CHARLOTTE -- It’s amazing what a conversation on the streets can reveal.

“He’s been out here for the past six months because he says he doesn’t have any income,” explained Point-in-Time volunteer Megan Martin.

And for the volunteers during Charlotte’s Point-in-Time count Thursday, that small talk is important info they’re logging to keep track of the homeless population in our area.

“Most are pretty receptive to the information,” Martin continued. “Lots like to tell their story to get their situation out there to explain to people why they’re out on the street and what problems led them to that.”

For several hours, teams weaved their way through the city blocks, conducting surveys and passing out warm weather gear. This is the first year people in and out of shelters, plus those in transitional housing, were counted.

This event reminds volunteer James Covington of his bout with homelessness.

“I love doing this kind of work. Keeps me in touch with where my life could be if i go back to the way that i was living before,” said Covington.

Counted as homeless several years ago, Justin Markel said he takes part because he knows how critical it is to take record of just how pervasive this problem is.

“Connect them to the services they need, they may not know are available. And try to get them into the process of trying to find housing. That’s the end goal,” said Markel.

Once collected, Charlotte-Mecklenburg officials will release the data in a broader report in late spring. 

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