In Mecklenburg County alone, 3,683 members of our community are homeless. When the COVID-19 pandemic affected the way shelters operate, and had to cut down on how many people they can take in, those who had to be turned away started living in tents in what is now called Tent City.

My husband and I have been visiting the Tent City and talking to people who live there about things they say they need.I posted it on Facebook and it went viral. It also caught the attention of the media. As a result, we’ve had many requests from people offering to help.

How You Can Help

**This list will change frequently depending on the need so please check back/refresh often**

Tent City Item List–

What they do need:
*  Charcoal and charcoal lighter fluid
*  Small portable grills
*  Sterno 8 oz butane fuel cartridge and/or 16 oz green propane tanks for portable cook stove.
*  Hand warmers
*  Toilet paper
*  Old phones (helps them keep in touch with loved ones, find job opportunities, and not feel disconnected from the world -They can use local/free WiFi). 
*  Any sort of portable phone chargers, fast-chargers, solar chargers, charging cords, old phones…Residents have to constantly ration their phone charges, which means limited contact with loved ones, job opportunities, doctors, social workers…
*  10-ride local (green) bus passes to get to work, doctor’s appointments, etc.
Tents (4-person or more, if possible, because they need room to store personal items)
*  Heavy duty tarps to cover tents and ground under tents
*  Rain wear.
*  Heavy duty tote bins or heavy duty plastic coolers to store items and keep animals out.

*******  If anyone has a TRUCK and is willing to pick up items from donors who has no access to transportation and bring those items to Tent City, please contact Kurt:

What they do NOT need at this time:

  • Food. They get so much food from the public and there is such an excess that it goes to waste. Their message is that they need more items to keep them warm and dry.
  • Blankets (also lots of donations).

As a filmmaker, I plan to produce a short film about the plight of the homeless and partnering with the city and county to talk about solutions. 100% of proceeds will be donated for sanitary, permanent housing.

Photo below courtesy of Courage to Continue Productions and used with permission by interviewee.