News & Events

News & Events

The large encampment that organically sprung up near our Day Services Center has pricked our community’s consciousness in a new way and people are more interested than ever in how we end homelessness.

We’ve shared some “guiding lights” that have helped us navigate these last months, updated encampment FAQs, and ways you can help. Learn more.

COVID-19 Response

We are open and operating. Our programs have protocols in place to help keep staff and those we serve safe

Link to greatest needs and how you can help (updated often): Wishlist

End of Year Reflection | This is 2020

Previous updates: Winter Sheltering Update, Encampment: Most Asked Questions Answered and How You Can Help, 6/26, 5/16 4/19, 4/3, 3/23, 3/17, 3/12

Roof Above adds 88 units of permanent supportive housing with hotel purchase 

As we continue our push for affordable housing solutions, we are thrilled to announce our purchase of a hotel!

Located at the intersection of Clanton Road and Interstate 77, the renovations to transform the hotel into permanent supportive housing will begin this summer, with an estimated project cost of $12 million.

When the transformation is complete, the facility will replicate Moore Place, a nationally-recognized housing community that provides affordable housing paired with on-site case management and medical care for people who have experienced chronic homelessness.

Each unit in the new project will be renovated to include a kitchen. In addition, a support services wing will be added to provide space for robust services to help a vulnerable population be successful in housing. By converting existing space, the project will avoid some of the time delays and financial constraints of new construction.

We are excited that the 88-unit hotel will serve an immediate need this winter as emergency shelter for women and families, in partnership with Salvation Army Center of Hope.

Roof Above raised money for the project through government and philanthropic support including:

  • $2 million in CARES Act funding from the City of Charlotte
  • $1 million from the Springsteen Foundation
  • $500,000 from a previously announced gift from Duke Energy Foundation
  • A significant financial contribution from John McKibbon and the McKibbon Family Foundation

While we have secured funding for the purchase and to start renovations, additional funding is still needed to complete the transformation and pay for initial operating costs of the converted hotel.

As with all of our projects, we could not have embraced this remarkable and innovative opportunity without the generosity of our community of supporters. Your commitment to help our neighbors in need is both humbling and critical in moving the needle on homelessness.

Read the full press release here.

Join Our Team

Roof Above has been formed through a merger of Men’s Shelter of Charlotte and Urban Ministry Center. By following this link, you will be redirected to a Men’s Shelter of Charlotte employment page where you can view all open positions

Roof Above partnership preserves affordable housing through $50 million purchase of East Charlotte apartment community

With affordable housing disappearing across the country, we are thrilled to announce our purchase of an entire apartment community that will preserve 341 apartments in east Charlotte for individuals and families earning a range of incomes.

In a $50 million deal made possible through a remarkable public-private partnership, Roof Above has acquired HillRock Estates on 23 acres near Kilborne Drive. Through deed restrictions, we will ensure the apartments remain affordable for at least 27 years for households earning below the city’s median income.

A philanthropic gift of $5 million, the largest single private gift ever received by Roof Above, and a gift of $2 million, both donated anonymously from two Charlotte families, made the deal possible. Atrium Health also was crucial in securing the property, providing a $5 million low-interest loan to Roof Above in exchange for the use of 50 apartments over time to house Atrium workers in need of assistance. Financing also was provided by Bellweather Enterprise through a Fannie Mae loan, as well as the city of Charlotte’s voter-approved Housing Trust Fund. An innovation grant of $600,000 from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and additional philanthropic donation totaling $1 million rounded out the funding for the project.

We are so grateful for our corporate, philanthropic and government partners in this innovative solution that will provide housing for so many individuals and families. HillRock Estates embodies the kind of bold thinking we had in mind last year when we merged Urban Ministry Center and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte to form a single, more impactful organization.

Read the full press release here.

Roof Above announces $500,000 gift from Duke Energy Foundation to help expand supportive housing for people experiencing chronic homelessness

We are thrilled to announce a $500,000 gift from the Duke Energy Foundation to foster the development of supportive housing for people who have been chronically homeless for a year or longer.

The gift will go toward our efforts to replicate the success of Moore Place, our 120-unit apartment community that provides housing and on-site services to address issues that can hamper residents’ ability to keep housing. Moore Place has a retention rate of more than 85% and has dramatically decreased the frequency and cost of emergency room treatment for those who become residents.

“We know permanent housing with on-site supportive services can end chronic homelessness, and we are so grateful for Duke Energy Foundation’s investment in this proven strategy,” said Roof Above CEO Liz Clasen-Kelly. “This gift will not only will help our most vulnerable citizens but also will benefit our larger community.”

