About 20 years ago, David recalls, his architectural company designed the building for the Metrolina Food Bank and Crisis Assistance Ministry. They were also involved in the Urban Ministry project. Thanks to the urging of his wife Marilyn, he then joined the SRO (Single Room Occupancy) committee. “Marilyn and I went to visit SROs around the country.” At a conference in NY, he found the model for the 8-pod clusters which are seen at McCreesh Place. Everyone has their own room, but bathrooms and kitchens are shared.
David notes that when he set about trying to find a site for McCreesh Place, zoning issues became a problem. The SRO was a building type that didn’t exist in Charlotte, so there was no precedence for zoning. Together with the planning commission, zoning regulations were developed, and then David had to find land appropriate for building the apartment community. Researching the locations, he knew it was necessary to be on public transportation routes and close to other amenities. A property on North Davidson turned up, and the SRO committee put it under contract. A HUD grant helped move the project forward.
The building was designed and priced, and the financial information was put together. The City Housing Trust Fund supported the project, which would require 2 million dollars to complete. “The concept of the SRO is great, and the alternative is you’re homeless….The idea behind the SRO is building the idea of community and the notion of communal responsibility.” McCreesh Place offers a safe, drug-free environment. With his architectural company, David has said that he tries to do things that make a real difference in Charlotte, and McCreesh Place is a step in the right direction to help solve the problem of homelessness in his community.