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Saturday, February 6, 2016

10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness: Overview

What's New....
The 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness was officially unveiled on Tuesday, May 20, 2008.

Read the final plan.

About the 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness

Mayor Bill Saffo appointed a steering committee to oversee the development of a 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. 

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) in conjunction with the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness is encouraging local communities to develop these plans.

The City of Wilmington and New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties have joined over 300 other communities nationally to commit resources to develop a plan for our region. It is apparent that the issues extend beyond one particular area and as such require a regional solution. In North Carolina, 12 communities are currently working to develop and implement 10 year plans.

A January 2007, point-in-time count of homeless individuals in the Cape Fear Region identified over 600 individuals either in shelters, transitional housing or living on the streets.

Typically, 10 to15 percent of the chronically homeless who use emergency shelters throughout the year use 50 percent or more of ALL emergency shelter resources in those communities. (Martha Burt, Assessing Public Costs Before and After Permanent Supportive Housing, Corporation for Supportive Housing, 2004)
The chronically homeless consume over 50% of resources including emergency medical services, psychiatric treatment, detox facilities, shelters, law enforcement and correctional facilities.

Our community’s nonprofit and public agencies are providing valuable services to the homeless population and are achieving measurable results. Their work has improved the lives of countless individuals and families. Even though the current programs are successful, the rate of homelessness is not declining in the Cape Fear Region. 

The issue of homelessness is extremely complex and nonprofit agencies alone cannot solve the problem. Resolution will only be possible when we look at the root causes of homelessness and develop strategies to address them. These root causes include unemployment, underemployment, lack of affordable housing, substance abuse, mental illness, physical disabilities, veterans’ post traumatic stress disorder and lack of  access to affordable health care to mention a few. 

It is time for our community to move from multiple “working together” efforts to working through an integrated community collaboration that focuses and maximizes the community’s resources toward clearly defined strategies. These strategies must address the multiple causes of why we have a homeless problem in our community.  All elements of our community - nonprofits, public agencies, businesses, educational institutions, economic development, community development, lawmakers and faith-based institutions – must work together in a coordinated manner to implement these strategies. 

For information regarding the 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness please contact:

City of Wilmington
Community Services Department
Community Development Division
FAX 910.341.7802

Dan Ferrell, Project Manager
United Way of the Cape Fear Area
910.798.3900 Extension 115

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