Charlotte homeless advocate dies

Chris Wolf
Chris Wolf

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Chris Wolf, who gave up his investment-banker’s life and income to work on behalf of the homeless, died Dec. 3, the Charlotte Observer reported Dec. 5. He was 54.

Wolf, who served as executive director of A Way Home, the Mecklenburg Council on Homelessness, died of a heart attack after living 15 years with lupus.

A native of West Virginia and the first in his family to attend college, he went on to receive a master’s of business administration, eventually becoming an investment banker in New York City.

He left the corporate world in 1998 to become CEO of the Habitat for Humanity affiliate in Phoenix and took over the council on homelessness in Charlotte in 2003.

Wolf, a husband and father of four, helped draft the county’s 10-year plan to end homelessness and was the point person for homeless issues in the area.

“He pushed hard for the cause,” Jennifer Roberts, chair of the Mecklenburg County Commissioners, told the Charlotte Observer. “He got to know us. He worked with us behind the scenes. He tried to hold us to that vision of serving the entire community.”

In a profile by the Charlotte Observer in 2003, he was asked why he gave up the corporate life for service.

“When my son was just a little guy, someone asked him what his father did,” Wolf said. “He said, ‘I don’t know what he does during the week, but on weekends he builds houses with people who need some help.’ I liked that definition of my life a lot better.”

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