Several years ago the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte (MSC) made the decision to focus intently on getting men out of the shelter and into places of their own. We called it Continuing Care but what we were beginning to do is what is now commonly referred to as Rapid Re-Housing. The gist is to identify ways to move people into housing as quickly as possible to shorten their stay in emergency shelter.
Today MSC’s rapid re-housing approach includes using volunteers to help men begin preparing for their move through our Housing and Employment Resource Center. It takes partners like Crisis Assistance Ministry to obtain furniture and moving assistance. It takes resources including government funding to provide rental subsidies. It takes landlords who are willing to work with our clients. But, most importantly, it takes the determination of our men who really do want to move out of the shelter and the creativity of our case management staff to find ways to make it work.
To learn more about MSC’s impact by using best practices including rapid re-housing, check out our Impact Report.
To learn move about Rapid Re-Housing visit the National Alliance to End Homelessness. I especially encourage you to read their blog posting “Rapid Re-Housing is not an Anti-Poverty Program” (October 17, 2014). It’ll make you think!
I’m so excited to release the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte’s (MSC) first Impact Report –MSC Quarterly Impact Report_Jul-Sep2014. MSC is releasing this report in an effort to demonstrate our success towards ending homelessness, to show where we have to work harder, and to keep our stakeholders informed. MSC takes its responsibility as stewards of community resources seriously and believes in being fully transparent. This Impact Report is available on our website where you will find other important documents including our tax returns.
While I think the report speaks for itself, I would like to highlight a couple of important items.
First, MSC’s scattered sites approach towards rapid rehousing is working. You’ll see from the map that we have moved men into rental housing throughout our Charlotte-Mecklenburg County community.
Second, we are on track to achieve 500 moves to more appropriate housing by the end of our fiscal year. When added to the 497 men we moved in fiscal year 2014, our momentum is strong!
Third, MSC moves a lot of men into more appropriate housing who are considered chronically homeless. You may remember from previous blogs that I’m not a fan of labeling people. However, it is proven that those who are chronically homeless utilize a disproportionate share of community resources. So, MSC is proud that about 20% of the men we’ve moved into more appropriate housing are chronically homeless. These are men with serious barriers who have overcome and now have a place of their own!
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check out the graphs that make up our report. We’re thrilled that so many man have been positively impacted during the first few months of this fiscal year and I look forward to the opportunity to report our impact to you every few months.
In the next week, MSC plans to publish our first Quarterly Impact Report for the months July-August-September 2014 (1st Quarter of FY15). Our purpose in making this report public is to demonstrate to all of our stakeholders, as well as the larger community, the impact MSC’s Equation: Income+Housing+Support is having on ending homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County. I’d like to give you a sneak preview to our upcoming report.
1st Quarter Results:
- 114 men have moved to more appropriate housing – we’re right on track to move 500 men this fiscal year
- Average income for men moving out of our shelters is $917 per month
- 53% of moves are to permanency – rental housing and family reunification
As proud as we are that these numbers are demonstrating success, we’re even prouder of the men behind the numbers. Did you know that the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte serves fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, and cousins? Did you know MSC serves plumbers, roofers, chefs, information technologists, and entrepreneurs? Did you know that 10% of the men experiencing homelessness and seeking MSC’s assistance have proudly served in our United States armed forces? Too often we have a stereotype in mind when we think of a “homeless man.” However, the reality is that the men who are experiencing homelessness and served at MSC are you and me.
Keep your eye on our website – www.MensShelterofCharlotte – for the full report by the end of October. Next week I’ll share more of the impact MSC is having on ending homelessness for the men we serve.