The "Story Behind the Curve" helps us better understand data associated with a specific result we want to achieve. When we look closely at data and engage partners that can provide context to positive or negative factors that influence the data's trajectory, we can better identify strategies and interventions that can turn the (data) curve in the direction that improves the well-being for those in our community.
The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a physical count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on the last Wednesday in January. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that Continuums of Care (CoCs) to conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and Safe Havens on a single night. CoCs also must conduct a count of unsheltered homeless persons every other year (odd numbered years), although the count for unsheltered individuals was not conducted in 2021 due to COVID-19. Each count is planned, coordinated, and carried out on a local level. The Cabarrus County Homelessness Task Force works closely with Community Link, Cabarrus County's CoC agency, to complete the point-in-time count.
The Point-in-Time Count follows HUD's definition of homeless: People who are living in a place not meant for human habitation, in emergency shelter, in transitional housing, or are exiting an institution where they temporarily resided. Formerly, individuals who were paying to live in a hotel or motel and those who were 'couch-surfing' with friends and family were also classified as homeless, but with the definition change there was a decline in the homeless population count, although many community members were still living in unstable housing sitiuations.
Both Cabarrus County Schools and Kannapolis City Schools participate in the Cabarrus County Homelessness Task Force and provide annual data on the number of homeless students identifed through out the school year. Data for the 2020-2021 school year is missing due to lack of in person learning, and the inability of school social workers, counselors and teachers to keep track of all students.
What's helping? These are the positive factors or influences that are working in our community.
- Expansion of The Salvation Army Night Shelter
- Cabarrus County Housing Collaborative
- Cabarrus County Homelessness Task Force
- Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
- Joint critical repair efforts - a joint review of applicaiton to ensure that funds are being maximized at the county level (City of Concord, City of Kannapolis, Habitat for Humanity)
What's hurting? These are the negative factors or influences that are working in our community.
- Cost of living increases
- Economic impact of COVID-19 - lay-offs for individuals in positions that did not allow for teleworking
- Mental health and substance use treatment - without adequate treatment, an individuals replapse can quickly cause for loss of job, housing, and social supports
In an effort to better educat teh community on trends and needs of the Cabarrus homeless populations, the Cabarrus County Homelessness Taskforce disseminates a quarterly homelessness data dashboard. The most recent dasboard of indicators from several organizaitons and non-profits is below.