Housing First Char-Meck

Ending Chronic Homelessness

Our mission is to mobilize the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community to place the men and women who meet the definition of "chronically homeless" in our community in permanent supportive housing by December 31, 2018.

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Registry Reveals Decrease in Chronic Homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg partners say work is more important than ever

Charlotte, N.C. – April 1, 2015 – The Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg initiative has taken another step toward its goal of ending chronic homelessness by the end of 2016 by creating a comprehensive registry of individuals who live in Mecklenburg County and meet the definition of chronic homelessness1. The registry was begun over a three-day period between Jan. 29-31. More than 250 volunteers searched on streets and in camps, shelters, jails, soup kitchens, hospitals and other areas throughout Mecklenburg County during the three-day effort.

At the conclusion of the three-day registry effort, volunteers interviewed 516 individuals who met the definition of chronic homelessness. A similar chronic homelessness count completed in 20102 revealed 807 individuals who met the definition of chronic homelessness. The findings indicate a 36 percent decrease in the number of chronically homeless individuals identified in Mecklenburg County since 2010.

“The decrease in these numbers indicate that we understand the importance of investing in housing with intensive wrap-around support  for this population,” said Dale Mullennix, executive director of Urban Ministry Center and project manager of the initiative. “The Housing First approach is working for Charlotte, and I believe with enough continued community support, our goal of ending chronic homelessness by the end of 2016 can be reached.”

Since the registry was created, 37 chronically homeless individuals have been housed. Funding has been secured to hire two additional outreach workers. The outreach teams and volunteers continue to search for and register additional individuals who meet the definition of chronic homelessness in our community, and the Urban Institute has been contracted to assist Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg to monitor the registry and the community’s progress on ending chronic homelessness. 

The registry also revealed demographic information for this population. Of the 516 individuals who met the definition of chronic homelessness:

  •  Average age: 46
  • Average number of years homeless: 6.3
  • Male: 433, Female: 82, Transgender: 1
  • Military service reported: 56

The registry also tracked race and demographic data, as well as disabling conditions experienced including mental and physical disabilities and substance abuse. 

The community can get involved with the effort to end chronic homelessness by:

  1.  Following the effort on social media (www.facebook.com/housingfirstcharmeck)
  2. Sign-up to provide a “Welcome Home Kit” with basic household goods
  3. Donate Furniture to Crisis Assistance
  4. Let outreach workers know about the location of homeless camps, so they can try to connect individuals living there with services and housing
  5. Consider volunteering with the outreach team

For more information about the above activities, visit www.HousingFirstCharMeck.org.

The plan for Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg: Ending Chronic Homelessness in 2016 has eight major components. They include:

  • Create a registry and monitoring progress
  • Expand outreach efforts to build trust and move the chronically homeless to housing
  • Create new permanent supportive housing units including at least one single site building
  • Train organizations and staff in the Housing First model
  • Engage the community to be part of the solution
  • Move-in strategy
  • Ensure adequate leadership
  • Evaluate the effort

 The Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg partnership includes than two dozen public, private, nonprofit, houses of worship and higher education organizations. Our current partners include

  • Bank of America
  • Cardinal Innovations
  • Carolinas CARE Partnership
  • Carolinas Healthcare System
  • Charlotte Center City Partners
  • Charlotte Chamber of Commerce
  • Charlotte Housing Authority
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
  • Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority
  • City of Charlotte
  • Community Link
  • Crisis Assistance Ministry
  • Elevation Church
  • Foundation for the Carolinas
  • Homeless Services Network
  • Mecklenburg County
  • Men’s Shelter of Charlotte
  • Salvation Army
  • Supportive Housing Communities
  • United Way
  • University of North Carolina Charlotte
  • Urban Ministry Center
  • Veterans Administration
  • Wells Fargo

1Definition of chronic homelessness

According to HUD, a person is chronically homeless if he/she has at least one disabling condition and has experienced a continuous year of homelessness or has had four episodes of homelessness over the last three years.  A family can be considered chronically homeless if the above conditions apply to the head of household.

2 Vulnerability Index

Three-day effort to identify chronically homeless individuals in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and assess their vulnerability, completed in 2010.

Copyright 2015 Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg