In April of 2020, in response to the pandemic, the city of
Winston-Salem along with City with Dwellings and The Bethesda Center opened a Medically Fragile Shelter (MFS) that provided 60 medically vulnerable members of our homeless community with the opportunity to quarantine at a local hotel. Each guest at the MFS received wrap around care that included housing case management. The residents of the MFS were prioritized by the CIC (Community Intake Center) for housing assistance as part of entering this responsive project. However, what became painstakingly clear, was that even though each of the residents had been approved and awarded housing vouchers/assistance, there was not enough housing available to meet even the needs of this small targeted population. With the critical need identified, The Dwelling (the incubator for The Dwelling Place), organized and became one of the leaders of renovating 23 offline affordable housing units in the Northwoods (formerly Greenway) neighborhood. In addition to creating more units, work is now underway for the addition of a Northwoods Community Center.
Working in partnership with Karen Britton, Landlord Engagement Specialist with the United Way, Pastor Emily Norris of The Dwelling and Karen cultivated a relationship with the private owner of the neighborhood who enthusiastically supported this unconventional project. Building upon this powerful model, two more neighborhoods have since joined the movement and are waiting to begin their transformation.