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.


housing solves homelessness title graphic


Need help with homelessness or housing?

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.




Visit The Code Purple Calendar for Cold Weather Emergency Shelter





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 Outdated strategies typically force people to solve complex personal issues like health, finances and relationships before helping them find basic safe housing.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

The United States Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) requires that all communities that receive HUD funding to address homelessness conduct a Point in Time (PIT) Count sometime in the last 10 days each January to identify how many people are experiencing homelessness on a given night. 

The PIT count is a one night “snapshot” of the homeless population in Buncombe County, including those in emergency shelters, transitional housing or who are unsheltered, i.e., sleeping outside or in other locations not suitable for human habitation. It provides a picture over time of trends and changes in the population, such as increases in veterans, unsheltered people, or people who are chronically homeless. 


The dashboard below shows data from the January 25, 2022 count. Click here for detailed methodology and limitations.



To view the PIT count presented on May 10, 2022 please click here




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


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


Contact Information

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: 05/23/2022