Homeless Initiative


The City of Asheville has taken on the initiative of assisting our houseless community members with temporary shelter during COVID 19 and have created a dashboard to better inform the Asheville Community.  Please click HERE for links to Contracts, Resolutions, Budgets & Expenses.


Please arrow further down on this webpage to learn more about our efforts to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.


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Need help with homelessness or housing?


Call 2-1-1 or visit https://nc211.org/ to connect with local resources.

Access the City’s 2021 Affordable Housing Guide in both English and Spanish for local rental properties. 

New Resource: COVID-19 Guidance for Homeless Service Providers

The City of Asheville supports the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative with two full-time staff to manage funding, shape policy, and coordinate community strategies to End Homelessness by making it Rare, Brief and Non-Recurring.  This team monitors the performance of the community’s homelessness services system per requirements of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Continuum Care funding provided to Asheville Buncombe County.


To stay up to date on the City’s effort to end homelessness, please visit the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee  page.



Housing Solves Homeless

The Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative embraces Housing First, an evidence-based approach that prioritizes permanent housing placement for people experiencing homelessness. Once housed, individuals and families have a stable platform from which they can recover, pursue personal goals, and improve their quality of life. Outdated strategies typically force people to solve complex personal issues like health, finances and relationships before helping them find basic safe housing.

Coordinated Entry

Coordinated Entry is the process through which people experiencing or at risk of homelessness can access housing in a streamlined way. It all starts with a strengths and needs assessment to help quickly connect people to stable, affordable housing options and supportive services within the community.


Assessment occurs in Coordinated Entry using an objective housing needs triage tool called the Vulnerability Index- Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) to measure each person’s vulnerability, housing circumstances, service needs, and individual preferences. By-Name List, which ensures that most vulnerable homeless neighbors are identified by name and their specific housing needs are known. The By-Name List tracks the status and progress toward permanent housing placement for each individual. It also:


Coordinates housing and services options among the community’s service providers

Measures progress toward community goals and objectives



We use a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to capture data on who is homeless in our community, what their characteristics and needs are, and how they flow through our homeless service system.  Most homeless service providers participate in HMIS, contributing to our understanding of homelessness in Asheville and Buncombe County.

We also conduct an annual Point-in-Time count on the last Wednesday in January each year to identify how many people are homeless on any given night in our community.  The count is only a one-night snapshot, rather than a comprehensive picture of homelessness in our community, but provides an overview of the population and trends over time.

Point-in-Time Counts


Population 2020 2019 2018
Total 547 580 554
Chronic* 110 123 82
Veterans 218 256 247
Youth 15 29 23
Families 70 41 43

*Defined by HUD as 12 months of literal homelessness (shelter, street, car) and having a disability



The City of Asheville allocates and manages almost $1.8 million annually to address homelessness. Funding sources include:

  • United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
    • Continuum of Care (CoC)
    • North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)

Opportunities for funding typically occur in the summer month. Visit the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee  page or contact Brian Huskey for more information.


Contact Information


Brian Huskey
Homelessness Lead

Emily Ball
Homeless Services System Performance Lead


If you are looking for affordable housing, suffering a housing crisis, in need of rental assistance or down payment assistance, or you have concerns about our homeless community, 

Please Call 211. The service is free, confidential and available in any language.

Last Updated: 07/12/2021


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