REPORT: New York City secretly relocating homeless to NC

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — There’s no place like home for the holidays, but across the Triangle that’s becoming more of a dream than reality.

“Raleigh is now on the world stage as a destination for people to move here for people who have great jobs and people who are looking for jobs,” said John Luckett, CEO of the Raleigh Rescue Mission.

“We are growing rapidly,” said Wake Co. Housing Affordability Director Lorena McDowell. “Our incomes here are not keeping pace with the cost of housing. For those who would have been able to maintain their housing before just can’t make ends meet anymore.”

On any given night there are roughly 1000 people sleeping on the streets of Wake County.

“They come from all over the United States,” said Luckett. “A lot of people that may have started out here with parents 20 or 30 years ago sometimes come back.”

According to an investigation by the New York Post and our sister station CBS2, New York City has been sending homeless families to North Carolina and offering to pay their rent for free as part of their SOTA program, and haven’t been notifying their new hometown.

“In some rural cities I’ve heard of that before,” said Luckett. “They’re not equipped with the job situation. As we know most people that grow up in a rural town end up going to a larger town to find their job.”

“You hear stories of programs in other cities that do things like that,” said McDowell. “It’s not a best practice, and not something we would ever want to promote.”

Regardless of how they got here Wake Co. Housing Affordability Director Lorena McDowell says there are multiple resources available to help people get on their feet.

“If they’re here and they’re homeless they’re ours,” said McDowell.

“There’s a shortage of workers,” said Luckett. “We partner with Wake Tech Community College to give them the skills they need for hot jobs.”

That’s why many groups see homelessness as a temporary situation.

“Our belief is that each person has sacred value,” said Luckett. “We want to treat them that way and help them get back on their feet.”

CBS17 was able to briefly speak with the Fayetteville, NC, mayor Mitch Colvin who said he plans to speak with members of the Fayetteville City Council about the homeless relocation program.

At this time Colvin isn’t ruling out legal action against New York City.

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