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'A great snapshot' | Mecklenburg County prepares for annual homeless count

On Flashpoint, commissioner Pat Cotham explains the importance of the Point-In-Time Count.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — This week, 160 volunteers will pan out across Mecklenburg County to conduct the annual Point-In-Time Count.   

"This really gives a great snapshot of what you know what, what really is happening," Pat Cotham, Mecklenburg County Commissioner and homeless advocate, said on this week's Flashpoint.

Cotham estimated there are currently 3,200 people experiencing homelessness in Mecklenburg County.

MORE NEWS: 'Equity at the forefront' | Charlotte-area groups plan to build hundreds of affordable housing units

On the night of Wednesday, January 25, 2023, and during the day on Thursday, January 26, 2023, volunteers will take to the streets to help understand the size and scope of the homeless population here in Mecklenburg County. Cotham said for the first time the count will also include six of the towns in the county outside Charlotte.

"It's very helpful to gain this information so we can really identify and allocate resources from the county and nonprofits in the city as well," Cotham said.

The count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development for towns to receive federal funds.

Charlotte continues to be one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, and affordable housing consistently remains one of the most pressing issues facing residents, according to city leaders.

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"We're really, really growing. 121 individuals every day moved to the city of Charlotte, all looking for affordable housing," Malcolm Graham, city councilman, said. 

Cotham said the housing and homelessness crisis remains a complicated issue to fix.

"I don't believe there's one solution. I think these issues are so complicated. We have to kind of circle it and hit it from many different angles," Cotham said.

Data from the 2023 Point-in-Time Count will be released in Fall 2023.


Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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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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