It takes a village to connect the dots from homelessness to stability. This month, Homeless Services Network brought together over 160 service providers, community leaders and partners for the virtual conference, Homelessness and Services in our Community: Connecting The Dots.


Homeless Services Network is a group of agencies united to serve Charlotte’s homeless community and those who are most vulnerable to homelessness. The group meets monthly to discuss the common goal of preventing and ending homelessness in Charlotte.


The Homeless Services Network is guided by four main operating principles:


  • To collaborate, communicate and coordinate the services of our agencies.
  • To advocate for homeless people.
  • To plan and manage responses to needs through a continuum of care.
  • To participate in the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.


The free, half-day conference covered topics like Race, Equity, and Inclusion in Homeless Services, the Impact of COVID-19 on Homelessness, Housing is Healthcare and Mental Health and more.


“Homelessness is a multi-faceted problem. It is our belief that by bringing all of our knowledge and expertise together we have greater hope of achieving our combined goals,” said Sam Smith Jr., director of external engagement with United Way of Central Carolinas and chair of the Homeless Services Network (HSN). “The conference helped to evaluate emerging issues in homelessness in our community, including those associated with COVID-19.”


In addition to identifying ways our community can help eradicate housing insecurity in the greater Charlotte area, the conference also served to build awareness about initiatives and strategies currently employed, that are working, available and necessary to propel the success of these programs in our community.


“It was our [HSN] goal to build innovative partnerships and advocate for policy changes that help educate the community,” said Sam Smith. “As a collective we will continue to identify trends and updates in recognized best practices and programs and propose new strategies to decrease homelessness in our community.”


United Way is proud to partner with HSN and provide technology and back office support to achieve the goals of the conference.


Learn more about how you can join the fight to end homelessness in our community.