CHARLOTTE, NC – Mecklenburg county is preparing to close an emergency shelter that housed more than 200 people following the removal of a homeless encampment North of Charlotte.
The deadline to close the temporary shelter is Thursday. But organizations working with the homeless say there is still more to be done.
It was in February that 215 people were moved to an emergency shelter and offered needed services.
According to the county, 51 people found permanent housing, about a dozen people were told to leave, 4 people died, and dozens of others have moved to other shelters.
“We know it’s critical that we’re able to meet people where they are and provide emergency shelter,” said Roof Above CEO LIz Clasen-Kelly
She says they’ve had about a dozen people a day asking for a place to stay in their new shelter.
“We believe in these beds in this room where I stand there is going to be great transformation,” said Clasen-Kelly
The individual situations are complex.
“Our biggest concern are those for whatever reason were not willing to cooperate with the process or the plan. That refused to engage and actually utilize the services that were being provided,” explained Deborah Woolard with Block Love CLT.
She serves meals near the former encampment.
“Last night was probably our largest number since the project began. And I promise you we served about 121 individuals,” said Woolard, “which just shocked me. We’re already seeing the numbers grow back in the uptown area.”
She says despite the increase, the emergency shelter was a success. They helped people get identification cars, birth certificates, and homes.
“For someone to get their key. That is success. For someone to actually utilize mental health services who never would utilize them before. That is a success,” said Woolard.