Homelessness in Charlotte how to help

Charlotte is thriving, growing by leaps and bounds. Charlotte is one of the fastest growing cities in the country ranking 10th in population growth among U.S. cities with at least 50,000 residents, 2015 census estimates showed. Traffic seems to increase daily and brand new, expensive apartment buildings are going up all over town.

But, if you spend any time driving around Charlotte, especially on North Tryon just blocks from Uptown Charlotte, you will undoubtedly see some of our homeless neighbors. Some of these neighbors have been living on the streets for years (chronically homeless). Others have suffered a series of events that have left no other options for housing. Each situation is different and requires different assistance solutions.

These number reflect SHARE Charlotte partners in January 2017. (Graphic: Kelly Hough)

What Does it All Mean?

Whenever there's a discussion of homelessness and the organizations that work to help these people in our community, it's very easy to get lost in a sea of acronyms and terms that seem foreign. We've compiled a list of terms you may see as you learn more about this issue in Charlotte.

Get Muddy and Do Something That Matters

On Thursday, Jan. 26 SHARE Charlotte participated in the county’s annual Point-in-Time Count, an unduplicated one-night estimate of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. It was muddy and hard to really feel like an impact was made, but ultimately it mattered. (Photos: Addie Rising / SHARE Charlotte)

Perfect Provisions: Feeding the Need

Barbara and Garry Wilder followed their hearts and a call as they began providing much-needed meals to students at Thomasboro Elementary in 2011. Perfect Provisions began as a drive from Monroe, N.C. toward Uptown Charlotte to deliver 75-100 homemade bagged lunches each week. Now, Perfect Provisions is a mobile soup kitchen serving 750-800 hot meals each month to Charlotte's homeless neighbors. (Photos: Kenzie Kramer / SHARE Creatives)

SHARE Hero: Lesley Faulkner

For almost four years, Lesley has volunteered with UMC. Every Friday morning she has been welcoming neighbors with a smile at the front desk, helping them get their mail and assisting in any way she can. For the last two years she and a few friends have been going to Moore Place three Mondays each month where they hang out for an hour with residents (who were all formerly homeless) to do arts and crafts or play games. (Photo: Trish Fries / Urban Ministry Center)

Spotlight: Urban Ministry Center

In almost all discussions about homelessness in Charlotte you’ll hear about Urban Ministry Center and with good reason. What began as The Soup Kitchen founded by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in 1979 changed locations in December 1994 to became today’s Urban Ministry Center (UMC). (Photos: David Gelbert / SHARE Creatives)

#52tuesdays: Charlotte Rescue Mission

#52tuesdays looks at Charlotte Rescue Mission which first opened its doors in 1938. The Mission offers a free-of-charge 120-day residential drug recovery program that empowers individuals to move beyond the cycles of homelessness and addiction to become productive citizens in the community. In addition to the men's Rebound program, Charlotte Rescue Mission operates Dove's Nest, a recovery program and home for 90 women and 30 of their children. Learn about some of the programs offered to residents and how #GivingTuesdayCLT played a role.

Spotlight: Hope House Foundation

Stepping inside Hope House, signs of hope are everywhere -- in the decor, the cheerful faces of the staff and the brightness that the home exudes. The home provides shelter and acts as a much-needed reset button for women looking to make changes and set a different course for their lives.

SHARE Hero: JJ Twer

“You don't have to wait to be an adult to change the world,” is something said often and taken to heart in the Twer family. JJ Twer, 11 (through Urban Ministry Center’s Room in the Inn program) has been serving and sitting down to have dinner with Charlotte’s homeless neighbors since she was just two years old.

#52tuesdays: Men's Shelter of Charlotte

In the past three years, #GivingTuesdayCLT nonprofit partner Men's Shelter of Charlotte has helped 1,200 men find homes. Last weekend, Michael and Ronnie were able to move into their new home. These two friends met at the shelter and decided to work together to better their lives. “I told [the staff at Men’s Shelter of Charlotte] that I wanted to be a success story,” Ronnie said.

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