Services from outreach to permanent home placement is provided by the Charlotte North Carolina based Urban Ministry Center. The goal of the organization is to both prevent and also reverse homelessness in the county.
Low income apartments and homes are provided as part of the Housing Works program. The poor, most vulnerable and lowest income in the community can use various facilities across Mecklenburg County. They include almost 50 apartments from MeckFUSE, the Moore Place apartment building, and also dozens of low income Scattered Site units.
While capacity is limited, most of the apartments are for chronically homeless families and individuals. Not only will they be provided a place to stay, but guests can also receive case management and wrap-around support.
Urban Ministry Center will provide the client with access to social workers, a full-time nurse, therapists and even a psychiatrist if and when needed. The ongoing support from HousingWorks focuses on ending the cycle of poverty and homelessness, so it will include setting goals around employment and financial stability.
The apartments also tend to be for individuals who are the most vulnerable or have been homeless the longest. They also tend to be the most frequent users of shelters in Mecklenburg County. The supportive housing from Urban Ministry Center has been very effective at tackling homelessness in the county.
Not only is it better for the client, but providing temporary lodging also makes economic sense for the county and city too. Many studies have shown that the cost of permanent housing and providing services is far less than the expensive cycle of paying for shelter beds, or worse, jails, or ERs. No matter what a person’s physical disability, mental health condition or addiction may be, Housing First will not discriminate.
Basic Services from Urban Ministry Center will provide emergency relief to the homeless. Some of what is offered includes a Daily Soup Kitchen that serves a hot meal every day of the year. The non-profit will welcome anyone who is in need of a free, healthy meal, regardless of the person’s income or circumstance.
Not only will the kitchen serve a meal to the needy, but is exposes the individual to other case management type services. It gives people a place to go to get off the streets or out of the summer heat or winter cold. So individuals can also register for the HUD housing continuum of services.
The Homeless Services Network as well as the Urban Ministry Center can provide referrals to government aid, such as section 8 vouchers, or grants for paying rent. It will coordinate food and basic services for the individual, and really focus on helping the client gain stability. All of this is done in an effort to address the core issues that impact their lives.
Other basic needs can be from the Charlotte Ministry, and they can include clean clothes, access to computers or the internet, and ongoing daily support. There are occasional medical check ups, information on how to obtain an ID, and nurses on site. The goal is to get people out of homelessness. These assistance programs provide opportunities for individuals to connect with caring staff and volunteers.
Outreach is another form of counseling. Very low income individuals can get linked to transitional housing. Other services include physical and free mental healthcare, or applications for benefits such as disability income. The Urban Ministry Center works with dozens of charities and non-profits across the county to better coordinate services.
The location of the ministry is 945 North College Street, Charlotte, NC 28206, call 704-347-0278.
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