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​Report Shows Overall Decrease in Homelessness


homeless manThe “Charlotte-Mecklenburg Point-in-Time Count 2010-2017​,” report released today, reveals there were 1,476 people experiencing homelessness on the night of Jan. 25, 2017. This number continues to decrease each year, with overall homelessness decreasing by 26 percent (519 people) between 2010 and 2017. 

The report is part of a local series about homelessness and housing instability funded by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services and initiated by the Housing Advisory Board of Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The report is authored by the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.

The 2017 report offers new information to help the community make better decisions around housing and homelessness. For the first time, the report provides information on the capacity to house people experiencing homelessness in addition to the number of people who are homeless on one night. By combining the capacity with the need, decision-makers can see how resources are utilized and where gaps exist. 

The report shows that since 2010, the number of beds in programs that provide permanent housing like rapid re-housing and permanent supportive housing have increased by 321 percent (1,978 beds). During a period where the population in Mecklenburg County has grown by 17 percent, this increase of permanent housing beds has played a critical role in the work to decrease overall homelessness. 
Homelessness among specific populations is also decreasing:
Veteran homelessness decreased 8 percent (12 people) from 2016 to 2017.
Chronic homelessness decreased 14 percent (23 people) from 2016 to 2017.
Family homelessness decreased 9 percent (47 people) from 2016 to 2017.

The coordinated efforts targeting veteran and chronic homelessness are reflected in these population decreases. However, unsheltered homelessness – defined as sleeping on the streets, camps, and other places not meant for human habitation – has increased by 15 percent (28 people) since 2016. Most of the people experiencing unsheltered homelessness were single, males with income (70 percent), had been homeless for 12 months or longer (62 percent) and were not chronically homeless (68 percent).
The successes and challenges reflected in the report highlight the need for more affordable housing as part of a comprehensive, community approach to ending and preventing homelessness.