The August 19, 2020 Building Bridges blog post shared information about the homelessness prevention planning project, Evaluate Upstream: Optimizing the Homelessness Prevention Assistance System in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The project was launched in May 2020 by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services; and is funded by a Continuum of Care (CoC) planning grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The goals of the project are to document existing prevention resources across Charlotte-Mecklenburg; determine whether (and how well) they work together; design an optimally functioning prevention network; and develop an evaluation framework. Together, these efforts will devise and sustain a homelessness prevention system to positively impact Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Six months into the project life-cycle, this week’s blog post will provide an update on Evaluate Upstream, including lessons learned and what’s next for the work ahead.
In the midst of a pandemic, there are a lot of unknowns: “When will the pandemic end?” “When will I be able to see my family, friends, or co-workers “in person” again?” “What do I do for the holidays?” Some households, especially those already living on the edge of housing instability and homelessness, might also be wondering, “How will I pay my rent (or mortgage) next month?” “If I get sick and can’t work, how will I cover my bills?” “If I get evicted, where will I go?” “How will I keep my job if I am homeless?” “How will I ever be able to find another home, and keep my family safe and healthy?” Prior to the pandemic, communities were already addressing the pre-existing conditions of housing instability and homelessness. These communities, like Charlotte-Mecklenburg, are also grappling with how to plan for what lies on the horizon: “How many more households will become homeless as a result of COVID-19?” “What resources are necessary to prevent this from happening?” “How do we prioritize these resources upstream and downstream?” The national eviction moratorium enacted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expires on January 1, 2021. Without additional action, communities will likely see an immediate increase in evictions; this will lead, ultimately, to increases in homelessness. One report by the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) projects that, as of January 2021, there could be as many as 240,000 eviction filings in the state of North Carolina alone; coupled with an estimated statewide rent shortfall of between $632 and $824 million. To help communities plan now, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has shared a tool to estimate future homelessness. This week’s blog post will provide an overview of the tool, and how it can be used in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
In the shadow of COVID-19, it’s easy to lose sight of the strides Charlotte-Mecklenburg has made to address chronic homelessness. Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg (HFCM) was launched in 2015 to end chronic homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg by scaling housing first, particularly by expanding the housing first permanent supportive housing model. Housing first programs reverse the order homeless services were traditionally given: A place to live is the first step, not the final reward for complying with services and addressing personal challenges like mental illness or substance use. “Housing first” programs prioritize housing as an early step in service delivery; have low-barrier admissions policies; maximize client choice in housing and services; use a harm reduction approach to substance use and other personal challenges; and do not require service compliance or success in order for a tenant to maintain housing. The multi-sector collaborative HFCM effort included stakeholders from homeless services, local government, nonprofits, and the business community. Through HFCM and the continued work of the homeless services sector, over 1,000 individuals were housed between January 2015 and January 2020, the vast majority of whom remain in their housing. Today, the HFCM research team from UNC Charlotte, in partnership with Mecklenburg County, released the second of two summary reports from the multi-year research and evaluation project examining the effort. The Housing First Charlotte-Mecklenburg (HFCM) Outcomes & Utilization Report summarizes findings about the impact of housing provided through the multi-sector collaboration. The HFCM Process Evaluation Report was released in September and both reports are summarized in an Executive Summary also released today. This blog post will highlight some of the key findings from the report and what they could mean for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
Mecklenburg County Community Support Services released the One Number almost one year ago as part of the annual Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability & Homelessness Report. Since its initial release, the One Number has been updated monthly on the Housing Data Snapshot, a hub for the latest numbers related to housing and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Generated from a By-Name List from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), the One Number captures the number of people enrolled in Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing, Street Outreach, and Coordinated Entry projects in HMIS. This includes both sheltered homelessness and a portion of individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. In addition, the One Number can be broken down by both household composition and population type. These elements include single individuals; families; unaccompanied youth; veterans; and people experiencing chronic homelessness. The One Number can also be analyzed by inflow to, and outflow from, homelessness. By comparing One Number data over time, (including by household composition and by inflow/outflow) the community can identify trends; these trends can then inform interventions. To mark the one-year anniversary of the One Number, we are excited to share information about what is new; what has changed; and why these changes matter for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. This includes a complete refresh of all historical One Number data; and new features that will allow a breakdown of One Number data by race and ethnicity.
