A Sneak Peak at Our Point-in-Time Count
In January, Charlotte-Mecklenburg joined communities all across the country to conduct an annual Point-in-Time count of people experiencing homelessness. The results for our community will be published very soon, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak at what the numbers tell us at the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte (MSC).
On the night of the count, MSC sheltered 527 men. A quick look at the demographics of those men is telling:
1. 20% of the men in the shelter are considered “chronically homeless.”
2. 15% of the men in the shelter are veterans.
3. 32% of the men in the shelter reported a mental health or substance addiction issue (this is an under-reporting, the issue is much worse).
4. 79% of the men in the shelter are African-American.
While all of these stats are disturbing, I’m really alarmed by the growing proportion of men in the shelter who are African American (79%). According to the 2013 Census, 32% of the population of Mecklenburg County was African American and 60% was white. In NC (2013), 22% of the population was African American and 72% was white. That our community’s emergency shelter population (men experiencing homelessness) is so disproportionate to our population demographics as a whole is alarming. This is another indicator of how serious an issue poverty and upward mobility is in our own community and why MSC’s focus on the solution of ending homelessness for each man we serve is critical!