Roof Above helps people experiencing homelessness move into repurposed apartments

CHARLOTTE — There are 422 people experiencing chronic homelessness in Mecklenburg County, according to updated data from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing and Homelessness dashboard.

The term chronic homelessness applies to people who have not had a steady place to call home for at least a year.

Roof Above, a nonprofit organization that helps those who are homeless, said chronic homelessness down 50% from when the county started counting, according to officials.

The apartments are Charlotte’s first “adaptive reuse, business-supportive housing solution,” which are repurposed buildings that have outlived their original purposes and have been modified for different uses.

The first tenants of The Rise on Clanton started moving in last week.

There are 88 apartments available, and between six and eight people move in each week, prioritizing the most vulnerable.

“Really, the first people moving in are people who really needed this type of housing,” said Liz Clasen-Kelly, CEO of Roof Above.

She said the apartments will help them avoid death on the streets.”

Clasen-Kelly said that the first 10 residents to move in used to live in the North End encampment that was shut down by the health department.

“After the tent city was cleared last year, they’ve been staying in motel-based shelters,” she said.

Roof Above and the community select the residents based on how long they have been experiencing homelessness and their health issues.

Tenants get an affordable place to live and will be coached during the transition.

Multiple community partners made the renovations possible.

(Watch the video below: More than a dozen people who were once homeless now have a place to live thanks to Roof Above)

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