St. John’s Place
St. John’s Place is a 31-unit apartment building and a rare instance of naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) in Charlotte. Frequently, developers purchase NOAH only to tear it down and resurrect more expensive units in its place. Through a process called “gentrification,” the residents of the original unit are displaced as the community loses yet another affordable housing unit. Before this could happen, Supportive Housing Communities (SHC) purchased and renovated St. John’s Place in 2017.
In our hands, St. John’s Place provides much-needed affordable housing to Charlotte’s most vulnerable citizens. To avoid a conflict of interest, SHC does not place its own clients at St. John’s Place. Instead, we use the renovated units to provide affordable housing for clients in the Scattered Site programs of partnering organizations such as Roof Above and Mecklenburg County Shelter Plus Care. In the common struggle to find affordable housing solutions for their clients, these agencies are happy to have us as landlords. Not only do we accept their subsidies, but our onsite staff also provides an additional level of support to their clients.
What would you do to ensure that you had a warm place to sleep at night? For Clayton, going to jail seemed to be his only answer. Clayton became homeless on his 18th birthday when he aged out of foster care. Like many kids in his situation, he fell into a life of petty crime just to survive and moved back and forth between the streets, shelter, and jail. Whenever Clayton was released from jail, he would commit another crime to avoid being without shelter. In total, Clayton spent nine years of his life going in and out of prison just to avoid being hungry and homeless. Eventually, Clayton was able to break his jail-street-shelter cycle. Today, he is happy to finally have a safe, warm, and permanent place to live that he can truly call home.