Entries by Dennis LaCaria

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Home4Good Framework Update: Housing & Economic Recovery in Response to COVID-19

In May 2020, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care (CoC) Governing Board adopted the Home4Good Framework. This structure is based upon work completed by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and the Center for Budget Policies and Priorities. The framework provides guidance on the ways communities can maximize new funding from the CARES Act (and other sources) to both respond to the immediate, pandemic-driven crisis and plan for the longer-term economic recovery. The Home4Good Framework has six areas of impact: Coordinated Entry; Prevention; Unsheltered Homelessness; Sheltered Homelessness; Permanent Housing; and Strengthening Systems. Following the adoption of the Home4Good Framework, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg CoC formed a Home4Good Framework Workgroup to oversee the local adaptation and implementation of the Home4Good Framework recommendations. The workgroup subsequently formed six teams, with each dedicated to one impact area. The workgroup was charged by the CoC Governing Board to use data to analyze need across the housing continuum; identify and recommend alignment of funding opportunities and eligible activities; implement action steps, using the Home4Good framework; utilize an equity lens; and connect existing and new efforts to address housing instability and homelessness during the pandemic era, responding (and adjusting, when necessary) to changing conditions. This blog post provides an update on the work related to the Home4Good framework, including what this means for Charlotte-Mecklenburg; and next steps identified for the work ahead.

2020 Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability & Homelessness Report Released Today

Mecklenburg County Community Support Services releases today the 2020 Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability & Homelessness (SoHIH) Report. The SoHIH report is part of the annual Housing Instability & Homelessness Report series which is funded by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services and produced by UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. The 2020 SoHIH provides a single, dedicated compilation of all the latest data on housing instability and homelessness pertaining to Charlotte-Mecklenburg. This resource can be used by any and all stakeholders working to address housing instability and homelessness. The annual report combines local, regional, and national data on the full housing continuum (from housing instability to homelessness), and stable (permanent, affordable) housing. The report features data from the 2020 Point-in-Time Count; housing inventory and rental gaps; Housing Trust Fund; and system performance metrics. This blog post outlines the key findings from the 2020 SoHIH and what it could mean for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

August 2020 Data Update: Part Two

On August 27, 2020, the Building Bridges blog post shared the most recent Housing Data Snapshot, including a high-level overview of the latest trends. The Housing Data Snapshot has three main sections: the One Number (total number of people actively experiencing homelessness); By-Name List breakdowns from the One Number for veteran and chronic homelessness (inflow, outflow and housing trends); and Coordinated Entry data (total number of callers and assessments seeking housing assistance). Considered together, the Housing Data Snapshot provides the most up-to-date information on housing and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. This week’s blog post will take a deeper dive into the August 2020 data update; explain any trends; and discuss possible implications for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg Process Evaluation Report Released Today: Many Housed but Lessons to Learn

Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg (HFCM) was launched in 2015 to end chronic homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg by scaling housing first, particularly the housing first permanent supportive housing model. Housing first programs prioritize housing as an early step in service delivery, have low-barrier admissions policies, maximize client choice in housing and services, use a harm reduction approach to substance use and other personal challenges, and do not require service compliance or success in order for a tenant to maintain housing. The multi-sector collaborative effort included stakeholders from homeless services, local government, nonprofits, and the business community. Today, the HFCM research team from UNC Charlotte, in partnership with Roof Above and Mecklenburg County, released the first of two summary reports from the multi-year research and evaluation project examining the effort. The Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg (HFCM) Process Evaluation Report summarizes findings about how the multi-sector collaboration to end chronic homelessness was implemented. This blog post will highlight some of the key findings from the report and what they could mean for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

August 2020 Data Update

Each month, Mecklenburg County Community Support Services updates the Housing Data Snapshot, a hub for the latest numbers related to housing and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The Housing Data Snapshot has three main sections: the One Number (total number of people actively experiencing homelessness); By-Name List breakdowns from the One Number for veteran and chronic homelessness (inflow, outflow and housing trends); and Coordinated Entry (total number of callers and assessments seeking housing assistance). Considered together, the Housing Data Snapshot provides the most up-to-date information on housing and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. This week’s blog post will unpack the latest One Number data update to the Housing Data Snapshot and describe trends. A future blog post will seek to explain these trends and what they could mean for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Request for Letter of Interest: Emergency Solution Grant Funds

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care (CoC) is charged by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) to submit a community-wide application for Emergency Solution Grant (ESG) funds. The CoC anticipates that NC DHHS will allow the Charlotte-Mecklenburg CoC to apply for approximately $506,479 in this competition. This announcement serves as the opportunity for agencies to submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) to express their interest in submitting a project application through this ESG funding competition.

New CoC Membership Page

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care (CoC) is excited to release a new CoC Membership web page. On this page, you will find all CoC member agencies and individuals. A link to each agency is also avaiable so that you can learn more about the great work taking place in the community! Please share this information with others who might be interested in signing up as CoC member – either as an organization or individual.

Community Update: Evaluate Upstream: Optimizing the Homelessness Prevention Assistance System in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

The problem of housing instability and homelessness has taken center stage in Charlotte-Mecklenburg amidst an unabated pandemic. Reports of increases in homeless encampments and families with children paying week-to-week to stay in hotels are stark evidence of a worsening crisis. In the health and safety interests of families and the entire community, there is an evident and urgent need to address the lack of available and affordable permanent housing. Historically, communities have focused on sheltering and re-housing people experiencing homeless as quickly as possible. This makes sense: access to sustainable, permanent housing is the antidote to homelessness. However, we know little about the effectiveness of community systems, structures, and resources in helping households that are precariously housed avoid homelessness in the first place. In May 2020, Mecklenburg County Community Support Services launched a community project called “Evaluate Upstream: Optimizing the Homelessness Prevention Assistance System” focused on homelessness prevention. The project is funded by a Continuum of Care (CoC) planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The goals of the project are to document existing prevention resources across Charlotte-Mecklenburg and determine whether and how they work together; to design an optimally functioning prevention network; and to develop an evaluation framework for a homelessness prevention system that is truly impactful in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. This blog post will share in-depth information and updates about the planning grant project; it will also describe the project’s unique approach to the work and what it could mean for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

July 2020 Data Update & New Features

Mecklenburg County Community Support Services (CSS) partners with homeless services agencies in Charlotte-Mecklenburg to enter, collect, analyze, and report data on housing and homelessness in the community. As part of this work, CSS first released the Housing Data Snapshot in June 2019, and has continued to update this data regularly. The Housing Data Snapshot includes information on the One Number, a system-wide, by-name list for all individuals actively experiencing homelessness; and Coordinated Entry data on the number of individuals requesting housing assistance.  Because the One Number is updated monthly, it is the best, most current data point for homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. We are excited to announce the release of new features to the Housing Data Snapshot.  These are intended to help interested stakeholders take a deeper dive into homelessness and housing trends. These features include inflow and outflow charts, as well as downloadable tables for all historical data. This blog post highlights the latest changes, and provides further analysis of the data added, to the Housing Data Snapshot and what these changes mean for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

New CoC Communication Coming Soon

We are excited to share information about logistical changes for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care (CoC). Beginning August 7, 2020, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg CoC will modify the way we communicate updates to the CoC Email Distribution List. Currently, all CoC-related information is forwarded as soon as it is received. While we want to ensure that you have timely and relevant information that could affect your program, we also want to ensure we are respectful of your time, attention, and email inboxes.