Questions Mount As Temps Drop: Is County Doing Enough For Homeless

Charlotte, NC — Questions are mounting as temperatures drop this week. Non profit volunteers wonder if Mecklenburg County is doing enough to provide homeless families overnight shelter in dangerously cold weather.

They plan to pack the County Commissioner meeting Wednesday to ask for protocol change.

They want the county to open up more shelters so mothers and children and couples can stay together and escape the cold.

“This is dangerous,” said Charles Robinson. “So, how much is life worth?”

The thought of children and families sleeping outside as temperatures drop into the low 20s keeps him awake at night, and it has his non profit Team Trublue challenging county leaders

“Take your child and take your coat off and stand outside for two hours,” said Robinson.

Team Trublue opened its own shelter to homeless earlier this month, arguing the county was not doing enough.
“We had families that came in with children, and the children just grateful the first night just to get warm and sleep on the floor,” said Robinson.

The group plans to ask county commissioners on Wednesday to change the emergency shelter rules to open the shelters to families before temperatures fall to 10 degrees.

“The 10 degrees thing just blew me away,” said Commissioner At Large Pat Cotham.

The county manager will give commissioners the protocol facts at the meeting.

“I’m hoping there’s going to be enough pressure put on that something will change,” said Commissioner Cotham.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Emergency Management says change is not needed.

The director tells WCCB Charlotte Room in the Inn already helps families and individuals in the winter.

More than 130 churches and colleges are part of the program. Urban Ministry runs it.

When Room in the Inn is full, emergency management opens emergency shelters.

The director says he makes the decision based on need not temperature.

“Folks need to come out and pack that building,” said Robinson.

Team Trublue wants the 10 degree rule officially thrown out.

“There’s no way a human being should be sleeping outside,” said Robinson.