An aerial view of Raleigh's skyline near dusk

Unsheltered Homelessness Response Program Approved by City Council

Pilot program will support individuals living unsheltered in the City

Across the City, camps of people without a permanent home are growing. To tackle the many issues that contribute to encampments, the City of Raleigh is launching the Unsheltered Homelessness Response Pilot Program.  

On Tuesday, the Raleigh City Council approved the pilot, another piece of the affordable housing puzzle. The program provides a holistic approach to supporting individuals living unsheltered in the City while addressing the root cause of homelessness – lack of affordable housing.

The Pilot Program consists of three key components: 

  1. Direct Housing Assistance: The cornerstone of the Pilot is direct housing assistance for individuals living unsheltered. This includes financial subsidy to help move into permanent housing, along with case management, and access to supportive services. The pilot will allocate $1,900,000 in direct flexible financial assistance to provide monthly subsidies to 40 households living in camps.
  2. Homelessness Services System Support: Funds will be allocated to enhance support for the broader homelessness services system, including continued funding for homelessness prevention and diversion initiatives, as well as support for local nonprofits.
  3. Coordinated Community Response: In conjunction with the Pilot, the City will work with local agencies and stakeholders to develop a community-wide unsheltered homelessness response strategy.

Homelessness is a Housing Problem

Homelessness is a housing problem, and the City of Raleigh faces a critical challenge with over 6,000 individuals seeking homelessness support services, as reported by Raleigh Rescue Mission. The 2023 Wake County Point in Time Count revealed that more than 900 individuals experience homelessness in the county on any given night (a 200 percent increase since 2020).  

To expand housing options for individuals exiting homelessness, the Pilot will also budget $1,990,000 towards repairing City-owned rental units and other affordable housing options. This investment aims to increase the availability of safe and stable housing for those in need.

The approval of the Unsheltered Homelessness Response Pilot Program underscores the City’s commitment to addressing homelessness. As referenced in an article celebrating Fair Housing Month, Council took a long list of actions this past year in support of fair and affordable housing. This includes funding for three emergency shelter units located at 1100 Athens Drive and the approval of gap funding for Cottages of Idlewild, the City’s first affordable Cottage Court development. An event to provide resources for the unhoused is also planned for June 13 at Moore Square.

This program will continue the City’s work of building a more inclusive and equitable community for all residents. 

Lead Department:
Housing and NeighborhoodsCity Council