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'You’re going to have a homeless camp' | Residents resist against Christian ministry housing project

Cooperative Christian Ministry is working to approve the $2 million project, but not everyone is on board.

CONCORD, N.C. — Cooperative Christian Ministry is pushing for a $2 million project to combat homelessness.

The development, called Huddle Housing, will focus on the extremely low-income population. Its purpose is to combat the growing number of people who are homeless. 

HUDDLE HOUSING: Find out more about how it works

The project consists of building a community of affordable homes for seniors, veterans and adults with disabilities who have annual incomes of between $9,500 and 15,000.

However, not everyone is on board with the efforts. Some neighbors living in the area said they are concerned.

"You’re going to have a homeless camp, that’s what you’re going to have," resident Benny Baker said. "It would destroy this neighborhood that’s been here for 60 years."

Credit: WCNC Charlotte
Benny Baker is concerned about the new Huddle Housing unit

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One resident, Steven Lynch, has gathered dozens of signatures from families living in the area to fight Huddle Housing. He's worried about his across-the-street neighbors who are in their 90s.

"He says these people are not going to bother anybody, but you don’t know that," Lynch maintained.

Credit: WCNC Charlotte
Steven Lynch is worried about Huddle Housing, too.

Lynch said residents have other concerns surrounding an elementary school less than four blocks away from the proposed Huddle Housing.

"Most homeless people have problems," Lynch explained. "They have addictions or alcohol problems, and you never know what might happen or what might take place with them."

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CCM's chief relationship officer Jeremy Burleson said the Huddle Housing program is structured so that no residents will be going out on their own.

"We will continue to do it right, and we are simply taking an existing model that has worked with metrics that have worked in years past," Burleson said. 

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Burleson insists the new site will not be a homeless camp.

"We are asking that you trust us," Burleson said. "We are not going to build something that would not be beneficial to the community. We are going to build something that is going to create value for the community."

Credit: WCNC Charlotte
Huddle Housing project

CCM said if they raise enough money and get the proper permits, they're hoping to break ground by the end of 2022.

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WCNC Charlotte is part of seven major media companies and other local institutions producing I Can’t Afford to Live Here, a collaborative reporting project focused on solutions to the affordable housing crisis in Charlotte. It is a project of the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative, which is supported by the Local Media Project, an initiative launched by the Solutions Journalism Network with support from the Knight Foundation to strengthen and reinvigorate local media ecosystems. See all of our reporting at charlottejournalism.org. 


Contact Tradesha Woodard at twoodard1@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

WCNC Charlotte is committed to reporting on the issues facing the communities we serve. We tell the stories of people working to solve persistent social problems. We examine how problems can be solved or addressed to improve the quality of life and make a positive difference. WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions for you. Send your tips or questions to newstips@wcnc.com.

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