The Duke Energy Foundation hopes its investment will prompt other donors to rally around the development of supportive housing with additional funding. In appreciation, Roof Above will name learning labs for Duke Energy at its emergency shelter under construction on Statesville Avenue and at its next supportive housing project.

“This work would be impossible without philanthropists and corporate partners like Duke Energy who are willing to take on what we believe is one of Charlotte’s most pressing issues,” Clasen-Kelly said.

“Providing support for chronic homelessness is an important part of powering the vitality of our communities”, said Duke Energy’s North Carolina president, Stephen De May. “We want to be part of solutions to help create equal access opportunities for our local community.”

Read the full press release here.

Our New Name: Roof Above!

Roof Above logo

One year has passed since Urban Ministry Center and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte joined forces as a single organization to have a greater impact on our mission to end homelessness. Now we are proud to announce our new name: Roof Above!

We are excited to move forward with a name that describes our combined work in a simple and aspirational way. “Roof Above” tells you what we do. Whether through our shelters or our housing programs, we are committed to providing the safety, protection, and dignity of a roof above. “Roof Above” is also meant to serve as an aspirational call to what we want everyone in our community to have – above all else, the simple comfort of a roof to call one’s own.

In the days ahead, you will see us begin to replace all Urban Ministry Center and Men’s Shelter of Charlotte brands with Roof Above, including our new website – – to be fully introduced in the coming months.

Please follow us on social media (@RoofAbove): Facebook/RoofAbove,  Twitter/RoofAbove, Instagram/RoofAbove

$1 Million Howard R. Levine Foundation Gift Enables Groundbreaking for Shelter

We are excited to break ground this week (May 4-8) on a new emergency homeless shelter after receiving a generous $1 million gift from the Howard R. Levine Foundation. In recognition of the significance of the gift, the new shelter will be named in Mr. Levine’s honor. The $4.4 million project is needed to replace the current shelter located at 3410 Statesville Avenue, and the Levine gift has provided the leverage needed to begin the project.

The newly constructed shelter will replace the existing aging and inadequate facility on the same property. The old warehouse converted for an emergency winter shelter in 2005, was designed to meet only the most basic needs – a place for men to stay warm, dry and clean.

The new shelter will be designed not just to meet the basic needs of its guests, but also to help men emerge from homelessness with office space for on-site case management for housing and employment services. The new facility will also add a cooking kitchen, guest laundry services, and a group room for classes and a mobile computer lab. The new shelter will mimic the recently renovated N. Tryon facility, with most beds in sleeping pods, creating a more private and distanced environment.

Other major funders for the project include Honeywell ($500,000 announced earlier this year), Springsteen Family Foundation, and The Lucille P. & Edward C. Giles Foundation.  North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is supporting the project with a $500,000 loan and Charlotte City Council recently approved a $800,000 grant from the City’s Housing Trust Fund.  Construction is estimated to take nine months, with the expectation of guests being able to move in at the end of next winter.  Read the full press release here

HousingFest on Hiatus for 2020

Mandolin Orange

As we continue the work of merging, renaming, and re-branding two organizations, we are taking a one-year hiatus from HousingFest–our concert to end homelessness and the arts/music events that lead up to it. The next year will give us time to assess and reformulate our events to maximize both awareness and fundraising for our new organization.

HousingFest’s monthlong arts and music events culminated on June 20, 2019, with a concert to end homelessness at Knight Theater. Mandolin Orange was the highlight of the evening, headlining an event that also featured education, art, and opportunities to engage. Read more here: $62,000 Raised to Put Housing First  

Urban Ministry Center and Men’s Shelter Merged

It’s official!  Men’s Shelter of Charlotte and Urban Ministry Center are legally one organization. In coming months, you will continue to see both “Men’s Shelter of Charlotte” and “Urban Ministry Center” separately or co-branded, until our board finalizes our unified brand later this fall. For more information: FAQ link

Kathy Izard Books

You may have seen volunteer Kathy Izard on the Today Show in January! What they didn’t mention is that Kathy’s acclaimed book, The Hundred Story Home, was re-released last summer by Harper Collins and now she’s also released a children’s book, A Good Night for Mr. Coleman.

If you are looking for inspiration, for listening to that whisper, or how to help your community with issues of homelessness, these books will not disappoint. Sold at local bookstores and online at Amazon.

Charity Navigator gives UMC Four Star Rating

We are honored to share that Charity Navigator’s annual evaluation of Urban Ministry Center has come back at an overall score of 91.33/100 and we continue to be a four-star charity.

Click here to see our full profile and report