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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

This blog post is the second in a three-part series about the Lotus Campaign, which uses a market-based approach to address homelessness and housing affordability.

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.

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.

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.