Homeless

FILE: This man had his belongings stashed in front of an apartment building in uptown Charlotte in January 2018.
David Boraks / WFAE

More people are homeless in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County this year, and those in homeless shelters and transitional homes are staying longer. That's according to a new report on housing and homelessness commissioned by the city and county, and authored by UNC Charlotte's Urban Institute. The annual report took a different look at homelessness this time around.

United Way of Central Carolinas

Charlotte emergency food and shelter programs that lost more than $500,000 in federal funding in June are getting that money back — at least for this year. 

Sonja Chisholm runs Gracious Hands, a transitional housing home in northwest Charlotte.
David Boraks / WFAE

Charlotte native Sonja Chisholm was working as a supervisor at a soft-drink distributor when she and a friend founded the non-profit, Gracious Hands, in 2015. It's what's called a "transitional home" - a place for homeless women and their children to stay while they're working their way toward permanent housing.

Lyn Alexis, 25, lives at Gracious Hands with her daughter, Iori, 5.
David Boraks / WFAE

Affordable housing is a top priority for Charlotte city leaders.  It takes many forms - from workforce housing for moderate-income residents, to subsidized housing for those with very low incomes. There's also transitional housing, aimed at helping people move from homelessness to permanent housing.

Gracious Hands is one of a handful of low-cost temporary housing programs in the city.

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Mecklenburg County will open an emergency shelter for the homeless at the Grady Cole Center on Kings Drive for the next couple of days as winter weather returns to the Charlotte area.

DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

 

Updated Sunday, January 7, 2018: 3:20 p.m. - Mecklenburg County officials said today that an overflow shelter would be open Sunday night at the Tuckasegee Recreation Center, located at 4820 Tuckasegee Road. 

Temperatures dropped into the single digits around Charlotte early Sunday, as a week-long cold wave hung on a bit longer. Shelters and agencies that serve homeless people have been taking extra steps to offer a warm place to spend the night.  The Men's Shelter of Charlotte provided protection from the cold to an extra 63 people on Saturday night. 

Clients outside the Men's Shelter on North Tryon Street Friday. The shelter has hosted more people than usual this week.
David Boraks / WFAE

Updated Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018
The long cold snap is keeping homeless shelters in Charlotte busy this week. Shelters were close to full again Thursday and again Friday, when the temperature dipped to 14 degrees.  Saturday's forecast calls for a low around 12 early Sunday. County officials say more beds were available Friday night, as more churches hosted homeless people through the Urban Ministry's Room in the Inn Program.  

https://www.instagram.com/UrbanMinistryCenter/

Updated 3:33 p.m.
Mecklenburg County homeless shelters are adding beds and relaxing their rules this week to accommodate more people as overnight temperatures dip into the teens or below.  County officials estimate that more than a thousand people have been housed the past few nights - well above normal - and there are still open beds. 

Matthew Woitunski CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)

Homeless people in the Charlotte region in need of housing, health care or other services will now be able to call one number for help.

The United Way’s NC 211 line allows people to get the referrals that they need, without having to go through multiple agencies. 

Housing CLT Makes Step Toward Combating Homelessness

Jul 27, 2017
Crystal Hogue / WFAE

The City of Charlotte wants landlords to be part of the effort to reduce homelessness. Part of the plan is to convince them to set aside one percent of affordable units in their buildings. That process started Wednesday.

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