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A third of former 'Tent City' residents now have permanent homes

David Boraks
The homeless encampment near uptown Charlotte known as "Tent City" was dismantled in Feb. 2021.

Nearly a year after Mecklenburg County dismantled a sprawling homeless camp near uptown Charlotte, about a third of its former residents have moved into permanent homes.

The county says 64 of those former residents are now in permanent homes. Four of them moved in with family and friends, two applied for and got into an apartment at market rate, and the rest were able to move into homes with housing vouchers.

That accounts for about a third of the 214 people who were moved out of the encampment known as "Tent City" and into hotels rooms paid for by the county last February.

Another 34 people are still living in hotels paid for by Catholic Charities and Roof Above. Of those, 18 have been approved for housing vouchers, and 16 others who may have substance abuse or mental health challenges will be housed and receive support from Roof Above.

Karen Pelletier with Mecklenburg County Community Support Services says the hotels were a bridge to permanent homes for many of the former "Tent City" occupants.

"We've had people who had lived outside for over 10 years, who hadn't been able to maintain in a congregate shelter, but they've been able to maintain in a hotel room, and that helped with the transition into housing," she said.

Pelletier said the county is still looking for landlords who have housed some of the former residents. The county is offering a $500 incentive to landlords who accept former "Tent City" residents, and landlords can receive $1,000 in incentives if their unit passes inspection on the first try.

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Nick de la Canal is the host of Weekend Edition on Saturday/Sunday mornings, and a reporter covering breaking news, arts and culture, and general assignment stories. His work frequently appears on air and online. Periodically, he tweets: @nickdelacanal