Human Services

COMMON HEART INC

a small revolution of kindness

Indian Trail, NC

Mission

Common Heart is a grassroots organization that fosters individual and community engagement to feed hungry families and empower those in poverty, creating a sustainable community where all can thrive. Common Heart's vision is to create a small revolution of kindness in our community to eradicate food insecurity and eliminate generational poverty.

Ruling Year

2013

Executive Director

Keith Adams

Main Address

PO Box 2761

Indian Trail, NC 28079 USA

Formerly Known As

Common Heart Missional Community

Keywords

Hunger, Food Insecurity, Advocacy, Economic Empowerment, Literacy

EIN

46-1161476

 Number

3262852462

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Blog

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

The Charlotte region was determined to be ranked 50 out of the 50 largest cities in the USA in availability of upward economic mobility for its residents (Harvard, 2014). This should not be the case in the City of Charlotte and the regions surrounding it with so much economic growth. How can we leave behind an entire population in our community? 69% of the population that are born in poverty here in the Charlotte region will remain in poverty throughout their lives (MDC, Belk Foundation, 2014). Common Heart has established partnerships through 14 years of food pantry service. In 2019, Common Heart served 7,986 individuals often on multiple occasions living in Union County through our food pantry and Economic Empowerment programs. These individuals were equivalent to 35% of the food insecure families in Union County. Common Heart serves families who are living at 200% of the poverty level.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

1 2 4 8 11 17

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Common Cupboard

Common Heart Free Tax Service

Common Heart Pantry Mill Grove United Methodist Church

Staying Ahead

Common Heart Pantry at Union United Methodist Church

Getting Ahead

Advocates for Change

R Rules

Mobile Pantries

Literacy Volunteers

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of meals served or provided

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Families,

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Related program

Common Cupboard

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of participants engaged in programs

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Families

Related program

Common Cupboard

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of adults who received literacy services

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adults

Related program

Literacy Volunteers

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of tax returns completed by volunteers

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people

Related program

Common Heart Free Tax Service

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of low-income households who have received utilities assistance

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Families

Related program

Staying Ahead

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of students enrolled

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people,

Unemployed, underemployed, and dislocated people

Related program

Getting Ahead

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Getting Ahead is a 18 - 2.5 hour weekly work group developing skills to build resources for families in generational poverty

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

We work to stabilize the environment for people who are in poverty. We serve immediate needs through our food pantry programs, microgiving campaigns, and utilities assistance. We work side by side with our family leaders to empower them to increase their economic mobility to become more stable as a family through our economic empowerment programs. We seek to create relationships across economic lines through the Bridges out of Poverty framework. The food pantry service that we provide is meeting a basic need, and also aims to build relationships through our delivery program across economic lines. Building friendships exposes both the recipient and deliverer of service to a new framework of poverty and the resources needed to achieve stability. This friendship can serve as social capital for those in poverty to provide a resource helping to connect the individual to social services, and Common Heart economic mobility programs. For the volunteer food ally it exposes those in middle and upper class to their misunderstanding of those in poverty. It brings a first-hand experience to break down the barriers of relationship and service to those in need. Common Heart’s Economic Empowerment and Food Pantry programs aim to build relationships. The institutions addressing people’s needs are too often designed for those in situational poverty, meaning middle class people who have fallen behind. They often do not address the more difficult issues of generational poverty, which is the reason that we structure our service in the Bridges out of Poverty framework. Getting Ahead is a work group of folks in generational and situational poverty designed to develop an understanding of what it takes to build stability, and develop skills needed to build resources and move out of poverty. The investigations done by participants as part of Getting Ahead, Staying Ahead and Advocates for Change are about their own personal story, and the resources they have now to build the steps towards stability. Additionally we work with the institutions in our community by providing Bridges Out of Poverty training aiming to develop a common language, strategy and cross sector collaboration serving the low income population. This is evidenced in the growing collaborative and community partnership, Thrive! Union county. Together we bring all sectors of service organizations, education, government, and corporate business together to bring a collaborative approach to poverty in Union County to develop a sustainable community where all can thrive.

Not only help people on an individual level, but also on an organizational, community, and institutional level. We utilize the support of our volunteers to build a community of neighbors serving neighbors. Our goal is to bring a common understanding of poverty, and a common language around serving this population. The first goal is to stabilize the environment of those in poverty through our food pantry services, micro giving, utility help, and thrift store outreach. Common Heart’s strategic relationship starts with the situation our families are in. It is important to understand a family in poverty cannot build resources without stabilizing the present. If you don’t have a home, food or electricity we cannot seek to improve their capacity for growth. The second goal is building resources through our economic empowerment programs. Getting Ahead brings people who are in the cycle of poverty to a working process to see their environment, understand what they are living in, and recognize the decisions based on immediate survival needs. The program takes people living in poverty and moves them from this concrete day to day existence into an abstract process of investigating poverty in their own life and community. This new thinking process enables an objective implementation of planning. The group investigates the community and resources available to their family now, and the gaps that may exist. Getting Ahead strategically works with the family leader to analyze their situation and evaluate their own resources. The goal of our economic mobility programs is to implement a new life plan through management and building resources. Our strategy is to guide families to set up a future story and support them through a step by step plan to get there. Common Heart’s Getting Ahead, Staying Ahead and Advocates for Change economic empowerment programs guides participants to analyze the areas and resources in the community to create a path for themselves and others. The goal is for these participants to become advocates for themselves and the community to set a path for success. The third goal is to develop a coalition of public and private agencies, businesses, and institutions across sectors to address inequities and collaboration work toward the vision of full participation in the prosperity that is Union County NC.

