Homelessness Education Plan Task Force
In December 2011, a Task Force was formed to take a look at the changing dynamics on our streets in the “street” population. Task Force Partners include Charlotte Center City Partners, Urban Ministry Center, Uptown Men’s Shelter, Homeless Services Network, members of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Coalition for Housing, Mecklenburg county, CRVA, CMPD, Chef Jim Noble and Uptown Neighborhood leaders.
The goals of the Task Force are to create education, media and communications plans to do the following:
- Support the community’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.
- Create a strategy to “interrupt the business” of panhandling.
- Educate stakeholders, Uptown restaurants, hospitality venues, street populations, neighbors and the general public about the unintended consequences of panhandling and feeding street populations from restaurant “back-doors”.
The Task Force plans to do this through a number of methods, including an overarching education campaign to educate all stakeholders, general public and street populations about the need for Affordable Housing as a core strategy to end homelessness and the unintended consequences of supporting panhandling and “out-of-system feedings”. The core message is support of the Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. This plan will include collateral materials to aid in the campaign such as a “Real Change” poster and panhandling cards from Urban Ministry Center.
The Task Force also recommends a reexamination of the ordinances, laws and City codes to be sure we have all necessary tools for public safety teams. The team encourages our partners and stakeholders to consider alternatives with long term positive impacts, such as partnering with Community Food Rescue, Crisis Assistance Ministry and the agencies of the Homeless Services Network that feed, house and serve the homeless with an eye toward preventing homelessness and moving the homeless off the streets and into homes.
Please visit realchangecharlotte.org for more information.
There are projects in the works funded by the proceeds from previous Holiday Home Tours. These projects are all geared to improve the safety of the neighborhood, build our community and improve its appearance.
In Fourth Ward Park you may have noticed the beautiful enhanced flowers and shrubs funded by Spectracide and installed by volunteer labor from our neighborhood and area schools. There are three more Park projects underway and all should be completed by the end of October: drainage of the sidewalk near the water fountain and sculpture; relocation and addition of lights to improve Park security; and a refurbishment of the fountain at Sixth Street.
The two streetlights were added in the 10th Street in front of Barringer Square, and Duke Power upgraded lighting on 11th Street to improve security. The City trimmed up trees along the rest of 10th Street so the existing lights are unblocked.A stoplight was also added at the intersection of Sixth and Pine near Harris Teeter, paid for by a public/private partnership including funds from Center City Partners and FOFW. As part of that project that intersection was resurfaced.
These investment projects were all based on ideas submitted by neighbors so please let us know if you have other ideas for improving our community. Thanks for your help!
Fourth Ward Bird Survey
In cooperation with the Mecklenburg Audubon Society, Mary Wyant, a fellow resident of Fourth Ward and part-time biologist for Mecklenburg County is starting a three year survey of birds that breed and nest in our county. The survey covers the geographical block that includes our neighborhood as well as the uptown area.
Mary could use your help. Simply contact her if you see any birds building or sitting on a nest anywhere in the uptown area. If you are familiar with birds and can identify the species, please pass along those details as well, but it isn’t mandatory. Mary just needs to know exactly where you saw the nest so that she can confirm the species and how to contact you if she has questions. Also, any of you that work in high-rise buildings uptown, please keep a keen eye out for hawks, falcons or other birds that may nest on ledges or rooftops.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
As you are aware, CMS has proposed system-side changes to Charlotte's public schools. The Board of Education approved the following changes that affect our neighborhood:
Irwin Elementary will not become administrative offices. The CMS board voted to move the Villa Heights Academic Center full magnet program to Irwin. It will remain an elementary school, effective 2011-12 school year. Villa Heights magnet program is a K-5 learning immersion and talent development program. It was one of CMS 10 highest scoring elementary schools in 2009. Talent Development students have guaranteed seats in Piedmont Middle. View the link to Villa Heights score card for 2009.
Students who attended or were assigned to Irwin Elementary will go to either Ashley Park or Dilworth Elementary. The boundaries for Dilworth Elementary will shift to include the current Irwin attendance area south of the John Belk Freeway and east of Interstate 77. The boundaries for Ashley Park will shift to include the current Irwin attendance area north of the John Belk Freeway. This new assignment to Ashley Park applies to both Third Ward and Fourth Ward students. Ashley Park will become a K-8 school beginning next school year (Students may attend elementary and middle school at Ashley Park.)
Bishop Spaugh Middle will close effective 2011-12 school year. Alexander Graham Middle's (AG Middle) home school boundary will include all of Dilworth Elementary school attendance area. Students who live in First Ward now have this home school feeder program: Dilworth/AG Middle/Myers Park High.
First Ward Elementary will become the county wide Creatives Arts elementary school as the school board voted to close University Park Creative Arts elementary, effective for the 2012-2013 school year. The board also voted to schedule First Ward Creative Arts elementary on a multi-track year round school calendar. The year round schedule would begin 2012-13 school year. (Note that these changes are 2 years out.) View these changes on the CMS website for further details.
A residential parking permit is required for on-street parking Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM, as well as Thursday-Saturday, 6PM-8AM. Two-hour visitor parking is allowed without a permit. A booklet of five guest permits valid during evening/overnight restrictions will be available for $15 to residential parking permit holders.
Residential parking permits and guest booklets can be obtained from Park It! to qualified residents: 1440 South Tryon Street, Suite 108, Charlotte, N.C. 28203, 704-375-3177.
Beware of the Canker Worm - Let's "Band" together!
The canker worm can cause serious damage and death to Willow Oak trees by climbing up the tree and eating the leaves. If you have willow oaks in your yard or on your HOA property, we strongly recommend you affix 'tree bands' to prevent the worms from climbing the tree. Fourth Ward has requested Park & Rec install the tree bands for public areas in Fourth Ward (the park). For private property, the city is recommending all trees over 24" in diameter as well as all Willow Oaks be banded in our area this year to prevent further damage from the canker worms. Banding should be done right before the first frost, but after most leaves have fallen.
For an easy, one piece, one step install, you can buy a product made by Envirometrics called The Bug Barrier. Measure the approximate diameter of your trees so we know how many feet 4W neighbors will need. Little Hardware sells in bulk for approximately $2.15 per foot. Contact Jolene Kares if you want to band together! 704-604-0649 or firstname.lastname@example.org.