Homeless people to be relocated to the moon

Apparently a home for people without one "just doesn't belong in a residential area." So says Lynne Kane (a 5-year resident of The Meadows, a 56-home subdivision) about the homeless shelter in the Chapel Hill Herald today. I have two questions for Lynne:

1. Where should these people live, if not in a residential area?

2. What part of town isn't a residential area?

You'll recall Lynn's neighbors in the Legion Road road area also opposed the construction of 14 affordable townhomes 5 years ago, as well as a charter school more recently.

I actually think the shelter should be located in my residential area, that is: downtown. Folks need access to jobs and transportation and this is where it's at.

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Total votes: 288

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I'm wondering why the shelter "turns out" the residents during the day. I see them standing around in the parking lot, and sitting on the steps in front of the shelter. It seems to me that a true "home for the homeless" wouldn't lock them out for the majority of a day. Just wondering if anyone knows why this policy is in effect and would that policy change with a new shelter?

There was another thread on homelessness that referenced the approach being advocated by the Bush Administration. Here's a good article with more info that addresses Anita's issue of daytime use as well. In general this solution gives people homes rather than just a bed.

http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/2005/01/01_405.html

Thank you Terri for the link. I am only guessing, but wonder if perhaps some of the problem that various communities have with the idea of a shelter in their neighborhoods is this problem of people basically turned out on the street all day with nowhere to go. What will those folks do all day long?

I like the transitional housing idea and would find that type of facility better suited to the needs of the patrons than the current shelter model.

I hope we'll keep in mind that the IFC has made it clear that it wants to grow beyond the emergency shelter model, and wants to integrate a spectrum of transitional housing into its new facility. Emergency shelter would only be one part of that facility. At the downtown shelter, they're constrained by space. Out on Homestead Road, they've been running (with some budgetary shortfalls) a great transitional housing program for women and children. A new facility would allow them to do the same for homeless men.

I'm sure loitering is a concern of the residents Anita, but I'm cynical enough to believe that even if safety concerns were shown to be groundless, there would still be opposition. Hopefully, the Community Initiative to End Homelessness (http://orangepolitics.org/2004/11/can-we-end-homelessness-continued/#com...) will have some wonderful ideas for helping the community become more accepting.

Duncan, I didn't know about the Homestead Road shelter. Thanks for the information.

I still don't really get what the problem is with the current location.

I don't get whether the IFC wants to move everything - shelter and meals - or just set up housing for men like they have for women. I don't see why the two have to be combined. Maybe they could keep downtown for meals but have better overnight housing in a place that was designed for that.

My husband I and helped prepare meals at the IFC for about 10 years and based on what I've seen, I would hate to have to see a homeless person schlep all the way into downtown for their meal, then all the way back out to wherever the housing would be. I think it should kind of be centralized.

As a side note to the women's shelter: I live fairly close to that and I wish there would have been better planning as to more sidewalks on Homestead or additional bus service to that area. I always see women with children walking toward that area (the shelter) and it seemed rather unsafe based on the driving abilities (or lack thereof) of folks going down Homestead.

Observations on the January 10 Council meeting:

Well, Ruby, IFC may not have to go all the way to the moon to satisfy the Legion Road neighbors.

According to Lynne Kane, their apparent spokesperson, it would be satisfactory to place the shelter in a similar location to "sewage treatment plants, landfills, and jails."

Kane is envious of Pittsboro whose shelter is on County Landfill Road.

She is worried that "wandering males will scare people away", that nearby grave sites will be "peed on and retched over", and that "substance abusers will be lurking in the woods" (or at least one may be).

And, she is especially concerned for her property value although she doesn't like the fact that her tax assessment reflects that value.

A representative from IFC invited Kane and her neighbors to "take time to get to know the homeless", telling them that "what they want from life is what you or I want... they are people who have a great deal in common with me and you."

Oddly, Kane described how, after opposing the Scarlette Drive affordable housing, she and her neighbors were pleased to find that homeowners there "take pride in their homes just like any other homeowners."

Perhaps they would have a similar discovery about the shelter.

That said, I agree with Ruby: the shelter should be near downtown, where the bus routes all intersect, and near essential services, and the bulk of jobs in the area.

Amen.

Carrboro should be the site of the new homeless shelter. There are plenty of interesting and exciting things to do while one panhandles and one might even find a kind heart or two who'll give the money you need to buy that fresh muffin at the Weaver Street Market. There's a great second hand clothing store where one could get a new suit to go out and get that ellusive fresh start. There are many great businesses that would be more than happy to have a worldly traveler visit and share his stories of adventure to customers as they pass. The free bus system traverses the town, giving one the necessary transportation to area ammenities. All you need is a "I'm homeless and it's Bush's fault" sign and you're on your way to guiltless riches. No more standing on a cold highway shoulder for coins, for you see, Carrboro is a compassionate place, flush with the winners of life's lottery. A progressive place steeped in community activism and poetry. No worries, no cares. Like the Mayberry of old, Carrboro is the idyllic spot for urban campers and free spirits. Yes, Carrboro, a great place to be.

