Charlottesville organization gives $4.25 million grant to fund purchase of hotel, soon to house homeless

Updated: Mar. 29, 2021 at 8:43 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A Charlottesville organization is providing some significant financial help as it works to end chronic homelessness in our area.

The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (CACF) gave $4.25 million to the Piedmont Housing Alliance to purchase the Red Carpet Inn. Soon, the former hotel on Route 29 will be home for many who need it most.

In a matter of weeks, PACEM and the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless will manage 115 rooms, which will be available for those who need a place to stay.

“For us, it was an elegant solution, in many ways a short-term solution, for non-congregate care and shelter,” said Eboni Bugg, CACF’s director of programs.

Bugg says it’s not only a short-term solution. Virginia Supportive Housing has a role too, and it’s planning to construct 80 permanent supportive housing units to be ready in 2023.

“We have a lot of evidence about the effectiveness of that kind of housing on a community,” Bugg said.

Even further down the line, Piedmont Housing will construct affordable-housing apartments in the area. Bugg says now there’s a plan to solve a problem that’s plagued our community for too long, only highlighted by the pandemic.

“If we’ve learned nothing over the past year it’s the intersection of housing and public health and well-being across the life span,” she said.

As the five partners work to solve a problem, Bugg says it’s an example of why it’s time to reimagine partnerships to bring about change.

“I think that a pandemic, which has sort of democratized our understanding of public health, in some ways, really helps us understand that this is about neighbors helping neighbors; we really depend on each other in this human ecosystem,” she stated.

On April 15 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., CACF will host an online event to discuss the project and how community members can lend a hand.

You can register for the event by clicking on the link here.

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