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Roof Above Is The New Name For City's Merged Shelter Programs

The Urban Ministry Center and Charlotte Men's Shelter have picked a new name following their merger last year: Roof Above.  

The combined organization operates two year-round homeless shelters and a daily lunch program, and coordinates the winter housing program, Room In The Inn, with local houses of worship. It also runs a drug treatment program and provides more than 400 units of supportive housing at Moore Place in the North End neighborhood.  

Executive director Liz Clasen-Kelly said the new name "describes our combined work in a simple and aspirational way." 

"Roof Above tells you what we do," Clasen-Kelly said in a press release. "Whether through our shelters or our housing programs, we are committed to providing the safety, security and dignity of a roof above everyone in our community."

The name change comes with a new blue and yellow logo, and a new tagline: “Working together to end homelessness.”

The organization has been scrambling amid the coronavirus pandemic to add beds to accommodate more homeless residents and allow for social distancing. 

Mecklenburg County reports there are now nearly 3,700 people experiencing homeless in the county. Roof Above says it expects that number to grow with the economic slowdown related to COVID-19, and the ongoing lack of affordable housing in the city. 

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.