The number of homeless children in Mecklenburg County has continued to increase dramatically over the past six years. In order for A Child’s Place to keep up with the growing need in our community we must expand. That’s why A Child’s Place is embarking on a 3-year Strategic Plan to reach and help every homeless child in Mecklenburg County including those under age five while simultaneously participating in community initiatives to reduce the number of homeless children.
Now in the second year of our Strategic Plan circumstances have changed and so must we. Due to the closings and restructuring of CMS schools we must step back and analyze how best to utilize our services. We will make strategic staff additions and placements where we will make the most difference.
Homeless students attend virtually every Charlotte-Mecklenburg School. That is 176 schools scattered over 526 square miles. Currently, three Flex and four School-Based social work teams are covering as many of the schools and students as they can … but still leaves many homeless students without help. Gradually adding five Flex- and three School-Based teams would enable every Mecklenburg County homeless child to receive assistance from A Child’s Place. Appropriate management and administrative support would also be incrementally added.
Having 4,711 homeless children in our city is nothing to be proud of. We can sit by and say “What a shame” or we can roll up our sleeves and get involved. It will be difficult, frustrating and challenging – much like the lives our children experience now. But what we can be proud of is when we look back and see what we as a community have accomplished.
Our children deserve this. Our community deserves this. Won’t you join us?