What is MeckFUSE?
It is a housing program for homeless men and women with health issues who have been
frequent users of Mecklenburg’s jail, street camps and shelters.
MeckFUSE helps clients stay in stable, affordable apartments and offers support for their needs. The program uses public dollars responsibly by reducing costs associated with the criminal justice system and emergency shelters. MeckFUSE subsidizes rent and works with clients to remain safe and housed. It assures access to medical, mental health and substance abuse care and treatment. The program helps rebuild family and community connections.
MeckFUSE uses a proven national model that shows results.
Why We Do It: Jeffrey’s Story
Jeffrey participates in St. Stephen’s FUSE program in Hennepin County, Minnesota.
- Jeffrey has been arrested more than 150 times, largely for quality-of-life crimes.
- He suffers from schizophrenia, depression and drug addiction.
- He has had inconsistent mental healthcare and multiple encounters with drug treatment programs.
- He has spent most of the last 12 years revolving through the shelter, streets, hospitals and jail.
As a result of participating in the Hennepin County FUSE program, Jeffrey has made great strides. He has maintained his housing, facilitates Hennepin County’s Drug Treatment Court orientations, and volunteers at a local needle exchange.
Mecklenburg County anticipates similar positive program outcomes as a result of implementing the FUSE model locally.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has been contracted to evaluate MeckFUSE over a three year period.
MeckFUSE is expected to improve public safety. People living in supportive housing with access to health and social supports make better neighbors than people struggling to live on the streets. People living on the streets may commit poverty-related crimes but are more often victims of crime.
MeckFUSE gives people a chance to succeed. When people no longer have to worry about where they are going to sleep, they can concentrate on getting healthy, getting a job, getting an education and getting on with their lives.
MeckFUSE has a core group of committed partners who guide the program, resolve problems
and foster success.
MeckFUSE is funded by Mecklenburg County. It is administered by the Community Support
Services Department and is operated by the Urban Ministry Center of Charlotte. Some additional core partners are: Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Salvation Army Center of Hope, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, Criminal Justice Services, Provider Services Organization and the Public Defender’s Office.