Colorado Springs, Colorado 2021-09-20 12:18:56 –
Asheville, NC — This is the story of three boring buildings. The story of Days Inn, Red Roof Inn, and apartments in Asheville, North Carolina.
They are all at the heart of the city’s efforts to combat the long-term homeless.
The story begins with a man named Zack. We are discussing bonsai and sunflowers grown in the windows of the apartment. He is talking to the case manager.
Zack was homeless. He says he was physically handicapped in a car accident. His disability check is his only income. He stayed on the street until he discovered a non-profit organization called Homeward Bound in western North Carolina.
They put Zack in a “boring building” downtown.
He is paying the rent. He is stable. He is on a productive path, like the other 18 residents of the Woodfin apartment, which was otherwise homeless.
“It’s life or death,” Zack said of what the apartment meant to him. “That means everything.”
For several years, the building was the only home of its kind in the Asheville area, but until a year, everyone was at home, except for those who didn’t have one.
When the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, the shelter became a potential superspreader. The service was virtualized and difficult for people without internet access. Space has become essential in Asheville and elsewhere.
“We asked people to quarantine. If you don’t have a home and you can’t go anywhere, that’s impossible,” said Jenny Moffat, director of housing at Homeward Bound.
They found another boring building.
Homeward Bound and the city of Asheville used the local Red Roof Inn to accommodate 166 people. Cities across the country have taken a similar approach, turning unused hotel space into shelters.
“I think COVID has made it clearer how important housing is and how it is health care,” Moffat said. “
They learned the lesson through a success story like Zack.
A new boring building, the next step in Asheville, when Congress passed the US Rescue Program this March and cities and counties received millions of dollars to help individuals experiencing homelessness. Became clear.
Homeward Bound has raised $ 13.5 million, including millions of dollars from cities and counties, to turn the nearby Days Inn into a permanent home.
“It’s encouraging to see the homeless become a priority at a much higher level,” Moffat said. “It’s exactly that concept that everyone deserves to have a home.”
Homeward Bound closed at Days Inn this summer. They will begin refurbishing this winter and hope to welcome guests by next winter. It’s another boring building. But one building can make a big difference.
One city’s solution to sheltering homeless individuals? Buy a hotel Source link One city’s solution to sheltering homeless individuals? Buy a hotel