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Local News

2019 Charlotte Homeless Count Underway

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

How many people in the Charlotte area are homeless? Local officials are doing their annual point-in-time count through Friday. This data is used to help shelters and inform local decision making.  

The count lasts two weeks and captures the number of homeless people living in shelters and those staying on the streets. There’s a big push to count Thursday starting at 4:30 a.m. Volunteers will go to shelters and soup kitchens, and will be on the streets asking people questions and giving out clothes for the cold weather.

Related Content: Advocates For Homeless Say They're Ready For Winter Weather

Trish Fries is with the Urban Ministry Center, which coordinates the Room In The Inn. It’s a program where faith organizations give homeless people food and a place to sleep for the night. With both the cold weather and the homeless count, Fries expects today to be busy.

“Typically [on a Wednesday night] we’d only have 125 or 130 beds available,” Fries said, “But because of the point-in-time count we had already added extra churches and extra beds to accommodate the count.”

Fries said 186 beds will be available. People staying in those beds will be surveyed as part of the count. The number of people found to be homeless on a one-night count in January 2018 was 1,668. That’s up 13 percent from the 2017 count. 2019 numbers will be released in the spring.