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​Snapshot Report Explores Problems of Family Homelessness

3/2/2017

Mecklenburg CountyThe Charlotte-Mecklenburg Family Homelessness Snapshot Report is now available online. Information in the Snapshot covers a year’s timeframe (2014-2015) and uses data to define and describe family homelessness.

The report describes the impact of family homelessness on families and children and what it looks like in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. It also outlines national best practice interventions and strategies to end and prevent family homelessness. Understanding the challenges and long-term effects for families experiencing homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg can help the community find solutions to the problem.

“Homelessness has lasting, negative impacts on adults and children including family separation, poor health outcomes and lower social-emotional and academic well-being,” Stacy Lowry, director of Mecklenburg County Community Support Services (CSS). CSS funds the report series which is prepared by the Urban Institute at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

This report is part of the Housing Instability and Homelessness Report Series initiated by the Housing Advisory Board of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, an advisory group appointed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners and the Charlotte City Council.

Some key points in the report include:

  • Most families experience homelessness for a period of three to six months
  • The causes of family homelessness include the lack of affordable housing, domestic violence and trauma, poverty, intergenerational transfer of homelessness, and evictions.
  • 29 percent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) students experiencing homelessness in shelter or transitional housing were chronically absent, missing 18 or more days of school. Chronically absent students in CMS that experience sheltered homelessness were 21 percent less likely to be proficient in reading.