We have been serving the community for 13 years. We have developed successful knowledge and skills in food pantry and economic mobility service programming. Common Heart’s success is not only in the management of these programs, but also in the way that we fund the program through sustainable gifts and the utilization of volunteer services. Our organization’s capacity to serve through a wide breadth of programs is through our volunteer relationships and service programs. We are the major provider of food programs in Union County. We have a depth of service, through eight collaborative food pantry programs. Our food program is supported by Second Harvest, TEFAP USDA funding, and grocery store food rescue programs. Through these continued partnerships we are helping to provide a weeks’ worth of groceries for each family we serve to supplement their basic needs. This is an ongoing service for our families, and our mission is to continue providing food service until that family comes to a more stable situation. Common Heart utility bill assistance are funds provided by FEMA and Duke Endowment, we are a conduit of their service to the community. Through our micro giving program we are taking up specific needs of families that we serve and utilizing our community of donors to support that need directly through community gifts. We are the only certified trainers for the workplace stability and Bridges out of Poverty programs in our county. Our capability to include institutions, organizations, and leaders in the Bridges out of poverty and Getting Ahead framework helps create a community of one common language and strategy to serve those in poverty throughout Union County. As our Thrive! Union Coalition continues to grow we will have the opportunity to create a collaborative environment serve through more organizations and communities.

Our program values and empowers individuals, creating stability and building self sufficiency resources. Goals for the 2020-2021 fiscal year will be to increase the percentage of the county's food insecure individuals receiving food pantry service through Common Heart’s pantry network from 35% to over 50%. This represents an increase from 7,731 unduplicated individuals served to 11,000.. Many of these individuals will receive food assistance 5 to 6 times a year. We will track our effectiveness based on the increase in individuals served, and the amount of times we serve them in fiscal year period. Common Heart seeks to empower 60 adults in our first year of service with the Adult Literacy Volunteer program. This program provides new opportunities to under educated adults and their families through the achievement of English language skills. We will consider this program to be a success if 70% of the students we serve make an improvement in their reading level based on pre-test and post-test data, and achieve at least one life skill set by their own learning plan. Successful graduates of Getting Ahead and R-Rules participants will show an improvement through the self efficacy and stability assessments. These assessments will create a measurable way to assess progress. We will consider the program a success if 80% of individuals show improvement in their pre- and post-test of self-sufficient, stability, self-efficacy and resources. Each participant will develop an individual action plan. This written action plan, designed by participants, is based on the results of their assessment of eleven resources needed for economic mobility. We are part of a national network facilitating Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead practitioners, with data to show 38% of graduates increased monthly income, 75% decreased total debt, 62% decreased benefits received, and 52% decreased monthly debt. In 2020, we’ve added FREE courses for graduates of Getting Ahead Money and Me, Escaping Relational Drama (TED* The Empowerment Dynamic), and Working Smart in partnership with South Piedmont Community College. We have developed successful knowledge and skills in food pantry and economic mobility service programming. Common Heart’s success is not only in the management of these programs, but also in the way that we fund the program through sustainable gifts and the utilization of volunteer services.

Common Heart is continuing to expand our Economic Empowerment programs. A agency member of E412, a Bridges out of Poverty consulting coalition based in Charlotte, is a priority to expand our outreach. We are seeking to expand our Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead license to provide this training for other organizations as a fee for service training. This would enable the cost of the expansion of the Getting Ahead program to be paid for by the organization that it serves. Common Heart is expanding its outreach into Adult Literacy. By helping people increase their language and literacy skills we are able to help these families towards economic advancement. Common Heart’s Common Cupboard delivery service has a capacity to serve 1200 people month, we currently have the ability to add more partnerships with churches and organization to add delivery routes. Partnering with organizations, churches, and social groups to add delivery programs will be the first step in growing this outreach. Common Heart also is partnering with multiple partners representing Education, health, nonprofit, faith, government and business community to expand our food pantry services centered in the eastern Union County community of Wingate NC. We will have capacity for food storage and community service through a second geographic center. The new Wingate Area Pantry will have an immediate capacity to serve through a traditional pantry. With the relationships developing through partner organization we will also create a delivery program. This Center will continue to build relationships through our food pantry and economic empowerment programs we seek to create a community where all can thrive. We do not do anything on our own. We collaborate with other organizations, and develop a community based strategy. The more collaborative relationships we develop the more people we serve. Utilizing the Bridges out of Poverty constructs we bring together people across the economic spectrum and beyond institutional silos. One face of this is Thrive! Union first convened in December 2018. Thrive! Union is a developing coalition representing 30 organizations actively working on identify and correcting the gaps in service to our community. We have provided Bridges Out of Poverty training and Poverty Simulation experience to over 300 members of our community. We know we are making progress as we come together throughout are community addressing economic mobility.

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Financials

COMMON HEART INC

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

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  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

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Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/04/2020

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender Identity
Male, Not Transgender (Cisgender)
Sexual Orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability Status
Person without a disability

Race & Ethnicity

Gender Identity

Sexual Orientation

Disability