Lately, I’ve heard a number of rumors about the Men’s Shelter. I’d like to address the ones I’ve heard.
Rumor: The Men’s Shelter will close for the DNC.
Fact: Both of our campuses, Tryon Street and Statesville Ave, will be open and oeprate as we normally do.
Rumor: Men can now only stay 20 days at the Men’s Shelter and then have to leave.
Fact: We do not impose time limits on how long someone can access our shelter as long as he is homeless.
Rumor: DNC protestors may use the shelter as a free place to stay during the convention.
Fact: Not sure why someone might try this, but our intake screening process ensures that only homeless men are allowed to stay in the shelter.
Rumor: The Men’s Shelter has a new rule that you have to prove you’ve been in Charlotte for at least two weeks to be able to stay in the shelter.
Fact: The Men’s Shelter is for homeless men from our community, and by community we mean Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (as well as consideration given to areas within the United Way of Central Carolinas service region when no other shelters exist). For many years we have stated that men must be from our community, so this is not new. We have recently restated our requirement asking men where they have been the previous two weeks and, if they have not been in our community for at least two weeks they are not eligible. Our staff always has flexibility with the requirement if the situation warrants. We are at or near capacity every night just serving homeless men from our community. We still do not require photo identification to enter the shelter because many homeless men have lost their identification.
Rumor: Men must leave the shelter every morning and not return until night.
Fact: Our Statesville Avenue campus is only open at night and men are not allowed to remain on property during the day. We provide many supportive services on our Tryon Street campus during the day and any man who is engaged in those services is welcome to remain on campus. All of the men we serve are invited on campus for lunch each day and the campus remains open to all men on weekend days and holidays. During the week, men who should be seeking employment or attending to other personal needs or who are not interested in accepting services are asked to leave campus each morning about 8am until lunch and then after lunch until afternoon check-in (just a few hours in total). Hanging out at the shelter all day, every day is not good for anyone.
I have no idea how these rumors get started or why. They do tend to create anxiety and tension for the men we serve, so we do our best to share information with the men in our shelters and to post information for everyone on our website, www.MensShelterofCharlotte.org. We’re always glad when our guests, our volunteers, or others in the public brings these rumors to our attention.