Roof Above acquired funding for the $5.45 million purchase and a portion of the renovations to a hotel off of Clanton Road and I-77 that will transform into permanent supportive housing. Photo courtesy of Roof Above

To provide much-needed housing in Charlotte ahead of the colder months, nonprofit Roof Above has bought an 88-unit hotel that will serve as an emergency shelter for women and families.

Through the estimated $12 million deal, Roof Above (formerly the Urban Ministry Center and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte) also will begin renovations next summer to transform the old Quality Inn hotel at the intersection of Clanton Road and Interstate 77 into permanent, supportive housing. Once completed, the renovated facility will replicate the 120-unit Moore Place housing community north of uptown Charlotte. Moore Place currently provides affordable housing, on-site case management and medical care for those who have experienced chronic homelessness. 

The Charlotte region faces a significant need for options for sheltering and housing those who are experiencing homelessness, Liz Clasen-Kelly, CEO of Roof Above, said in the nonprofit’s press release. 

As of July 31, an estimated 2,782 people are experiencing homelessness in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, according to the county’s 2020 State of Housing Instability and Homelessness Report. Of that total, 1,035 individuals were experiencing homelessness as a family. In cases of chronic homelessness, 446 individuals were without shelter, and 1,116 were homeless with access to housing. 

Roof Above suspended its Room in the Inn winter shelter program due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While the organization has added capacity to provide shelter for men, the hotel will accommodate women and children in a partnership between Roof Above and Salvation Army.

“As the pandemic has created financial challenges for hotels and motels nationally, nonprofits like Roof Above are stepping in to buy facilities we can use for important public purposes – creating a win-win for everybody,” Kelly said in the press release. 

According to Kelly, the hotel is already equipped to serve as a safe shelter to help the community through the winter. Each renovated unit will include a kitchen.

Kelly says the goal is to have permanent housing renovations complete by the end of 2021 for “88 of Charlotte’s most vulnerable neighbors.” 

Rendering of a renovated unit. Image courtesy of Roof Above

Converting the hotel will help avoid time delays and the financial constraints that come with new construction, the press release stated. 

Roof Above has raised money for the renovation project through government and philanthropic support including:

  • $2 million in CARES Act funding from the City of Charlotte
  • $1 million from the Springsteen Foundation
  • $500,000 from a previously announced gift from Duke Energy Foundation
  • A grant, interest-free loan and project management from John McKibbon and the McKibbon Family Foundation

Although Roof Above has acquired funding for the $5.45 million purchase and a portion of the renovations, an additional $4 million is needed to complete renovations and to cover initial operating costs. 

Jonathan is a former QCity Metro reporter who covered Charlotte neighborhoods north of uptown. He also reported on education, public safety and health.

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