On Friday, June 1, UNC Greensboro hosted the Innovations in Planning for Better Community Housing and Health Symposium. The goal of the Symposium was to “explore the use of data and cross-sector collaborations to develop healthy neighborhoods facing the greatest barriers to good health”. This blog post is dedicated to two ideas we took away from other communities for consideration in Charlotte-Mecklenburg as we work to prevent and end homelessness and promote housing sustainability throughout the community.

This post is devoted to linking the information from all three reports. Read more to get the highlights from all three reports and access a new, one-page Fact Sheet that takes the essential information from the three report briefs. It also includes new information from The Eviction Lab, which was released in April 2018 by Princeton University and Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016). In addition to information the Fact Sheet provides ways for you to get involved in big changes that can reduce and prevent evictions in the community.

The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and Mecklenburg County Community Support Services released Charlotte-Mecklenburg Evictions Part 3: One-month Snapshot of Eviction Court Records Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Evictions Part 3: One-Month Snapshot of Eviction Court Records is the final report in a series on evictions in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  This report focuses on how and why tenants are evicted and the cost of evictions for landlords and tenants. This series marks the first time local eviction data from court records have been analyzed and reported. Read the full reflection to see the report findings and find out what it means for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

On Wednesday, May 23, the report, “Charlotte-Mecklenburg Evictions Part 3: One-month Snapshot of Eviction Court Records” will be released to the public – the third report in a series focused on evictions in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The report marks the first time local eviction data from court records have been analyzed and reported. Read more to learn what will be covered and why it matters.

As part of Mecklenburg County’s Capital Improvement Program, the Main Library located in uptown Charlotte will be replaced and closed for several years. Early in the planning stages, Library and County officials recognized that the Library is an important component of an ecosystem that supports Charlotte’s homeless population, in direct alignment with its mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. They further identified that the needs of the homeless would need to be addressed in the space and programming for the new Main Library. To better understand those needs, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Mecklenburg County Community Support Services partnered to conduct a survey in September 2017. This survey was designed to understand the impact of the closing on library users and determine what resources are most valued by individuals who use the Main Library every day.

Emergency departments frequently provide care to patients who are experiencing homelessness. They are open 24/7 and are required by law to treat anyone who presents for care, regardless of whether the person is experiencing a medical emergency or has the ability to pay. During the Point-in-Time count emergency waiting rooms throughout the county were included as sites to conduct the survey.

Growing up in the 1960’s like I did, you had to be living under a rock not to be affected by the ultra-compelling and ultra-unfair conditions of racial discrimination and racial segregation in U.S. cities. The cause of those who fought against these inequities was gripping and undeniable – the folks who stood up were on the right side of the issue, even at a time when not many were willing to stand up. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. And the Federal Fair Housing Act was enacted on April 11, 1968 – one week later. No coincidence. Read more to learn about the significance of the Fair Housing Act 50 years later.

The Point-in-Time Count  is most often talked about in terms of the data collected: How many people were unsheltered? Is homelessness in our community increasing or decreasing? What’s not discussed as often are the stories of the people behind the data, and the direct impact the Point-in-Time Count can have in ending someone’s homelessness. The Point-in-Time Count provides a dedicated day in which street outreach staff know they will have the added capacity to actively seek out all people experiencing homelessness outside across Mecklenburg County and ask about who they are and what they need.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness among women. Housing is a critical component of a victims’ ability to live violence-free, independent from the abuser. But successful housing placement may not be maintained if the housing provider does not understand the dynamics of domestic violence and how it might impact housing stability.

The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and Mecklenburg County Community Support Services released Charlotte-Mecklenburg Evictions Part 2: Mapping Evictions Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Evictions Part 2: Mapping Evictions is the second of three reports on the topic and marks the first time local eviction data have been mapped at the neighborhood level.  The report shows where formal evictions occur and links eviction data with Quality of Life Explorer data to explore the characteristics of neighborhoods with high and low rates of evictions.