WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - In May of 2008, the United Way of the Cape Fear Area joined other nonprofits around the country for the “10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.”
In Wilmington, the plan worked to reduce homelessness by 50 percent, according to Craig Heim, the President & CEO of the UWCFA. But that was before Hurricane Florence.
Heim and Meg McBride, Chair of the Tri-County Homeless Interagency Council (Tri-Hic), joined us live on WECT News First at Four to talk about what’s being done now to reduce homelessness in Wilmington.
Tri-Hic is made up of 50 agencies that work together to serve the homeless. The group works in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender Counties.
In 2018, the number of homeless clients served by Tri-Hic was 1,428, up from 1,352 the year before. So far, in 2019 there are 1,137 persons entered into the regional Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).
Overall, homelessness has decreased in the United States. However, a disaster like Hurricane Florence shows the fragility for those who are on the edge.
Experts said the 10 Year Plan to End Homeless was a good beginning and proved the idea of permanently ending homelessness has been shifted. The reality is that many people are just one crisis away from experiencing homelessness, Heim and McBride explained.