High-access emergency shelter transitions; permanent supportive housing deal set to finalize soon 

Emergency shelter photo illustration
emergency shelter

In December 2021, City staff heard community concerns that the launch of a permanent emergency shelter needed more extensive planning. The feedback led the City to consider a different, but still impactful, path for the property located at 148 River Ford Parkway. With a continued commitment to long-term solutions to end homelessness, City staff introduced the owners of the property to Step Up on Second Street. Step Up, together with their partner ShangriLa Industries, has performed several motel conversions across the country to provide housing to homeless individuals and homeless veterans.

The new path would see the property transition from an emergency shelter to permanent supportive housing.  The City Council has approved a partnership with Step Up on Second Street, Inc.  for the operation of permanent supportive housing at this location. Contracts are being finalized now and the transfer of the property is set to take place in the next few weeks.

Happening now

Today, March 31 marks the last day the site will operate as an emergency shelter.

At the time the decision was made to move in a new direction, 80 people were in shelter at the site. In these past 3 months, 55 of the 80 people have either been housed, reconnected with family or have exited positively. Their stories are like the ones of  Tony and Lisa, Timmy W., Jason S. and Victoria G. The emergency shelter helped them with more than a place to stay.   

Of the remaining 25 people projected to exit today, 11 have confirmed housing plans and are waiting for units to become available.  Additionally, one person is set to be employed by ShangriLa, Inc., to be onsite as the property is renovated for permanent housing for people living unsheltered.

“The circumstances that lead to homelessness are complex and the solution to ending homelessness will require partnerships across many sectors,” said Community and Economic Development Director Nikki Reid. “We recognize there is still much work to be done and at the same time remain hopeful this addition of a permanent supportive housing option will fill an important gap for our most vulnerable community members.”

More information about the Step Up Asheville Permanent Supportive Housing Project in Asheville is available here.