[Hpn] Economy pushes more people to financial edge:Number of homeless, needy rises ...

H. C. [Sonny] Covington H. C. [Sonny] Covington" <icanamerica@egroups.com
Sun, 17 Jun 2001 19:14:29 -0400

Great work digging this out Morgan.  I really needed this for a coming visit to
Charlotte to meet with some homeless providers.


H. C. Covington
I  C A N! America

----- Original Message -----
From: "Morgan W. Brown" <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
To: <hpn@lists.is.asu.edu>
Sent: Sunday, June 17, 2001 4:22 PM
Subject: [Hpn] Economy pushes more people to financial edge:Number of homeless,
needy rises ...


-------Forwarded article-------

Sunday, June 17, 2001
Charlotte Observer <http://www.charlotte.com/observer/>
[North Carolina]
Top Stories - A-SECTION

Demand for assistance increases

Economy pushes more people to financial edge

Number of homeless, needy rises with layoffs, population growth


The number of people needing help to pay bills and find affordable housing
is rising sharply in the Charlotte area - growing pains of a region
expanding in the midst of a sluggish economy.

Increased demand for homeless shelter beds and other social services is not
surprising, considering the downturn in the economy, agencies say, but the
overwhelming volume has caught organizations off guard.

Nearly 40,000 people in Mecklenburg County filed for initial
unemployment benefits between July of last year and the end of March.

More than 30,000 people moved to the Charlotte region looking for work
in the past year. Only 20,000 of them got jobs.

Since September, about 100 people have asked for help each day at
Charlotte's Crisis Assistance Ministry. Normally at this time of year, the
number is 65.

Last year, about 20,000 Mecklenburg County households received
financial assistance from agencies that help people avoid eviction or
utility cut-off, according to a county report. Officials fear that number
will rise drastically this year, said Carol Morris, the report's author.

Crisis Assistance, the largest support organization in the region, topped an
agency record in March by subsidizing the bills of 2,100 households with
$560,000. In May, the ministry broke its funding record again and is on its
way to another record this month.

"This month, we're turning away more people because we can't contain that
level of increase," said Carol Hughes, Crisis Assistance executive director.
"In an attempt to serve everyone we can, we're having to be more
conservative in the aid we provide."