McKinsey & Company has provided a fact-based analysis on a pro-bono basis, collecting data and research on gaps in the existing housing continuum in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. In addition, McKinsey & Company has compiled best practice solutions, including a community survey, in-depth interviews, and focus groups with over 100 homeless service providers, community and business leaders, funders, people with lived experience, local government staff, housing advocates, residents, and research institutions.
Housing & Homelessness Strategy Framework
The framework of this comprehensive plan will be stakeholder driven and grounded in equity, transparency and inclusion. The plan will be organized around four pillars that correspond to the Housing & Homelessness Ecosystem: Strengthen Prevention System (Evaluate Upstream); Optimize Temporary Housing/Shelter System; Grow Permanent Affordable Housing; and Strengthen Cross-Sector Supports. This work will be accomplished through five methods: Unified Policy Advocacy; Coordinated Funding Alignment; Innovative Data Analytics; Effective Communications; and Ongoing Strategy Support.
Leadership & Governance
The governance structure below has been developed and designed to lay the foundation for a comprehensive, sustainable plan with shared ownership. This structure includes a working group, technical committee, and nine workstreams.
As owner of and advisor for the Housing & Homelessness Strategy, the Working Group is responsible for the guidance and approval of the direction of the comprehensive community effort; coordination of stakeholder participation; and commitment to successful execution.
|Cathy Bessant, Bank of America|
|Eugene A. Woods, Atrium Health|
|Will Alston, Wells Fargo||Chris Jackson, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont|
|Gris Bailey, Latin American Chamber of Commerce||Marcus Jones, City of Charlotte|
|Erin Barbee, DreamKey Partners; Leading On Opportunity||Valerie Kopetzky, Anuvia Prevention & Recovery Center|
|Kristin Blinson, Hope Haven||Janet LaBar, CLT Alliance|
|Laura Yates Clark, United Way of Central Carolinas||James Lee, Stan Greenspon Center for Peace & Social Justice|
|Liz Clasen-Kelly, Roof Above||Michael Marsicano, Foundation For The Carolinas|
|Jesse Cureton, Novant Health||Fulton Meachem, INLIVIAN|
|Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County||Deronda Metz, Salvation Army Center of Hope|
|George Dunlap, Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners||Di Morais, Ally Financial|
|Mark Ethridge, Ascent Capital||Katherine Neebe, Duke Energy|
|Tom Finke, Adara Acquisitions||Tim Sittema, Crosland Southeast|
|Malcolm Graham, Charlotte City Council||Lori Thomas, UNC Charlotte|
|Trish Hobson, The Relatives; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care||Earnest Winston, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools|
|Michael Smith, Charlotte Center City Partners|
Advisor to the Working Group
|Fritz Nauck, McKinsey & Company|
Advisor to the Working Group
The Technical Committee includes representatives with specific expertise in the sectors that are impacted by and/or have an impact on housing instability, homelessness, and affordable housing. The Technical Committee is responsible for synthesizing the recommendations generated from the nine Workstreams into a comprehensive plan that ensures alignment with the values and principles of the overall strategy.
|Laura Belcher, Habitat for Humanity of the Greater Charlotte Region||Taiwo Jaiyeoba, City of Charlotte|
|Kristin Blinson, Hope Haven||Stacy Lowry, Mecklenburg County|
|Sherri Chisolm, Leading on Opportunity||Deronda Metz, Salvation Army Center of Hope|
|Liz Clasen-Kelly, Roof Above||James Searcy, Promise Resource Network|
|Joe Davis, Hearts Beat As One Foundation||Michael Smith, Charlotte Center City Partners|
|Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County||Lori Thomas, UNC Charlotte|
|Fred Dodson, DreamKey Partners||Anthony Trotman, Mecklenburg County|
|Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, United Way of Central Carolinas; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care||Pamela Wideman, City of Charlotte|
|Carol Hardison, Crisis Assistance Ministry||Deborah Woolard, Block Love Charlotte|
|Courtney LaCaria, Mecklenburg County|
Nine project Workstreams are organized around the following four pillars: Strengthen Prevention System (Evaluate Upstream); Optimize Temporary Housing/Shelter System; Grow Permanent Affordable Housing; and Strengthen Cross-Sector Supports. Five additional workstreams focus on how the work will be accomplished, including: Unified Policy Advocacy; Coordinated Funding Alignment; Innovative Data Analytics; Effective Communications; and Ongoing Strategy Support. Project workstreams are tasked with identifying gaps and opportunities for change relative to their assigned areas. This output will ultimately be synthesized into a comprehensive plan by the members of the Technical Committee and recommended for review and adoption by the Working Group.
