Photo: Amanda Harry

A “community in need” is getting a makeover. More than 150 volunteers joined forces with Charlotte Rescue Mission on Friday to complete an “HGTV” style makeover in Druid Hills.

Charlotte Rescue Mission is an organization that offers free residential treatment for those experiencing addiction and homelessness. After completing their 120-day treatment program, participants are able to reside in transitional living homes, like the property being renovated.

One goal of the “makeover” is to have people involved who have completed the program. Their involvement in the community can raise awareness about resources for drug addiction treatment. 

The current state of the property would greatly benefit from the makeover. Derric McElheney, community engagement coordinator at Charlotte Rescue Mission, said that, currently, the area has issues with crime. He shared that volunteers have even reported encountering crime onsite.

Once the project is complete, homes on Rachel Street in Druid Hills will house approximately 30 individuals. Residents at the property will have individual bedrooms but share common areas like the living room and kitchen.

The units will be fitted with internet, 55-inch screen TVs, kitchen appliances, community laundry, and even furniture. The property will also have a play set for residents’ visiting children.

The transitional housing program allows participants to live in spaces like the homes on Rachel Street for up to two years. They’re able to lease “at a low rate”, according to McElheney. On average, residents will pay $600 a month for units according to Recovery Living Program Director Rita Clyburn.

In addition, residents receive case management as well as other supports through Charlotte Rescue Mission to help them “navigate a new sober lifestyle”. 

About the organization

Established in 1938, Charlotte Rescue Mission initially aimed to decrease homelessness. After learning how common addiction was among the homeless community, the organization pivoted to addiction recovery.

The Lowe’s Foundation and Piedmont Natural Gas recently donated a combined $600,000 to Charlotte Rescue Mission’s Miracle at Cedar Street, a capital campaign to raise money for a new men’s campus.

Amanda was born and raised in Charlotte and graduated from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor’s in Communications and English. She covers Mecklenburg County. Reach her at

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