How can we help our homeless neighbors?
As many of you will know, the large tent encampment known by some as "Tent City" has been closed by the County and all the residents had to vacate by 5 pm. Friday, February 19.
Some have relocated into a County-funded hotel. Others have found shelter space. Others who are, for any number of reasons, uninterested in the hotel or a shelter have simply found other sites for their tents.
Many in the community are wondering what they can do to help. We believe that the best way to be truly helpful is to work with one of the organizations that has been invested and involved on-the-ground for the long term. In fact, the rodent infestation that has been named as the reason for the closure of the site, is due in great part to well-meaning but ill-informed people dropping off food, clothes and more items that were not needed and were left to rot.
The groups listed below have relationships with the people who've been living in the tent encampment so they are known and trusted. They are all working to discern what's being provided by the County and what the gaps are. Given the very quick turnaround between the announcement and the deadline to move, much about the situation remains unknown, and these groups are actively working with these neighbors to discern needs.
We encourage you to connect with one or more of these groups and watch for updates on how the larger community can assist.
If you have the ability to give, financial gifts to these organizations will allow them to act quickly as needs are identified.
The weekly Thursday 11 am. gathering of faith, community and nonprofit leaders hosted by MeckMIN will continue to be a way of hearing about needs as they emerge. Contact us for Zoom access.
We're grateful for the groups below and the good work they're doing.
If you are looking to do something, we hope you'll work with them and support them.
BLOCK LOVE CLT
Contact: Deborah Woolard
HEARTS BEAT AS ONE
Contact: Bethany McDonald
HEARTS FOR THE INVISIBLE CHARLOTTE COALITION
Contacts: Kenya Joseph & Jessica Lefkowitz
Contact: Jessica Gibson
LEAH’S HOPES AND DREAMS
Contacts: Shenique Carmichael &
Contacts: Lucia Coppola & Leslie Hunter
Contact: Ashley Brown
SEEKING JUSTICE CLT
Contact: Kass Ottley
Contact: Blanche Penn
UNIVERSITY SOUP KITCHEN
Contact: Joshua Bridges
WATCHMEN OF THE STREETS
Contacts: Heath Burchett & Steve Tilley