To learn more or find out how to join a workstream, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Strengthen Prevention System||Courtney LaCaria, Mecklenburg County|
James Searcy, Promise Resource Network
|Optimize Temporary Housing/Shelter System||Liz Clasen-Kelly, Roof Above|
Deronda Metz, Salvation Army Center of Hope
|Grow Permanent Affordable Housing||Fred Dodson, DreamKey Partners|
Karen Pelletier, Mecklenburg County
Pamela Wideman, City of Charlotte
|Strengthen Cross-Sector Supports||Anna London, Charlotte Works|
Jerome Williams, Novant Health
|Unified Policy Advocacy||Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County|
Marcus Jones, City of Charlotte
|Coordinated Funding Alignment||Shawn Heath, City of Charlotte|
Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, United Way of Central Carolinas
Alex Wallace, Ally
|Innovative Data Analytics||Stacy Lowry, Mecklenburg County|
Lori Thomas, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute
|Effective Communications||Courtney LaCaria, Mecklenburg County|
Moira Quinn, Charlotte Center City Partners
|Ongoing Strategy Support||Anthony Trotman, Mecklenburg County|
Jenny Ward, Bank of America
Below are the initial milestones achieved to date.
Background & Context
WHY WE NEED THE 2025 CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS STRATEGY
Charlotte-Mecklenburg has a longstanding commitment to ending and preventing homelessness. Our community has, over time, made significant investments in prevention, emergency shelter and permanent housing. These efforts have only ramped up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that every person as a safe place to isolate or quarantine. Housing has always been the launchpad for opportunity; now it is also a tool to address public health.
And yet housing instability and homelessness continues to grow in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. On a single night in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, there are at least 3,000 individuals experiencing literal homelessness, including in sheltered or unsheltered locations. The number of households experiencing housing instability has also risen. And because of the financial ramifications of the pandemic, as of January 2021 there was almost $70 billion owed by U.S. renters in combined back rent, utilities, and late fees.
Such a seemingly intractable problem like housing instability and homelessness necessitates a comprehensive, systemic approach to address the full continuum of need. It also requires both the public and private sector at the table. This new effort marks the first time in Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s history that the public and private sector have come together to address the full housing continuum, from street homelessness, upstream to households experiencing cost-burden.
In addition to Bank of America and Atrium Health, a consortium comprised of representatives from Mecklenburg County, City of Charlotte, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care and Charlotte Center City Partners have provided initial support to lay the foundation for the work ahead.
HOW THIS EFFORT IS DIFFERENT
The 2025 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing & Homelessness Strategy builds upon successes, and integrate lessons learned from more than 20 years of systems-focused housing work, from previous and current community initiatives to address the problems of housing instability and homelessness. Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s first assessment and comprehensive plan was released in the early 2000s, followed by the community’s 10-year plan to end and prevent homelessness.
During the past two decades, the community has taken on chronic and veteran homelessness; centralized and streamlined the intake process for assistance through Coordinated Entry; strengthened both the collection and dissemination of data; developed an ecosystem; reconstituted the Continuum of Care; and, over the past several years, focused upstream on the prevention assistance system. Prior efforts, including the most successful ones, have only targeted a specific piece of the issue, such as chronic or veteran homelessness.
In 2015, Housing First Charlotte Mecklenburg (HFCM) was a public-private venture, launched with the mission of ending chronic homelessness in our community. Chronic homelessness is defined as the experience of homelessness that lasts for more than one year, coupled with a disabling condition. Over a five-year period, HFCM helped house more than 1,000 chronically homeless individuals; connect service providers to clients, and each other; invest in research; and institute systems and accountability measures. Despite that, Charlotte-Mecklenburg still has more than 500 chronically homeless individuals experiencing homelessness, today. Further, that initiative was not intended to address non-chronically homeless individuals and families facing housing instability and homelessness. And it could not foresee the unique challenges of a public health crisis.
McKinsey & Company has provided a fact-based analysis on a pro bono basis to help facilitate the development of a comprehensive plan that will address the full continuum of housing instability and homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Three three main goals have been identified for this phase of the work, which are listed below:
- To build awareness of; engender support for; and create a strategy that strengthens and increases coordination among and across service providers and systems to reduce and/or prevent housing instability and homelessness; and to forge a path forward;
- To convene and commission aCharlotte-Mecklenburg leaders to own and oversee the implementation of this strategy; and
- To pair the Working Group with “best-in-class” systems-change consulting services to help our community understand the problem; support proposed actions; and achieve progress on the adopted comprehensive, systems-focused strategy.
By October 2021, we will produce a comprehensive plan which aligns strategic objectives; employs a common lexicon; describes clear metrics; and develops a multi-year approach to prioritized actions. These actions must include a focus on funding alignment, policy, data, and the implementation structure. This effort will prioritize transparency and inclusivity. It will also be stakeholder-driven, and intentionally coupled with other community efforts, like “Evaluate Upstream.” Evaluate Upstream is a community-wide, systems-change process, focused on preventing individuals and families from ever falling into homelessness; it also considers the impacts of a lack of affordable housing and existing income disparities on homelessness.
How to Get Involved
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