CHARLOTTE, NC — “We have said all along that this is our home and this is where we’re going to remain,” said Men’s Shelter of Charlotte Executive Director, Carson Dean.
Dean runs the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte on North Tryon and says they won’t be pushed out by North End business leaders.
“We own our property, and we have for long time. We’re centrally located for people we serve. They need to be near Uptown Charlotte for transportation, for jobs, for services, so it doesn’t make sense for us to move,” said Dean.
Mark Middlesworth disagrees. He is president of North End Partners and owns Extravaganza Events on North Tryon.
“What we’re doing here is putting a Band Aid on a huge, gaping wound that is the eyesore of all of Charlotte,” said Middlesworth.
He wants to create an all in one campus for homeless services.
“Our suggestion was since you already have the Crisis Assistance and Salvation Army and Food Bank on Statesville Avenue, it’s not that much further from Uptown,” said Middlesworth.
Middlesworth says revitalizing the North Tryon corridor won’t happen if the shelter doesn’t move.
“We talked to many developers. They’re saying as soon as you tell me the men’s shelter going to move somewhere else, we’ll go ahead and buy that whole city block,” said Middlesworth.
Carson says the shelter and new development can work together.
“What happens in the next community we exist in? When they start to undergo revitalization at some point, it becomes a vicious cycle of move homeless further and further out of sight. We want no part of that,” said Dean.
The Men’s Shelter has already started its own $7 million revitalization campaign.