Roof Above adds 88 units of permanent supportive housing with Charlotte hotel purchase

Roof Above adds 88 units of permanent supportive housing with Charlotte hotel purchase

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Continuing its push toward finding creative ways to end homelessness in Charlotte, Roof Above has closed a deal to buy a hotel at the intersection of Clanton Road and Interstate 77.

The 88-unit hotel will serve an immediate need this winter as emergency shelter for women and families, and renovations are planned for summer to transform the hotel into permanent supportive housing. Total project cost is estimated to be $12 million.

When the transformation is complete, the facility will replicate Moore Place, a nationally-recognized housing community that provides affordable housing paired with on-site case management and medical care for people who have experienced chronic homelessness. Each unit in the new project will be renovated to include a kitchen.

In addition, a support services wing will be added to provide space for robust services to help a vulnerable population be successful in housing. By converting existing space, the project will avoid some of the time delays and financial constraints of new construction.

“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,” said Liz Clasen-Kelly, CEO of Roof Above. “The hotel is already equipped to serve as safe shelter to help the community through this winter, and by the end of 2021, we aim to bring these units online as permanent housing for 88 of our most vulnerable neighbors.”

As Charlotte’s weather turns colder and the pandemic intensifies, Clasen-Kelly said the Charlotte region faces a significant need for options in sheltering and housing those who are experiencing homelessness. Roof Above was forced to suspend the Room in the Inn winter shelter program due to the pandemic.

And 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.

Roof Above has raised money for the 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 significant financial contribution from John McKibbon and the McKibbon Family Foundation

“Providing support to end chronic homelessness is a fundamentally important step in the effort to address homelessness,” said Claude Close, who serves on the Board of the Springsteen Foundation. “We are honored to partner with Roof Above to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors have dignified shelter this winter and housing for many years to come.”

“Roof Above, with unified support from local governments, businesses and community leaders, is making great progress in ending homelessness in Charlotte,” said John McKibbon, chairman of McKibbon Hospitality, developer and owner of AC Hotel & Residence Inn Charlotte City Center. “We are humbled to have the ability to provide a grant, an interest free loan, and project management for the hotel conversion.”

While Roof Above has secured enough funding to complete this $5.45 million purchase and a portion of the renovations, an additional $4 million is needed to complete the renovation and pay for initial operating costs of the transformed hotel.

“As with all of our projects, we could not have embraced this remarkable and innovative opportunity without the generosity of our community of supporters,” said Clasen-Kelly. “Their commitment to help our neighbors in need is both humbling and critical in moving the needle on homelessness.”

Roof Above would like to thank Brent Torstrick with Robinson Bradshaw for donating legal services for the real estate transaction. Roof Above was formed through the 2019 merger of Urban Ministry Center and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, two nonprofit organizations that worked for decades to combat homelessness in Charlotte.

The combined agency operates a day services center, two year-round shelters, more than 400 units of supportive housing, as well as a treatment program for substance use disorders.

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