(A summary of decisions made by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners:)
The Board adopted the following proclamations:
- March as Social Worker Appreciation Month
- March 12 as The Arc of Mecklenburg County Day
The following people addressed the board about issues of interest:
- Rowan Washington spoke about homelessness
The Board received an update on the status of homelessness in Mecklenburg County and the County’s current efforts and services to serve this population. Mecklenburg County has sponsored two stages of planning that has resulted in a ten-year plan to address homelessness in our community. In July 2007, the Homeless Service Network conducted a point-in-time count that identified more than 5,000 people as homeless in Mecklenburg County. In addition, more than 40 % of these people were women and children, including 2,300 children from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
Of this population, 4 to 5% are chronically homeless, 10% have severe mentally illness, 34% have substance use disorders, and 4 to 5% are veterans.
The most urgent need is affordable housing. The ten-year plan’s goals are to:
- Goal #1: Get Homeless Families and Individuals into Safe, Appropriate Permanent Housing As Soon As Possible.
- Goal #2: Link Chronic Homeless to Housing, Treatment, and Services through Intensive Outreach and Engagement.
- Goal #3: Prevention: Promote Housing Stability of People Most At-Risk of Becoming Homeless.Specific Recommendations include: Approve and adopt the ten-year plan; In partnership with the City of Charlotte, establish an advisory board to advise the elected leaders on implementing the 10-year plan; Consider funding requests from county departments and outside agencies to implement the plan.
The Board voted against appropriating $50,000 from restricted contingency to the Health Department to begin a pilot of childhood obesity prevention. The Health Department would have used these funds to contract with H.O.U.S.E. of NC, Inc. to provide the Aerobo Cop Kids Fitness Program at two After School Enrichment Program sites for 12 weeks.