May 1, 2024 - News

See inside: Nonprofit adapts motel for transitional housing

Former motel building

The former Baymont Inn. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Families experiencing homelessness are finding refuge in a readapted motel off Sugar Creek Road and I-85.

Why it matters: Repurposing motels can be an impactful and relatively cheap way to create much-needed affordable and transitional housing.

  • Low-income families often get stuck spending hundreds per week living in motels, struggling to save enough for permanent housing.

Driving the news: Heal Charlotte received a $2.25 million grant from the city to help master lease the former Baymont Inn on Equipment Drive. The nonprofit will house up to 100 families in the motel, which was renovated in 2019.

  • Families in the program have to have a source of income and children with them. There are 60 rooms for $750 a month, for up to six month stays, and free emergency rooms for 90 to 120 days.

Zoom in: The families are coming to Heal Charlotte from shelters, cars, bathrooms and 7-Elevens, says Greg Jackson, founder of Heal Charlotte.

  • "I'm getting calls from a lot of people that are just in different situations," he adds. "You'd be amazed how people are making it and where they're making it from."

See inside the motel

Art room
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Kid's art room: The motel's old fitness center is turning into an art room and mini library.

Fridges filled with veggies
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

CFT Market: The meeting room is being converted into a store, where residents can buy fresh food, toiletries, feminine products and cleaning supplies. Carolina Farm Trust stocks the market with North Carolina farmer's produce.

Bedroom
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Transient housing: There are 50 motel-style rooms on the first and second floors to house up to 100 families.

Hotel room
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Hotel rooms: The third floor has 27 hotel-style rooms, which are slightly larger. People visiting Charlotte, typically for nonprofit or related work, can stay there for $77 a night.

  • Heal Charlotte is also talking to partners about turning these rooms into medical offices and creating safe spaces for mothers to stay with their newborns while on maternity leave.
Outside the motel
Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Communal space: Outside, Heal Charlotte wants to create activities for the children, like a playground and potentially a basketball court. They're planting a community garden, as well.

People can apply for the housing program on Heal Charlotte's website.

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