Entries by Courtney Morton

Why a System View is Critical for Everyone

To effectively end and prevent homelessness requires a system-wide, coordinated community response.   Resources must be aligned under a shared strategic vision. The Building Bridges Blog post in October 2018 described some of the conditions necessary to facilitate an optimal community system: “In order to shift toward a new way of operating, it is important to reframe how we view the system, how we fund programs, and how we match resources to need across the full spectrum of housing needs.” This blog post will discuss in further detail the first component: how we view the system.

Why Context is More Critical than Content: The Point-in-Time Count as a Part of the Whole

Last week’s Building Bridges blog post provided information about the numbers used to describe homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, including the Point-in-Time Count.The 2019 Point-in-Time Count numbers will be released in late summer as part of the 2019 State of Housing Instability & Homelessness Report. This week’s blog post will cover the Point-in-Time Count in more detail, including why the numbers are reported with other data on housing and homelessness.

Describing Homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg: The Numbers and What They Mean

Courtney Morton

Housing & Homelessness Research Coordinator
Mecklenburg County Community Support Services
Mary Ann Priester

HMIS Administrator
Mecklenburg County Community Support Services. As with all Continuums of Care (CoC) across the country, Charlotte-Mecklenburg recently submitted our 2019 Point-in-Time Count and Housing Inventory Count data to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). HUD reviews all CoC submissions and, once the data is finalized, reports it to the U.S. Congress through publication of the Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR). Charlotte-Mecklenburg combines the HUD-mandated Point-in-Time Count data with other housing and homelessness information in a locally-generated annual report. The State of Housing Instability and Homelessness, released in the summer, shares the metrics which have been identified by stakeholders in Charlotte-Mecklenburg as most relevant to the work to end and prevent homelessness.

This blog post will cover some of the key numbers that are used to describe homelessness, what the numbers mean, and why they matter. In addition, this post will introduce a new number that will be included in this year’s report.

Aligning Efforts on Affordable Housing & Homelessness, Part 2

This post is the second 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 middle three strategies as well as what it means for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

Aligning Efforts on Affordable Housing & Homelessness

The solutions for ending and preventing homelessness and reducing housing instability are the same: permanent, affordable housing. Importantly, failure to address one area impacts the other: if enough affordable housing is not available, shelters cannot clear out beds for people who need them. People facing housing instability who then lose their housing have nowhere to go; families often must separate to find temporary shelter. Therefore, it makes sense that efforts focusing on homelessness, housing instability and affordable housing work together in order to maximize results. This post is the first of a three-part series that will provide an overview of the strategies as well as how they might apply within our local context.

#Your Voice Counts – How to use it after Everybody Counts Charlotte: 2019 Point-in-Time Count

The Everybody Counts Charlotte: 2019 Point-in-Time Count was conducted between January 22 and February 1.  Volunteers and staff have completed surveys with individuals and families experiencing homelessness in emergency shelters, transitional housing and outside in unsheltered locations. Last year, 1,668 people were counted during the Point-in-Time Count. We share with individuals and families experiencing homelessness that completing the Point-in-Time Count survey is one way to help make their voices count: we will use the information gleaned from the survey to make changes in the community. Individuals and families are not required to complete the survey, but many of them do…each sharing their personal experiences with complete strangers in order to help others.  To be counted.  To be heard.

2019 POINT-IN-TIME COUNT: WHAT’S NEXT AND HOW TO GET INVOLVED

The 2019 Point-in-Time Count will take place on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. The Point-in-Time Count is when our community comes together to count the number of people who are experiencing homelessness on the streets and in temporary shelters throughout Mecklenburg County. The Point-in-Time Count is critical to understand the need for housing and to inform local funding and policy decision-making in the community. It also provides an opportunity to engage others around the issue of housing and homelessness and reminds us that there are people behind the numbers that we count. To learn more about how to get involved, read this post and visit the EverybodyCountsCharlotte: Point-in-Time Count website: www.everybodycountsclt.org

2019 Point-in-Time Count Work Begins

The 2019 Point-in-Time Count will take place on Wednesday, January 30, 2019. The Point-in-Time Count is when our community comes together to count the number of people who are experiencing homelessness on the streets and in temporary shelters throughout Mecklenburg County. The Point-in-Time Count is a required activity and is connected to the federal funding that Charlotte-Mecklenburg receives for the Continuum of Care (CoC). However, our community goes above and beyond to use the Point-in-Time Count as a way to both raise awareness about housing and homelessness and to collect data that can inform local decision-making. Learn about how you can get involved by reading this post.