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People experiencing homelessness in Charlotte at more risk as temperatures drop

Volunteers handed out coats and blankets in Uptown Charlotte on Monday night.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Volunteers from Greater Rise Charlotte, a nonprofit working with the homeless population, handed out blankets, coats and warming supplies throughout Charlotte on Monday night as temperatures drop into the low 30s. 

For many people who don't have a home, these low temperatures can be dangerous.

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“I got a little place where I stay wrapped up in some blankets trying to stay warm," Chauncey Williams said. 

Williams said shelters can be crowded and sometimes dangerous.

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"People steal, crowded, fights, people are on drugs," Williams said.

Williams is not alone. Data from the State of Housing Instability & Homelessness Report in Mecklenburg County shows 3,137 people in Charlotte experienced homelessness in June of 2021.

“What we have found through years of working with the unhoused population in the Charlotte area is that there are always people who are on the streets at night, especially in the cold," Ava Williamson, a volunteer with Greater Charlotte Rise, said.

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Williamson said the organization hands out supplies to people out in the streets and does accept donations to help with its work.

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“If it were me, if it were my kids, if it were my family members, I absolutely would want people to care about people being cold on the streets," Williamson said. 

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People in need of housing resources can call 211.  Here are more resources for those seeking emergency shelters:

The Salvation Army of the Carolinas - Center of Hope Shelter

  • 534 Spratt Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
  • 704-348-2560

Roof Above

Roof Above – Day Services Center (formerly Urban Ministry Center)

Contact Indira Eskieva at ieskieva@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

WCNC Charlotte is part of seven major media companies and other local institutions producing I Can’t Afford to Live Here, a collaborative reporting project focused on solutions to the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte. It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all of our reporting at charlottejournalism.org.  

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