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Two grants will assist the Homeless
More than $160,000 will be spent locally to help homeless men, women and families
December 20, 2002


Charlotte, NC - A January 2001 study on homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg reports that at any given time there are about 5,000 homeless persons in our area.  With the help of two new grants, the Mecklenburg County Health Department will now be able to offer greater assistance to the homeless in our county.

A new $148,000 grant awarded to Mecklenburg County is part of nearly $13 million coming to North Carolina from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

This grant is part of a record $1.1 billion released by the federal government, the largest amount of homeless assistance in U.S. history.  Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez announced the grant awards earlier this week.

Continuum of Care grants support local initiatives in all 50 states to provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons. In addition, these grants fund services like job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care for the homeless.

In Mecklenburg County, the grant will be used to continue support of mobile outreach and assessment teams for local agencies.  As well, Homeless Support Services through the Mecklenburg County Health Department will continue to help streamline case management of homeless clients, improving access to critical services and reducing the number who "fall through the cracks" trying to obtain services through a number of different agencies.

A second grant from the Arts and Science Council will allow the homeless in Mecklenburg County an opportunity for artistic expression.  The $18,400 grant will provide classes, materials and workspace.  Residents of the Uptown Men's Shelter and the Salvation Army Emergency Women's Shelter will be eligible for the program.

Participants will create collages incorporating photography, journal writing and mixed media.  Instruction in writing and other fundamentals will accompany the hands-on workshops.  Finished artwork will be on display in the Charlotte Coliseum beginning in January.  Larger pieces will be on exhibit in storefronts at the Amity Gardens shopping center. 

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