Charlotte Nonprofit, Affordable Housing, Incarcerated Residents

Charlotte Nonprofit Secures $2M Deal To Building Affordable Housing For Former Incarcerated Residents 

This is called doing the work!

A Charlotte, North Carolina-based reentry nonprofit closed on a deal to provide low-income housing for former inmates and their families. 

Freedom Fighting Missionaries (FFM) announced in early March 2024 that they will be building their first affordable housing development in the University City area of Queen City. Purchased for $1 million on Feb. 29, the nonprofit will be the first Black-founded organization to own land and create housing for public use. 

Founded by Kenneth Robinson, FFM was awarded $2 million in funding by Charlotte City Council in 2023, plus an additional $2 million from Mecklenburg County, to create housing for people placed back into society after serving time behind bars. Originally, the group planned to build two developments close to each other, but a 16-unit project received some backlash from neighbors at a City Council meeting. 

Robinson said he is “overjoyed and excited” for the opportunity as he knows firsthand what it’s like. “I know how it feels to come home from prison and have to start from scratch. Now, I am able to support those that are re-entering society so that they can start fresh with sustainable services and viable resources along with a roof over their heads,” Robinson said. 

“This is what true impact feels like. It is truly a proud moment for me and those that have helped me along the way to see this opportunity come to fruition.”


The property will host a 24-unit housing complex, offering two- and three-bedroom units for families earning 30% to 80% of the average median income. Following the organization’s founding in 2020, Robinson requested Mecklenburg County, a nonprofit real estate holding company, Inlivian, and the Charlotte Continuum of Care to determine who will receive Emergency Housing Vouchers. 

First, 18 vouchers were allotted to the group, and an official partnership was formed with Inlivian to provide housing choice vouchers, including for residents returning from incarceration. 

This partnership puts a massive dent in the city’s growing affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Back in 2022, more than 75% of Mecklenburg County’s – the largest in North Carolina – incarcerated and homeless populations were Black, according to QCity Metro. Many people with criminal backgrounds face barriers that discriminate against them, with housing rental being inaccessible. “Freedom Fighting Missionaries have families who make $70,000 or $100,000 or more, but they still have a criminal background, making it difficult to rent a place,” Robinson said. 

With the new project, FFM will be able to continue offering services to its constituents, including jail release transition support, court advocacy, and public transportation support. 

Rent will vary, starting as low as $457 and could go up to $1,600. Construction is expected to take nearly 18 months, with families allowed to move in as early as late 2025.