CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Every day hundreds of families turn to the Crisis Assistance Ministry for help. The agency helps get them back on track but not without funding from United Way. Now the agency is reaching out to the community to help reach their campaign goal.

I think people in the community would be shocked to know how many people are in poverty right now, said Carol Hardison, CEO of Crisis Assistance Ministry of Charlotte.

An estimated 200 families a day turn to Crisis Assistance Ministry desperate for help.

The need for basic need assistance, things like rent utilities, clothes, shoes, said Hardison.

Funding from the United Way is critical for Crisis Assistance Ministry to get these families back on their feet.

This is an emergency fund for people who are about to lose their utilities or face eviction and homelessness, said Hardison.

Which is why the United Way is hoping to get the word out they are now in need of help from the community. After facing a million dollar campaign shortage in November, they've shortened the gap to $500,000 with only a month left.

We've tapped into the reserve fund each of the past two years to keep the agencies hold to prevent shortfalls in their funding, said Bill Norton with United Way.

United Way officials say although the DNC was great for the city of Charlotte, it hurt their campaigning.

Between the interruptions Uptown, people focused mentally elsewhere, fiscally elsewhere, that hurricane sandy, those two aspects really got us off to a late start, said Norton.

So they're hoping for help from the community so that 85 agencies like Crisis Assistance don't have to worry their funding will be cut.

Right now we're facing a double digit increase in the number of people seeking utility assistance so the need it very high, said Hardison.

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