams and assign an even/odd work day cadence. This will minimize the number of people working in the office at one time.
We will pause Critical Home Repair projects effectively immediately through April 20. For the rest of this week (March 16-20), our Critical Home Repair team will prioritize the completion of home repairs currently under way.
New construction projects will continue, utilizing staff and construction trades professionals (such as plumbing, electrical and HVAC) to keep projects moving. The construction team is currently evaluating staffing needs, and employees from other departments may be deployed to assist with construction work as appropriate.
All Habitat Charlotte Region events scheduled during March and April will be cancelled without exception.