The snapshot provides the latest update on the work to end and prevent chronic and veteran homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. This update reflects the progress on the coordinated, community effort to address both chronic and veteran homelessness.

There are exciting changes coming to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing & Homelessness Dashboard in 2019. This post will highlight what those changes are and how you can stay connected to get the latest updates.

The October 2018 blog post “Connecting the Dots from the Report Part 3: Driving Change, Managing Lanes” outlines the importance of identifying roles – or “lanes” – for organizations to operate within to support each other as well as to realize a shared, strategic vision to end and prevent homelessness. It discusses the need for agencies to complement rather than compete for funding and resources. A Child’s Place applied this thinking to our organization. This blog post is a reflection on what we discovered, and what we plan to do next.

I have served as a volunteer for the Point-in-Time Count for multiple years. Starting in 2018, our community began using the “Counting Us” app to conduct the survey as part of the annual Point-in-Time Count. As a volunteer, you are trained to use the app to complete survey questions with people experiencing homelessness. Many questions are answered with a drop-down choice, and the survey is easily completed within 10 to 15 minutes. At the end of my shift I successfully submitted the completed survey questions – answers to questions that will help our community continue to receive funding and, just as importantly, inform local work. But I left with so many of my own unanswered questions.

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.

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:

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.

It has been nearly five years since our community started Coordinated Entry. Coordinated Entry is designed so everyone who experiences homelessness or is at risk of becoming homeless has equal access to housing resources and can be quickly referred for assistance. When we originally discussed the idea of Coordinated Entry with members of the community, we promised that Coordinated Entry would be the first step to enable systems change. With the housing crisis growing daily, it can feel like little has changed for the better since we implemented Coordinated Entry. But, it is important to reflect on what has been accomplished in five years, as well as the distance we have yet to travel.

This third and final blog post in the series on the report release focuses on a key component of driving change to end and prevent homelessness: matching, managing and maximizing existing and new resources and roles to needs.

Mecklenburg County recently released the newest report from the Housing Instability and Homelessness Report Series by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute: 2018 Charlotte-Mecklenburg State of Housing Instability and Homelessness. This is the first annual report on housing instability and homelessness data in the community and is the first time Point-in-Time Count information is combined with data from other homeless system measures and housing instability metrics to provide a full picture of housing needs in our community. In addition to the report, Mecklenburg County released a toolkit to help take the information from the report and translate it into action: the next steps or “So, What.” This blog post is the second in a series focused on the next steps outlined in the toolkit, looking at change at the community level.