- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2020

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina car dealer is opening up his sales lot to homeless people whose cars are their only means of shelter.

James Charles made the move after a member of his sales team went to repossess a woman’s car, WBTV reported Tuesday.

“The gentleman who was repossessing the car said, ‘We can’t take the car, there’s somebody living in the car,’” said Charles, manager at Kiplin Automotive Group in west Charlotte.

Charles said he looked for a shelter for the woman but all of them were full.

So he put her up in a hotel for a few nights, until she had a more permanent solution. That, Charles said, was the sign he needed to launch his plan.



His dealership now offers space for other families, with security cameras, bright lights and an open invitation.

“You can come here,” Charles said. “We will allow you to stay on our property, and of course, we’re going to help you find a place if we can.”

The situation reminded Charles of when his own family was homeless for 30 days after a rental fell through when they first moved to Charlotte.

“The person who owned the house decided to sell it, and didn’t let us know,” Charles said. “There we were. Six kids and a dog, and no place to live.”

Charles now works to help people in a similar plight.

“I know what we can do right now. We have tons of space,” he said. “And we know people are doing it. We know for a fact that people are living in their cars temporarily.”

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