Human Services


Food, Clothing, Shelter, Transportation, Counseling

Matthews, NC


The mission of the Matthews Help Center is to help our neighbors and those in surrounding communities survive financial crisis by providing short-term assistance.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Ms. Kaye McHan

Main Address

P.O. Box 91 119 North Ames Street

Matthews, NC 28106 USA


Financial Crisis Assistance, Food, Clothing, Transportation, Shelter, Daycare, Budget Counseling, Financial Behavior Counseling, Thrift Store





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

Thrift Shops (P29)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

The NC Budget & Tax Center's 2014 Living Income Survey suggests that 3-person households in NC (one parent, two children) have annual expenses of $48,680 Yet, the NC Department of Commerce reported the 2015 estimated median worker earnings in Mecklenburg County were $33,374. And now the recent release of 2017 Self-Sufficiency Standards suggest the lack of sufficient income for essentials is worsening. A family of 3 (Adult, preschooler, school-age) needs $60,211 annually in Mecklenburg County. These, and other data, clearly show that our service area of Matthews, Mint Hill, Stallings, Indian Trail and Charlotte communities, are home to many families struggling for financial stability and self-sufficiency. We understand these families are not suffering under only one deficit. MHC clients often present with complex and competing issues of scant neighborhood resources, limited transportation and childcare options, low wages, minimal household savings, and education challenges.

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

Financial Crisis Assistance

Where we workNew!

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 service recipients who are employed

Population(s) served


Related program

Financial Crisis Assistance

Context notes

Current clients in financial crisis who are employed full time and/or part time.

Number of people within the organization's service area accessing food aid

Population(s) served


Context notes

Food aid includes total number served through the food and hygiene items for households, weekend backpacks for school children, and Thanksgiving meals.

Number of clients served

Population(s) served


Related program

Financial Crisis Assistance

Context notes

Clients served reflects financial and non-financial services. Year over year decline of 320 reflects a decrease in non-financial services.

Number of volunteers

Population(s) served


Context notes

Number reflects unique individuals. Apx. 180 of the volunteers give their time weekly throughout the year.

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 and haven't they accomplished so far?

Since 1979, Matthews HELP Center has had very strong roots and a rich history of helping our local community. Over time, we have grown both in scope and volume, and today we have developed a proven service model supported by an array of programs and diverse funding sources. In the near-term, our agency will continue responding to the needs of our community through growth and refinement of our existing programs. Over the long-term, we must strategically assume an ever-larger role in the community in order to more effectively fulfill our mission and successfully serve those in need.

Matthews Help Center's Programs and Services provide short-term assistance of life essentials to individuals and families in financial crisis. Assistance can include food, clothing, shelter, transportation, childcare expenses, counseling in financial behaviors and budgeting, as well as multiple community resources for services not provided at MHC. MHC also supports complementary programs that support our client's children and provide positive psycho-social behaviors for the families. MHC's Bounceback Backpack program provides schoolchildren in the Mecklenburg County School system with a backpack full of healthy, non-perishable food every weekend throughout the school year. MHC operates a Thrift Store to offer articles of everyday living for free to our clients and at affordable prices to low income families. We also support seasonal programs, including the Back 2 School program providing grade-appropriate school supplies, Thanksgiving Feast and Holiday Support programs. We strive to provide basic living essentials, counseling and supportive programs that lead to stability.

Our performance targets to carry out the mission are:
Rigorously assessed Programs and Services to provide the greatest impact to meet evolving community needs.
Structure fundraising adhere to Financial Best Practices and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethics.
Empower the board, staff and volunteers to deliver compassionate service through our organizational structure.
Provide facilities that are welcoming with an integrated environment and flexibility to adapt to ever-changing needs.
Model leadership, advocacy and support for the community.
Provide a Thrift Store environment for clients, customers, and volunteers that is pleasant while providing financial support.

Matthews HELP Center recently assessed and reviewed all of our programs and services to ensure proper focus and mission alignment. This on-going refinement process is an important part of our strategic approach to prohibit cyclical financial dependency and establish a sustainable future for our targeted clients. Our programs are primarily designed to stop the poverty cycle before it starts. To do that, MHC must be flexible and agile enough to act preemptively -- before eviction occurs or utilities are disconnected, for example. This proactive strategy ultimately ensures that our services will have the greatest impact.

