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What's Being Done To Help Former 'Tent City' Residents And Reduce Homelessness?

David Boraks
The encampment known as "Tent City" north of uptown Charlotte was dismantled in February over county officials' health concerns.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

What was once known as “Tent City,” a former homeless encampment near uptown where hundreds of people sheltered , has been vacant since February. Former residents of the encampment were ordered to leave after Mecklenburg County leaders said the site was dangerous due to a growing rat infestation.

Concerned community members wanted to know: Where will these people go? With the help of numerous organizations, including grassroots nonprofits, many former Tent City residents found themselves in temporary housing. But the funds for that will soon run out.

However, there is hope. The city of Charlotte has announced it is allocating nearly $6 million to help the homeless, including a year of housing for 75 former Tent City residents. The funds will include employment and workforce development assistance, mental health and substance abuse counseling.

Homelessness is an ongoing issue in Charlotte, especially amind the COVID-19 pandemic. We will sit down prominent nonprofit leaders and a city official to ask how exactly the funds will be used, what more needs to be done to help people facing homelessness and what is being done with encampments in Charlotte.


Pamela Wideman, director of the city of Charlotte's Housing & Neighborhood Services Department

Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, chief impact officer for United Way of Central Carolinas

Tara Peele, president and CEO of Socialserve

Jessica Lefkowitz, founder of Hearts for the Invisible Charlotte Coalition

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Dante Miller is a community engagement producer for WFAE and a Report for America (RFA) Corps members. Dante first joined WFAE in 2020 through RFA to work as part of a unique partnership with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Digital Public Library of America. Her work in that project allowed her to use radio, online stories, Wikipedia entries and events to meet the community's news and information needs.