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Kaitlyn Ranney for Community Solutions
Charlotte, NC and Mecklenburg County have worked to end veteran homelessness and driven remarkable progress despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since 2019, the community of 1.11 million has reduced veteran homelessness by 20%. Now, their goal is to reduce it by 30% by the end of 2021.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s homeless response system demonstrated it can drive these population-level reductions by facing head-on many key challenges, which included:
– Covid-19 pandemic
– Lack of affordable housing
– Lack of landlords willing to accept rental subsidies from people experiencing homelessness, including veterans
– Lack of flexible funding sources to ensure smooth transitions of veterans into housing
– Inequities that result in the over-representation of Black persons in the homeless population
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg team navigated these challenges and advanced their journey toward functional zero by leveraging their strengths of teamwork, humour, and trust, along with strong relationships within the county.