Friday, August 31, 2012

Homeless Services Network Agencies Prepare for Displaced Families During DNC

Over the past several weeks, The Homeless Services Network (HSN)
agencies have come together to find a proactive solution to assist
potentially displaced families and individuals during the Democratic
National Convention.

The laws of economics show that large events in the area impact hotel
and motel rental rates. Charlotte currently has low-income families
and individuals living in motels who are facing potential displacement
from their shelter due to the increased rates. Although it is
difficult to predict an exact number, up to 100 families could be

The HSN agencies have crafted a multi-tier approach to first, work to
prevent displacement, and second, provide support to families and
individuals who have been displaced. In a short period of time, the
group was able to raise nearly $20,000 to carry out their plan which
is designed to keep people safe and minimize the impact on school-aged

Putting this plan in place was truly a community wide effort. Funding
was provided by donors that represent a cross-section of our
community; businesses, congregations and individuals, including the
Wells Fargo Foundation and Religious School Children of Temple Beth El
as collaborative contributors.

The multi-tier approach includes the following strategies:
• A motel fund to prevent displacement
• A single-site shelter at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club,
534 Spratt Street
• This site will also act as the hub for transportation to Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools for school-aged kids
• A Room in the Inn - rotating congregational shelter

Population Seeking Assistance
Responsible Agency And Contact Info
Families with children
A Child's Place, 704-343-3790
Salvation Army Women's Shelter, 704-348-2560
Urban Ministry Center, 704-347-0278
Salvation Army Women's Shelter, 704-348-2560
Men's Shelter of Charlotte, 704-334-3187

At this time, 33 local congregations have committed to providing a
total of 747 beds over eight nights through the Room in the Inn
program, administered by the Urban Ministry Center. The HSN agencies
are grateful that the faith community has stepped up to help in this
time of need.

Bob Henderson, Senior Pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church said,
"Our community of faith is embracing this opportunity to address the
needs of our homeless citizens, to ensure that all children enjoy a
successful start to the school year, and to shine a light on the
ongoing challenges many in our community face when trying to provide
decent housing for their families."

While this is a contingency plan for housing for families and
individuals who may be displaced during the week of the Democratic
National Convention, it is not a solution and points back to the
overall need for additional quality, affordable housing in Charlotte.
Families should not have to live in motels and risk being displaced.

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx states, "I applaud the Homeless Services
Network agencies for their collaborative effort to develop a plan to
support families and individuals impacted by the DNC. I thank the
faith community, businesses and individuals who have also stepped up
to help the most vulnerable in our community. Homelessness is an issue
that will continue to exist after the week of the Democratic National
Convention. The need for this plan points back to the overall need for
additional quality permanent affordable housing throughout Charlotte.
This is a community issue and I implore and encourage us; elected
officials, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing members,
service providers, the faith community, and the citizens of Charlotte,
to combine our collective resources to continue developing solutions
to end and prevent homelessness."

About Homeless Services Network
Homeless Services Network is a group of agencies united for Charlotte-
Mecklenburg's homeless and those who are most vulnerable to
homelessness. The group recognizes homelessness is a multi-faceted
problem and that combining knowledge and expertise offers a greater
hope of achieving their goal to prevent and end homelessness.