Mecklenburg County has released the “Launch Upstream: Homelessness Prevention in Charlotte-Mecklenburg” report. This report, which is the first of its kind, defines homelessness prevention and provides a comprehensive look to address housing instability and homelessness in the community. The report was completed by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services.
The report highlights case studies and presents system recommendations to support the development of a comprehensive and holistic housing and homelessness system that can effectively serve all Mecklenburg County residents.
In Charlotte-Mecklenburg, there are several homeless and housing service providers that offer an array of prevention services. However, despite recent funding increases, prevention remains underutilized. The loss of housing cannot be prevented in every instance. By aligning resources, communities can help prevent homelessness for the households who may be most likely to experience it.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg faces a shortage of affordable housing, especially for low-income households earning at or below 30 percent of area median income (defined locally as an annual salary of $25,750 for a family of four). This lack of affordable housing is a direct contributor to housing instability and homelessness. The negative consequences associated with the loss of housing and the difficulty regaining housing once lost, disproportionately affect households with lower income and fewer resources. Many who become homeless find themselves unable to recover due to a lack of housing inventory, discrimination over rent payment sources, and eviction records.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg can use this new report to align existing prevention assistance resources and efforts to optimize the system and effectively address housing instability before a household is in crisis.
The full report is available online at http://MecklenburgHousingData.org
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