Survey finds drop in homeless in Charlotte

Credit: NBC Charlotte

Survey finds drop in homeless in Charlotte

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by RAD BERKY / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @RadBerkywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on February 7, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 7 at 9:03 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A count of the homeless on the streets of Charlotte last month found a dramatic drop, but organizers of the survey say there is still more to do.

The group is called The Point In Time Count.  Volunteers went out into the streets and say they found 171 homeless people. Among that number, 165 were adults and there were six children.

That number is down from the count a year ago that recorded 283 homeless people in Charlotte.

“At least we are making progress,” said Liz Clasen-Kelly from the Urban Ministry Center and who was one of the organizers of the count.

“Now 171 people is still too many people living on the street. One person in this country is too many people,” she added.

Last October, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police showed NBC Charlotte reporter Rad Berky a number of locations where homeless people had set up temporary camps.

One of the reasons given for the drop in the number of homeless is that CMPD no longer arrest or rousts the homeless, but rather, officers try to work with other social service agencies to find them some kind of shelter.

“We’re seeing a decrease in street homelessness so the work we are doing is paying off,” said Pamela Jefsen, one of the volunteers who took part in the count.

"We have an all out effort among people who work with the homeless folks to really get people into housing who are sleeping in places that are not fit for human habitation,” she said.

The majority of the homeless were found living on the street in the Center City area and the majority of those said they had been on the street for a year or more.
 

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