Entries by Courtney LaCaria and Mary Ann Priester

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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.

Child & Youth Homelessness Integrated Data Report: Part 3

Last week’s blog post provided an in-depth look at the key findings from The Child & Youth Homelessness Integrated Data Report, which was released on July 9. The new report integrates data from multiple sources to describe child and youth homelessness and service utilization patterns in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The first blog post in the series covering different aspects of the integrated data report provided context about the the report, including how integrated data can help communities to understand and address complex issues like housing and homelessness. The five-part integrated data report explores gaps and connections across multiple homeless assistance services that impact children and youth in the community. Data from 2016 to 2017 is used from the following sources: Homeless Management Information System (HMIS); Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS); and Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS). The report was completed by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute; and is part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Instability & Homelessness Report Series, which is funded by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services. This week’s post discusses the “So, What” of the report, describing evidence based strategies to address child and youth homelessness and offering recommendations for next steps.

Child & Youth Homelessness Integrated Data Report: Part 2

Last week’s blog post featured the release of The Child & Youth Homelessness Integrated Data Report, which integrates data from multiple sources to describe child and youth homelessness and service utilization patterns in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The blog post provided context about the the report, including how integrated data can help communities to understand and address complex issues like housing and homelessness. The five-part integrated data report explores gaps and connections across multiple homeless assistance services that impact children and youth in the community. Data from 2016 to 2017 is used from the following sources: Homeless Management Information System (HMIS); Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS); and Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS). The report was completed by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute; and is part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Instability & Homelessness Report Series, which is funded by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services. This blog post is the second in a three part-series covering different aspects of the integrated data report. Part 2 of the blog series provides an in-depth look at the key findings from the report. Next week’s post will cover the “So, What” of the report, describing evidence based strategies to address child and youth homelessness and offering recommendations for next steps.

Child & Youth Homelessness Integrated Data Report: Part 1

Housing instability and homelessness has negative short-term and long-term impacts on children and youth experiencing homelessness. Immediate effects include increased absences from school; lower scores on reading and math End of Grade tests; and greater risks of dropping out of high school. As children and youth age into adults, long-term effects can also impact mental and/or emotional health; employability; and housing sustainability. There are thousands of children and youth in households every year in Charlotte-Mecklenburg that access housing or housing-related services as a result of their experience of homelessness and/or housing instability. However, these services and the data collected by them, are not linked. This means that describing child and youth homelessness using one data source provides only a sliver of the overall picture. Using multiple data sources can be helpful, but if these sources are not linked, they merely line up uneven comparisons. Today, Mecklenburg County Community Support Services releases The Child & Youth Homelessness Integrated Data Report, which integrates data from multiple sources to describe child and youth homelessness and service utilization patterns in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The five-part report explores gaps and connections across multiple homeless assistance services that impact children and youth in the community. Data from 2016 to 2017 is used from the following sources: Homeless Management Information System (HMIS); Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS); and Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS). The report was completed by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute; it is part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Instability & Homelessness Report Series, which is funded by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services. This blog post is the first in a three part-series covering different aspects of the report. Part 1 in the series will focus on the context and construction of the report; Part 2 will provide an in-depth look at the key findings; and Part 3 will cover the “So, What” of the report, describing evidence based strategies to address child and youth homelessness and offering recommendations for next steps.

New CoC Website

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care (CoC) is excited to announce the launch of a new website.  This website will allow us to better communicate with housing and homeless service providers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg as well as provide information for those who are not yet familiar with our great community.   

What Does It Mean to Go “HOME” in A COVID-19 WORLD?

On March 18, a new Building Bridges blog series was launched to share solutions from other communities and highlight key interventions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week’s blog post focused on how communities can integrate telecommunication as a permanent component of housing-focused supportive services. This new Building Bridges series looks at community responses to COVID-19 using a prospicient lens: What short-term, community responses can become long-term, systemic solutions?  Which immediate interventions can effectively and efficiently address the structural issues that lead to housing instability and homelessness? What “new thing” can evolve into “business as usual?” And what is needed to create healthy, stable communities permanently? This week’s blog post is co-authored with John Gaulden, Managing Director and Principal at Gensler, a global design and architecture firm. This post illustrates how changes in the concept of “home” pre- and post-COVID-19 have important implications for multiple audiences working to address housing instability and homelessness, including planners; funders; builders; developers; service organizations; and elected officials.

Housing Counts: 241 Days to Permanent Housing

Each month, Mecklenburg County Community Support Services (CSS) releases an update on community housing data.  This is done via the Housing Data Snapshot. The Housing Data Snapshot provides a regular update for the total number of people experiencing homelessness in the community, as well as the total number of households seeking housing assistance via Coordinated Entry. This month, CSS has added a new metric to the Housing Data Snapshot: the average length of time to access permanent housing. This blog post provides an overview of the new metric, why it matters, and what it means for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

February 2020 Data Update: One Number & By-Name List

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. Since then, the Housing Data Snapshot has been updated, expanded, and released each month.  The Housing Data Snapshot now provides a regular update for the One Number; “By-Name” List; and Coordinated Entry. 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.