Charlotte’s homeless population is growing, at least in terms of visibility, as tent city spreads out across green spaces near Uptown. The family of former Charlotte Hornet Bobby Phills is hosting its first annual Sleep Out CLT to raise awareness.
This Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the Phills family and friends will sleep out on the corner of Phifer Avenue and North Tryon Street (710 N. Tryon St. is the address) to collect supplies and show solidarity with the people living in the homeless community. The Phills Foundation was started to honor the memory of the late Charlotte Hornets player after his death in an automobile accident in 2000. His wife, Kendall, and their children have been giving back to the community ever since.
How to participate: Under normal circumstances, the family would welcome others to participate in the sleep out, but due to Covid-19, they’re only asking for donations and support. Requested items include bottled water, pop-top canned foods, feminine hygiene products, men and women’s undergarments, and sleeping bags among other things. The full list of items needed can be found on the Sleep Out CLT website. If you can’t donate items, supporters are encouraged to make monetary donations. Block Love Charlotte, an organization focused on helping the homeless, will collect and distribute the items donated.
The latest: Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when the Centers for Disease Control issued a stern recommendation to let homeless encampments stay in place to prevent the spread of the disease, more than 100 tents have been up in the area around the Urban Ministry Center. Through this week, the tents have been in two areas about a quarter-mile apart — the main area is at North College and 12th.
Another encampment, up the hill near 12th and Graham, included about 100 people. But last week, WB Moore, an electrical contractor and owner of that property, gave the people notice that they’d have to leave or face trespassing charges. Starting Wednesday this week, those people started moving their tents across the street to the state-owned property closer to 277.
Several nonprofits were there to talk to those people this week and offer water and food, including Roof Above, Block Love CLT, Hearts for the Invisible Coalition, Hearts Beat as One Foundation, and the Just Do It Movement, Inc.
[Related Agenda Story: 10 days in tent city with the ‘new faces’ of homelessness in Charlotte]