Time to Let the Cat Out of the Bag…
There has been a lot of discussion lately about master plans for Center City extending north towards I 277 and for the North End corridor. As a result, I’ve received numerous questions about what’s the plan for the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte (MSC) on North Tryon Street. While MSC is planning to make a formal announcement later this year, I think it’s a good time to let our plans be known.
Since merging the Uptown Shelter and Emergency Winter Shelter in 2009 and becoming Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, we’ve been planning a major renovation for our Tryon Street Campus and some smaller improvements for our Statesville Avenue Campus. Plans for both campuses are coming to fruition. A major upgrade to our guest shower/bathroom space at Statesville Avenue has been funded by American Airlines – you guys are awesome! – and construction should be completed this summer. At our Tryon Street Campus we’ve just completed installation of a new security camera monitoring system with great thanks to Kurt Kottcamp and his company Enterprise Security Systems!
Now the big news. MSC is planning a major renovation of our Tryon Street Campus facility. Our building is old and many of its major systems (plumbing, roofing, HVAC. etc.) are failing. The building is literally at the end of its life cycle. Instead of continuing to band-aid what ails our building, its time for a major overhaul. We’ve got an incredible architect, JenkinsPeer, on board and they have helped us devise a plan to renovate the entire facility while keeping it open to the 200 or so men who sleep there every night! Plans are still being finalized and funds are being raised, but that’s where we are at this moment.
By the way, MSC’s two shelters have a total of 400 beds and the capacity to accommodate additional men on nights when there is severe weather. We made a commitment several years ago to help men solve their issues related to homelessness. With that commitment came our pledge not to increase the bed capacity of our agency. Our N. Tryon Street Campus renovation will improve the functionality, aesthetics, safety, and service delivery for our clients, visitors, and volunteers. MSC will not be expanding our agency’s emergency shelter bed capacity.
MSC has resided at 1210 N. Tryon Street for about 30 years. We own our property and we need to remain close to downtown for the benefit of the men we serve. We are committed to being a great neighbor in the North End (we provide more than 60 jobs) and we’re already working to make improvements to our facility as the corridor continues to explore ways to improve the aesthetics and economic vitality of our community. As our plans unfold we’ll share what we know, but for now all of our supporters can rest assured that MSC plans to keep focusing on our mission through our facilities on N. Tryon Street and Statesville Avenue for as long as there are men experiencing homelessness in our city.