This strategy is implemented by providing short-term assistance to clients through our core services: financial crisis assistance, and community referrals. While all of our clients are treated with exceptional warmth and respect, they are carefully screened by our social workers to ensure, as well, that funds are utilized efficiently and disbursed with integrity. Crisis assistance includes basic needs such as food, rent, mortgage, utilities, transportation, clothing and childcare expenses. Community referrals are given based on our database of resources that benefit clients' needs that are beyond the scope of our service offerings.

Matthews HELP Center's core services are augmented by other specifically targeted programs such as BounceBack Backpacks (weekend food for school children), Back To School Supplies, Thanksgiving Feast and Holiday Support initiatives.

Matthews HELP Center has a long history of helping those in need and enjoys an excellent reputation in the community. For FY 2016-17, our operating budget of $1,342,037. was supported by a paid staff of 10 and 41,136 volunteer hours. Our volunteer support is truly an extraordinary resource, and many dedicated volunteers have been with us for over 20 years!

Our organization is structured to be agile and respond quickly to changing needs. We are governed by a strong, connected board of directors, led by a seasoned executive director, and our dedicated staff includes professional social workers and other accomplished professionals.

Our program capabilities are supported by a sustainable funding model. We are proud to say that MHC receives no federal, state, local government or United Way funding. The income needed to assist those in need comes from:
38% in Contributions, Bequests, Special Events, and Grants
30% In- Kind Contributions
32% Earned Income

Matthews Help Center has an independent financial audits conducted annually and has also established a Sustainability Fund with the Foundation for the Carolinas as a commitment to the future well-being of your community.
For 38 years the community has entrusted MHC with their gifts to assist neighbors who need help. Today, we are still the trusted source.

MHC has developed an excellent client management system that maintains a detailed database of historical information on all client interviews and services that have been provided. And a client survey and data research are conducted annually. This ensures that trends and progress for each client can be readily discerned, and that informed decisions are quickly made regarding appropriate course of action.

The 2016/17 program results show us:

Program utilization as
FOOD- 6924
SHELTER- 3,280

Length of service time has been reduced from 23 months to 20 months from crisis to stability. During this time period MHC tracks each clients program use to ensure a decrease in requested needs over time. It is critical that clients work as a partner with MHC to move out of financial crisis.

97% of clients reported “paying my own bills" was what success looked like for them.

These families gave permission to share their comments from the annual client survey:

“You never expect to have something happen that makes it hard for you to provide for your family. When something did happen, I was at a loss and scared of what was to come for my kids. I received nothing but understanding and support from MHC and the help they gave us, helped us get back on our feet."

“Keep doing what you are doing and keep an open mind, everyone needs help sometimes"

“They are wonderful! They really saved me in a rough patch. I have since successfully gotten out of it and I'm in a much better financial situation."

“I thank you all so much for your assistance. Even with the two of us working full time jobs you understood that we really needed help. Thanks for being there for us in our time of need."

“When it seemed like all hope was lost I reached out for help, and was genuinely embraced without hesitation. Thank you so much MHC."

Matthews HELP Center has experienced dramatic growth driven by rising demand and population in our service area. In the past fiscal year the reported need of assistance has increased by 33%. We are working to meet this challenge with necessary increases in staff and by reviewing and refining our services, allowing us to continue meeting the basic human needs of our clients.

MHC focuses on ensuring that we are not just a “Band-Aid" fix, as we will work with a family for up to three years if needed to develop a sustainable solution. While our clients are always served in a warm and dignifying way, we have also taken steps to ensure that we are not fostering dependency and that clients are progressing toward self-sufficiency. Our social work philosophy is to only do that which clients cannot do for themselves.

Looking forward, we are positioned to continue assuming a larger role in the community as we respond to increasing needs and strive to disburse our services with greater efficiency and effectiveness. Fiscal year 2017/18 is underway and our focus remains centered on a short term bridge of assistance providing life essentials and counseling to adults and children in financial crisis. We are guided by our philosophy of dignity for the client, concentration of essential resources and services to fill the gap between crisis and client directed stability. Due to the 33% growth in reported client expenses, primarily driven by housing and childcare costs, we will also be working hard to grow our base of donors and provide new financial support opportunities to meet the growing need of families in crisis.

External Reviews




Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30

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

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A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
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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


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?



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



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



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



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


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Board Members, Senior Staff, Full-Time Staff and Part-Time Staff.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity