Raleigh has a homeless crisis.
The McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 is a United States federal law that provides federal money for homeless shelter programs. It was the first significant federal legislative response to homelessness, and was passed by the 100th United States Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on July 22, 1987.
According to the McKinney-Vento Act definition for homelessness, in 2018 there were 4365 children in Wake County classified as homeless – a 100% increase over 2014. Many, if not most, live in Raleigh. Numbers for 2019 were not yet available.
Most are in families that earn less than $30,000 a year. The general requirements to obtain an apartment are the following:
Your gross income must be at least 3x the rent.
You must not have been evicted within the last 7 years
You must not have had a felony conviction within the last 7 years (for example, a drug conviction)
I obtained this information while visiting one of the largest shelters for homeless women and children in Raleigh on Capital Blvd yesterday. They are at capacity with 110 residents.
All of our shelters combined are unable to handle the growing numbers. We have a crisis and need to now give it our full attention.
What we need are 1500 to 2000 housing units to house these families. We also need services to help them stand on their own – education, training, counseling, drug rehabilitation, and ultimately jobs. It is not an insurmountable problem. Let us work together to meet this need.