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 impacted.

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 children.

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.