Entries by Trish Hobson

Diversion & Youth Homelessness

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Emergency Shelter System: Assessment of Capacity and Utilization Report released in April 2019 recommends solutions to optimize the emergency shelter system. One of the suggested solutions is to employ diversion resources across the homeless services system. Diversion is a cost-effective way to serve the immediate needs of homeless individuals and families, maximizing emergency shelter capacity and targeting shelter beds and resources to individuals and families who need it the most. Diversion, when it’s implemented effectively, helps households seeking shelter to find a safe alternative.  Diversion assistance includes transportation to stay with a family member as well as financial assistance to find other temporary housing solutions. Like other housing interventions, diversion with youth must be tailored to meet the needs of youth experiencing homelessness. This blog post explains the challenges that are unique to serving homeless youth and the steps our community can take to address those challenges.

New Housing Data Snapshot Page Available

Community Support Services partners with homeless service agencies in Charlotte-Mecklenburg to enter, collect, analyze and report data on housing and homelessness in the community. This includes regular, in-depth review of by-name lists in order to ensure that we understand the need and follow up with each person who has engaged the homeless and housing system. This blog post highlights the release of a new Housing Data Snapshot page, which provides regular reporting on three critical data points: One Number, By-Name List Movement and Coordinated Entry.

A New Approach to Affordable Housing: The Lotus Campaign, Part 3

The Lotus Campaign, which uses a market-based approach to address homelessness and housing affordability, launched in late July 2018.  The Lotus Campaign began with pilot projects in Charlotte, North Carolina.This is the third of three blog posts about their efforts.   To read more about how the Lotus Campaign got started, click here for the first blog post; click here to read the second blog post explaining how the model works. This final post in the series describes the impact Lotus has had over the past nine months.

Creating a Comprehensive Community Inventory of Affordable Housing

The March 2019 blog post Aligning Efforts on Affordable Housing and Homelessness called for the alignment of housing efforts and goals backed by data. An active inventory of all affordable rental units is described as a critical component for this work. A comprehensive community inventory would help highlight housing gaps, set goals and provide a “go-to” database of housing opportunities in times of crisis (such as displacement due to natural disaster). Such an inventory does exist.

First Ever Assessment Released On Emergency Shelter In Charlotte-Mecklenburg

This week, “The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Shelter System: Assessment of Capacity and Utilization” was released, providing the community with a comprehensive look at the overall emergency shelter system. The assessment was completed by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services in partnership with United Way of Central Carolinas.This blog post will provide an overview of the assessment, its key points, the context behind it and what the assessment can mean for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

A New Approach To Affordable Housing: The Lotus Campaign

The Lotus Campaign (Lotus) was launched in late July 2018.  Lotus has as its goal increasing the availability of housing for people experiencing homelessness by engaging the private, for-profit real estate and investment communities.  Lotus’ market-based approach has three components: incent, invest and advise. This blog post is the first in a three-part series about the Lotus Campaign and this affordable housing approach driven by private philanthropy and the desire to give back.

Aligning Efforts on Affordable Housing & Homelessness, Part 3

This post is the final in a three-part series that will provide an overview of the strategies presented in the February 2019 report: Aligning Affordable Housing Efforts with Actions to End Homelessness by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). The report calls for action alignment across these areas.This blog post will provide an overview and analysis of the last three strategies as well as what it means for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

How a Data Culture Can Improve Organizations and Systems Change

The October 2018 blog post “Connecting the Dots from the Report Part 3: Driving Change, Managing Lanes” outlines the importance of identifying roles – or “lanes” – for organizations to operate within to support each other as well as to realize a shared, strategic vision to end and prevent homelessness. It discusses the need for agencies to complement rather than compete for funding and resources. A Child’s Place applied this thinking to our organization. This blog post is a reflection on what we discovered, and what we plan to do next.