CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Families experiencing homelessness now have another option to get help.
Heal Charlotte is expanding at a North Charlotte hotel.
Charlotte City Council approved more than $2 million in funding to convert the Baymont Hotel on Equipment Drive into temporary housing for families experiencing homelessness.
“Children will be housed here, families housed here. There will be economic growth that happens here. There will be a revival that transforms from this area to the rest of 85 and Sugar Creek,” Greg Jackson from Heal Charlotte said.
Jackson was already using the hotel to house families experiencing homelessness, but now his operation is expanding from 30 rooms to 127 rooms with space to build.
“Wraparound services from case management to workforce development,” Jackson said. “A lot of things will happen just from this one investment.”
Jackson says 65% of families that have entered his program are now in permanent housing.
Charlotte City Council voted to give Heal Charlotte $2.2 million in funding at the meeting on Monday. Heal Charlotte operates in one of six Corridors of Opportunity where the city is focused on making stronger, safer communities.
Monica Holmes, program manager, updated the council on some of the progress in the Sugar Creek/85 corridor, where fewer people are now using hotels as long-term housing.
“We have invested in total $10 million dollars in the corridor, and we’ve already seen over 22 million dollars of private investment,” Holmes said. “We’ve been able to reduce the hotel rooms with partnerships with people like Heal Charlotte.”
The city owns the Economy Inn property on Regan Drive. It’s currently under demolition and will soon become affordable housing. The property is across the street from Baymont, where Jackson hopes his organization can serve as a model for others.
“We are not the solution. We are part of a solution,” Jackson said. “We have a lot of other organizations in the city that do the same work that we do when they get the same opportunity that we get. Everybody’s little bit will turn into a lot. Then a lot of problems will be fixed.”
Heal Charlotte is always looking for donations and volunteers. The goal is to convert the hotel by the winter season when more families are in need.