City Approves using CARES Act Funding to Help Homeless in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte City leaders are making big investments in helping the city’s homeless population.

City Council is putting nearly $6 million in CARES Act funding toward housing and other efforts.

It comes nearly two months after the county cleared “tent city.”

“In terms of core basic needs, all of those are certainly being met,” says Joe Davis, with Hearts Beat as One Foundation.

His organization helped with the transition of families from “tent city” to housing in a hotel in February.

“We can certainly house people, but if that funding is limited to a certain time period, or if we haven’t solved for the greater need for a certain individual, then that becomes a temporary thing, and we’re just kicking the ball down the road,” Davis explains.

Monday night, city leaders approved using money from the CARES Act, the coronavirus relief bill that passed last year, to help fund longer-term housing solutions for the homeless.

$2 Million in grant money will be used to house 75 former “tent city” families for one year.

$700,000 will be used to help the Salvation Army lease a hotel through the end of the year.

The city says that will increase shelter capacity in the city by 400 people a night and will help keep families together in one place.

$2.5 million will be allocated to help the Salvation Army buy that hotel in 2022.

And $300,000 will go toward a program to connect homeless individuals with housing.

“I believe this money is well spent. And I look forward to working with all the agencies involved,” said Charlotte City Council member Malcolm Graham, during Monday night’s meeting.

Davis though says he wishes the city would also partner with grassroots organizations, which interact with the homeless on a daily basis.

“I would love to see more of the funding allocated to a broader group of agencies that can serve,” Davis says.