HousingFest unites music lovers while supporting the Urban Ministry Center’s efforts to end chronic homelessness in Charlotte.
Urban Ministry Housing Programs
There are almost 300 people dealing with chronic homelessness in Charlotte. The Urban Ministry Center works to end homelessness for these individuals through several initiatives, the most prominent of which is its Housing Program. Housing is not only the compassionate answer – it’s the cost-effective solution to homelessness. The average chronically homeless individual costs the city of Charlotte $40,000 per year. But to house a person in one of UMC’s Housing Programs costs substantially less, at only $14,000 annually.
After successfully launching the inaugural HousingFirst program, UMC now serves as project manager for the HousingFirst Charlotte-Mecklenburg initiative. The initiative strives to end chronic homelessness by housing Charlotte’s more than 500 chronically homeless people by the end of 2016. Track its progress at www.housingfirstcharmeck.org.
Because UMC is a bold leader in Charlotte’s efforts to resolve homelessness, HousingFest was born in 2014. The first-year event took place at the Neighborhood Theatre in partnership with Maxx Music. Gospel and soul legends The Blind Boys of Alabama and Americana icon Jim Lauderdale performed at the show along with well-known regional musicians. The event sold out with nearly 900 people in attendance. A total of 14 sponsors supported the event, helping raise more than $25,000 to end homelessness.