Hey wait!!!

Johnnie Edwards has all the answers.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apus_story.asp?category=1110&slug...

Maybe he will shift some of his ill-gotten gains to the IFC. First his face has to heal.

At least he has a job, now.

Today's Daily TarHeel has a wonderful opinion piece on the Homeless Shelter:
http://www.dailytarheel.com/vnews/display.v/ART/421492dac0e21
(excerpt) "Homelessness is a community issue and a product of our society. We mustn't continue to think that just because we have made the system work for us — and have earned a job, a house and maybe a membership to the local country club — it makes us better people than those who haven't been able to do so.

Homeless people are people just like you and me. As IFC volunteer Mike McGee said to me, “These people are far from stupid — they are, in fact, very perceptive and often see a lot that others miss. … Perhaps people would be surprised at what they have to say, if only they would ever ask.”

Clark,

Calling someone a bum is kind of harsh and ill-informed.
These people are 'Jesus' in the flesh.

I have broke bread with the IFC patrons & they are just looking for a break. Some have full blown AIDS & very few people will help them.

I requested coats for the group about 3 months ago & only one person on this forum responded. Thank-you!

I then asked the pastors at University Methodist & their Troop #39 responded with two truckloads of coats.

Try breaking bread with the group to gain some compassion & insight.
Mr. Norwood will feed you for free-just ring the bell!

Best,

My ill informed opinion is that the homeless get a bad rap from people who aren't even homeless. I've seen the same men panhandling east franklen for five plus years. Gimme a break dude; you're not homeless. You're a bum. It seems unlikely these men would stand on leigon road and beg change.
Also, I don't believe all the crime reported comes out of the shelter. A few years ago a woman just up the hill from me was kidnaped and raped. Three months before the perp had stayed at the shelter. When he was arrested he was staying at his mothers house. The paper said he lived at the shelter. I think things like this happen fairly often.

Jack, I wasn't talking about the homeless. I was talking about people who have been panhandling east franklin for five years. I don't think those people are homeless. I know the shelter only keeps clients for thirty days with a possible thirty day extention.

While I admitted my opinion was ill informed, it was not a swipe at IFC residents. It was a swipe at people who claim homelessness and in so doing give the IFC a bad rap.

On another note, my diet has gone to hell since I quit my job. Perhaps I will go up there grab a bite.

Sorry Clark, I misunderstood your comments.

Yes, there is some who give the IFC a bad rap---those who stand at the intersections off I-40. The 80/20 rule applys here.

I know of one gentlemen who dresses as a bum by day & works as a boiler operator by night. He is doing quite well.
He goes to Myrtle Beach & waits for the conventioneers to leave the convention & he picks up more than pocket change. Sad.

Also some of the transitional beggars on Franklin are in real need...they won't go in the shelter but would rather sleep on the street or in a dumpster. Those guys took half the coats.
Usually they are abusing alcohol &/or drugs but still need to stay warm. They eat at the shelter but don't stay inside.
They are the foodless & carless and can't hold a decent job.

Why did you quit your job?

Best,

Quote from today's Chapel Hill Downtown Economic Development Corporation's (CHDEDC) agenda:

"Significantly address the three chronic objections local residents frequently express as barriers to coming downtown more frequently -

- Inadequate free parking
- Perceived discomfort and hassle by homeless and transients
- Downtown is not welcoming enough - it is inadequately clean and at night it is insufficiently lighted"

Interesting malapropism. The "perceived discomfort" of homeless and transients? Considering you get "hassled" if you sit on a bench too long or have the temerity to stretch out on a bench (class 3 misdemeanor I believe), no wonder there's "perceived discomfort " - of course, I don't think that was the intent of this phrase.

Maybe, as DeNiro wanted in Taxi Driver, the CHDEDC will get their wish and a rain will come and wash our "inadequately clean" untouchables away.

To give the CHDEDC their due, Andre Rohrbacher suggested toning down or changing the language (which, if I understood the back-n-forth discussion the board was having was originally suggested by R. Perry - maybe Andre can clarify this point).

I've been around downtown for over two decades and I think the transient or homeless panhandlers (which is a strict subset of the people hangin') are less aggressive than in years past.
I guess I'm not the target of the CHDEDC's campaign, as I work, buy, eat and practically live downtown already....

Andrea Rohrbacher, sorry, sorry, sorry!

At least mine was a sin of omission, unlike the http://townofchapelhill.org/chdedc/index.htm web site which inverted the "r" and "h" ;-)!

 

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