In May 2020, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care (CoC) Governing Board adopted the Home4Good Framework. This structure is based upon work completed by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and the Center for Budget Policies and Priorities. The framework provides guidance on the ways communities can maximize new funding from the CARES Act (and other sources) to both respond to the immediate, pandemic-driven crisis and plan for the longer-term economic recovery. The Home4Good Framework has six areas of impact: Coordinated Entry; Prevention; Unsheltered Homelessness; Sheltered Homelessness; Permanent Housing; and Strengthening Systems. Following the adoption of the Home4Good Framework, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg CoC formed a Home4Good Framework Workgroup to oversee the local adaptation and implementation of the Home4Good Framework recommendations. The workgroup subsequently formed six teams, with each dedicated to one impact area. The workgroup was charged by the CoC Governing Board to use data to analyze need across the housing continuum; identify and recommend alignment of funding opportunities and eligible activities; implement action steps, using the Home4Good framework; utilize an equity lens; and connect existing and new efforts to address housing instability and homelessness during the pandemic era, responding (and adjusting, when necessary) to changing conditions. This blog post provides an update on the work related to the Home4Good framework, including what this means for Charlotte-Mecklenburg; and next steps identified for the work ahead.
The Point-in-Time (or PIT) Count and its complementary activities, such as the Housing Inventory Count (or HIC) are mandated by the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These required, annual activities of communities (like Charlotte-Mecklenburg) who receive federal funding to prevent and end homelessness. The PIT Count provides a snapshot of the number of people who are experiencing homelessness on one identified night in January. Experiencing homelessness, for the purposes of the PIT Count, is defined as those individuals in emergency shelter, transitional housing, or unsheltered locations. The HIC provides a snapshot of the number of beds and/or units available to temporarily house people experiencing homelessness, such as in emergency shelter and transitional housing; and the number of beds and/or units to permanently house people who have previously experienced homelessness, including rapid re-housing, other permanent housing, and permanent supportive housing. The HIC is established on the same night as the PIT Count. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg PIT & HIC numbers are submitted each year to HUD. This data is combined with the results from other communities across the United States and then reported in the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR). The AHAR is submitted to the U.S. Congress to inform funding and policies to prevent and end homelessness. Communities can also use their PIT & HIC data to inform local funding and policy priorities. This blog post will provide an overview of the results from the 2020 PIT and HIC; information about the 2021 PIT and HIC; and how the PIT and HIC can be used to support the work to address housing instability and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
On September 26, Mecklenburg County Community Support Services released the 2020 Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability & Homelessness (SoHIH) report. The report provides a single, dedicated compilation of all the latest local, regional, and national data on housing instability and homelessness pertaining to Charlotte-Mecklenburg. This year’s report also lays the foundation for understanding the impact of COVID-19 on housing instability and homelessness. Part 1 of the 2020 SoHIH Deep Dive blog series covered the first three themes from the report, which are all related to the need for both increased access to and availability of permanent, affordable housing. Part 2 focused on the final two themes, which are both related to role that permanent, affordable housing plays in ensuring individual and public health. This blog post completes the series by synthesizing information from the report with current data and trends related to COVID-19. In addition, this blog post will highlight examples of new solutions from other communities which may be relevant to addressing housing instability and homelessness locally.
On September 26, Mecklenburg County Community Support Services released the 2020 Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability & Homelessness (SoHIH) report. The report provides a single, dedicated compilation of all the latest local, regional, and national data on housing instability and homelessness pertaining to Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Last week’s blog focused on the first three themes from the 2020 SoHIH report. This blog post will take a deeper dive into the final two themes, which are all related to role that permanent, affordable housing plays in ensuring individual and public health.
Last week, Mecklenburg County Community Support Services released the 2020 Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability & Homelessness (SoHIH) report. The report provides a single, dedicated compilation of all the latest local, regional, and national data on housing instability and homelessness pertaining to Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The report is intended to be the “go-to” resource for all stakeholders working to address housing instability and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Anchored by the three main components of the housing continuum: housing instability; homelessness; and permanent, affordable (or stable) housing, the report is designed to make information easily accessible. To help connect the data with stakeholders, there are also helpful complementary materials available. These include the Key Findings Handouts, Report Toolkit and Housing Data Factsheet. Last week’s blog shared five key themes from the 2020 SoHIH report. This blog post will take a deeper dive into the first three themes, which are all related to the need for both increased access to and availability of permanent, affordable housing. The post will also share examples of solutions from other communities and what this means for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
Mecklenburg County Community Support Services releases today the 2020 Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability & Homelessness (SoHIH) Report. The SoHIH report is part of the annual Housing Instability & Homelessness Report series which is funded by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services and produced by UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. The 2020 SoHIH provides a single, dedicated compilation of all the latest data on housing instability and homelessness pertaining to Charlotte-Mecklenburg. This resource can be used by any and all stakeholders working to address housing instability and homelessness. The annual report combines local, regional, and national data on the full housing continuum (from housing instability to homelessness), and stable (permanent, affordable) housing. The report features data from the 2020 Point-in-Time Count; housing inventory and rental gaps; Housing Trust Fund; and system performance metrics. This blog post outlines the key findings from the 2020 SoHIH and what it could mean for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.