Entries by Andrew Spiers


Housing First Training Strengthens Community’s Response to Homelessness and Improves Outcomes

The Housing First model is widely recognized as an effective and compassionate approach to addressing homelessness. It is an evidence-based model that has been shown to be successful in helping individuals achieve housing stability, improve their overall well-being, and reduce public costs associated with emergency services and institutional care. By recognizing housing as a fundamental right and addressing homelessness as a housing issue first, Housing First aims to create a solid foundation for individuals to achieve long-term stability.

In early April, the Mecklenburg County Community Support Services Housing Innovation and Stabilization Services team, in collaboration with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care, organized a two-day Housing First training led by Pathways to Housing PA. The training brought together over 100 local homeless services providers to develop a deeper understanding of the Housing First model and served as the kickoff event for a 12-week community training from Housing First University.

This blog provides an overview of the Housing First model, the training being provided by Housing First University, and the expected impact for people experiencing homelessness and the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.


Bridging the Gap: Addressing Unsheltered Homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

The annual HUD Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a comprehensive effort conducted across the United States to gather data on homelessness. It consists of two components: the Sheltered Homeless Census which quantifies the number of individuals who were in an emergency shelter, safe haven, or transitional housing on the night of the PIT and the Unsheltered Homeless Census.

A future blog post will present data from the 2023 Sheltered Homeless Census.

This blog focuses on the 2023 Unsheltered Homeless Census, the state of unsheltered homelessness locally and nationally, strategic outreach, and the work underway to address unsheltered homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.


Three Takeaways From New Report on Homelessness and Incarceration in Charlotte-Mecklenburg

Today, May 4th, Mecklenburg County Community Support Services released the Homelessness Among the Incarcerated Population Integrated Data Report, authored by the Charlotte Urban Institute. This report examines the rate of and risk factors for homelessness among those experiencing incarceration in Mecklenburg County detention centers. This report is part of the Housing Instability & Homelessness Integrated Data Report Series.

This year’s Integrated Data Report looks different from prior years. The report is shorter and focused on the findings, but links readers to a methodology brief where they can learn more about how the study was conducted. This new format is intended to make the findings and implications of the study more accessible to the public. This blog post outlines the key findings from the report and what it means for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.


Reintroducing the Building Bridges Blog

Welcome back to the Building Bridges blog. During the past few months amidst submitting the 2022 HUD System Performance Measures, publishing the 2022 State of Housing Instability & Homelessness Report, and conducting the 2023 Point-In-Count, we have spent time reevaluating how this blog can best serve the community. The mission of the blog remains the same: highlight the important work being done in Charlotte-Mecklenburg in relation to housing instability, homelessness, and affordable housing; and connect local, regional, and national data, research, policy, and practice so that all stakeholders in the community can use it to drive advocacy, policymaking, funding allocation, and programmatic change.


2022 State of Housing Instability & Homelessness Report Released Today

Today, February 23, 2023 Mecklenburg County Community Support Services  released the 2022 State of Housing Instability & Homelessness (SoHIH) Report. The annual SoHIH report synthesizes, analyzes, and shares local, state, and national data with the community for stakeholders. It serves as the foundation Charlotte-Mecklenburg utilizes to better understand gaps and inform policy and funding decisions and solutions.  This year is the first year in which Mecklenburg County Community Support Services’ Housing Innovation and Stabilization Services Division (HISS) fully authored the report. UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute has provided consultation during this transition in order to maintain the intention and integrity of this report.  Going forward, the SOHIH will build on the success of previous reports produced by UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute and will continue to provide data on the full housing continuum to the community.

This blog post outlines the key findings from the 2022 SoHIH and what it could mean for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.