A grassroots operation designed to help homeless individuals become prepared to transition from living outside to being successful in permanent housing.
Here in Charlotte, NC homelessness is a serious problem facing numerous communities, and there are no easy solutions. We're embracing a strategy of “Housing First” — the idea that addressing homelessness starts with giving folks a safe place to live. As an alternative to having the homeless sleep in tents and on the streets, cities are starting to use “Mini Shelters” as housing. Cities like Dallas, Detroit and Portland already have micro shelter communities for the low-income or homeless up and running. These mini shelters are playing a crucial role in helping the City move unsheltered people from dangerous conditions on the streets to a dignified, safe, and supportive environment and a path to permanent housing.
Our mission is to build a safe, supportive, dignified place as a “pivot point” for achieving more productive, satisfying, and self-directed lives.
Our vision is to build a community in Charlotte that provides individuals experiencing homelessness a safe place to appreciate their inherent value, achieve their goals, and transform their life.
Offer distinctive, low cost, relocatable mini-shelters as intermediate “bridge” solutions while individuals pursue stable, long term housing.
Elevate the overall health status and well-being of those facing complex barriers to healthcare resources and socioeconomic opportunities.
Promote positive natural supports and resiliency as essential tools in overcoming personal challenges and difficult living circumstances.
Having people live long-term in a mini shelter is not our goal. Our mini shelters are intended to be transitional housing to provide the necessary services and skills to individuals to become successful in permanent housing. We will offer villages for women only, single adults, couples, and families with children. We will be seeking out individuals and families that desire a chance to work toward a more self-directed lifestyle that includes stable housing. Villages will prohibit alcohol and drugs in or around the villages, although some will operate on a harm reduction, low-barrier model, with zero tolerance to non-compliance.
Our Mini Shelters are defined as a small structure (from 60-100 square feet in size) designed to provide temporary and safe shelter from the outside elements and dangers, i.e. animals, extremely cold weather and people that homeless individuals face day to day. Our Mini Shelters are well constructed out of lumber, insulated, and include a solar-powered low voltage electrical system. There are no bathroom or cooking facilities inside (although they will be provided nearby within the village). Our Mini Shelters are to be used as a transitional step to permanent housing.
A village, consisting of about 6-20 shelters, requires 2 acres of land...depending on the number of shelters and common facilities to be placed there. There are suitable urban infill sites zoned for residential and mixed use, as well as larger commercial and industrial sites available throughout Charlotte. With careful research and assistance from our local government, we will identify good sites – publicly owned, underutilized and surplus sites held by the city, county, and state. There are also multiple non-profits, private, and church-owned properties that will be used on an interim basis, from two to four years, for a mini shelter village.
60 Sqft of Living Space – 6’ x 10’
Fold Down Desktop
Insulated Window with Screen & Lock
Low Voltage Lighting
Insulated Door with Lock
Chief Executive Officer
TOM DUZAN, AIA, LEED AP
Board Chair, Architectural Advisor
WILL CALLISON, MBA, MHA
MALIA SUHREN, MSW
CALEB SAULS, MSW
Outreach/Case Management Advisor
MARY KLAUDER, MS
Project Manager, Construction Advisor
Budgeting, Construction Advisor
We are COMPASSIONATE.
We build RELATIONSHIPS.
We are stronger together.
We are ENTHUSIASTIC.
We love our neighbors!
We are DRIVEN.
We find solutions.
We are ACCOUNTABLE.
We operate with integrity.