by: Stephanie Coueignoux Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A new report released Tuesday showed the homeless population in the Charlotte area fell by 17 percent.
Researchers counted how many homeless people they met during a 24-hour period and compared that data to the previous year.
The Point-in-Time count report was a collaborative effort among the city of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Urban Institute.
Since 2009, the agencies have been tracking homelessness using this snapshot method.
Researchers said by physically going into shelters and walking the streets, they’re able to see who specifically is most affected by homelessness.
“We have a much better idea where to put our resources,” said Pamela Jefsen, executive director of Charlotte’s Supportive Housing Communities. “And then with the data, we can actually analyze if our efforts have worked."
Officials credit this 17 percent drop to their efforts over the last five years. Since 2009, leaders have launched a number of initiatives and programs aimed at ending homelessness.
But there is still work to be done.
The report also found a 31 percent increase in the number of homeless veterans from 2013-2014.
“The results of this report help inform us on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners as we make important policy and funding decisions about services and programs to end homelessness," said Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor Fuller.
One area they have seen their efforts pay off is with families who are homeless.
A Salvation Army spokeswoman told Channel 9 they launched their Rapid Rehousing program several years ago.
Those, along with other programs, have helped the number of homeless families drop by 27 percent in the last year.
Click here to see the full PIT survey.