A new report from Mecklenburg County says public and private agencies should fight homelessness in the region by collaborating and devoting more resources to those at risk of losing their homes.
The report, titled "Launch Upstream," says despite new funding, homelessness prevention is "underutilized as a tool" in dealing with the region's housing crisis. It calls for better coordination among agencies that work on homelessness, to identify and help those at risk, and a system to track how effective programs are at keeping people housed.
The report also includes case studies of other communities with homelessness prevention systems, including New York City, Santa Clara County, Calif., Los Angeles and Cleveland.
The report is the first of its kind from the county. It was co-authored by Courtney Morton of Mecklenburg Community Support Services and Jenna Thompson of Duke University, with input from local housing and support agencies.
Those included Crisis Assistance Ministry. CEO Carol Hardison said Monday some collaboration is already happening in Charlotte. "It was also encouraging to see many Crisis Assistance Ministry strategic initiatives highlighted as good ideas for eviction prevention. Prevention done right can save a lot of family chaos and childhood trauma while simultaneously saving millions of dollars in post-eviction services."
It's the second county report in a month focused on housing instability and homelessness in the Charlotte region. A Sept. 26 report by Mecklenburg County found that the region's affordable housing crisis is worsening, especially for people of color and at the lowest income levels. The lack of affordable housing is a key factor in housing instability and homelessness, the report said.
Both reports are online at MecklenburgHousingData.org.