Oak City Center

Raleigh, NC

This new multiservices center consolidates critical homeless services including housing referrals, mental health services, and coordinated intake services under one roof. Formed as part of a unique partnership between Wake County, the City of Raleigh, and Catholic Charities, the center provides a welcoming, supportive environment for those experiencing homelessness. The program includes an intake lobby designed to feel more like a hotel lobby than an institutional space, laundry and shower facilities, multipurpose educational space, private offices for client interviews, and an outdoor gathering area with seating and shelter.

The existing building, a single-story 1950s era warehouse building, is easily accessible by foot or by public transit and shares a campus with the county’s men’s shelter. The design creates transparency through a series of vertical openings in the envelope; these openings provide abundant natural light in the lobby and encourage guests approaching the building to feel safe and comfortable entering the space.