New shelter re-location option

Here's a really good idea from the letters to the editor of the Chapel Hill News:

Former sorority house would be ideal shelter

As Chapel Hill struggles with the issue of homelessness, shouldn't citizens of the town seize upon an opportunity that has been laid at its feet? Hasn't anyone noticed that the Delta Zeta sorority house is up for sale? It would be the perfect answer to the question of where to put the next homeless shelter.

This structure is specifically for the housing of a large group of people. It has countless bedrooms and bathrooms for the needs of unrelated residents. It also has a commercial kitchen, dining hall, a large meeting area and office space. The building is in excellent condition, needing no substantial modifications to serve its new purpose, and it is ready for immediate occupancy. It is ideally located near jobs and transportation.

Zoning of the area is obviously not a problem since it had a similar use in the recent past, and the neighbors might actually consider the transformation from sorority house to homeless shelter a move in the right direction.

The asking price listed by is only $1.6 million, and I would bet that the seller is motivated considering that the property has been on the market for a while and not many groups of 40 people move from town to town.

The list of reasons to do this goes on and on, but the most appealing justification is that it would signal a metaphysical realignment of priorities in our universe, not to mention bodacious toga parties.
--Rick Kennedy, Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill News, 11/22/05


I saw that letter as well, and thought it was an extremely interesting and creative idea.

Total Rooms: 25
Bedrooms: 10
Full Baths: 5
Half Baths: 2

Living Room: 26x22 Main
Dining Room: 51x30 Main
Kitchen: 20x30 Main
Entrance: 10x20 Main
Family Room: 16x16 Lower
Bedroom 2: 16x16 Lower
Bedroom 3: 16x16 Lower
Bedroom 4: 16x16 Lower
Bedroom 5: 16x16 Lower
Office: 9x6 Main
Deck: 19x84 Main
Patio: 19x22 Lower
Porch: 9x50 Main

More details.

I, too, think this is an excellent idea.

Would the IFC be in a position to purchase it? Or is it time for the towns of CH/Carrboro to step in?


That option was considered two years ago. Discussions, tours, involvement of local elected officials, and so on. For the usual reasons -- which I won't elaborate on again, for fear of irritating you all -- it quickly became an untenable option.


I'd be curious why the proposal was rejected two years ago.


I don't represent the IFC, and I have no special information other than that of someone who listens to people who _do_ know something about the IFC. Since discussion of the location of the IFC's programs is about as touchy as discussing where to locate the Green Line in Beirut, it seems only fair to direct your question to the folks at the IFC themselves.

I'd say "proposal" is too fancy a word. It was more of an idea as I understand. My impression is that a number of ideas for the location of IFC services get raised and dropped for every one that makes it to public debate.


I naver heard of this option being considered (but I'm not privy to the management doscussions of the IFC, of course). Since I'm being forced to guess, I'd say that perhaps this site was rejected due to proximity to Chapel Hill's old money.

"Since I'm being forced to guess, I'd say that perhaps this site was rejected due to proximity to Chapel Hill's old money."

Ruby, my guess would be that your guess is right. But I'd also bet that the result would be the same whether the site was proximal to "old money" or "new money". Interestingly, my sense is that NIMBYism doesn't seem to be restricted by economic status.

isn't that the house at 411 hillsbrough st? In a non-nimby sort of way; I live just down the block; I think that would be a great local for a number of reasons. First, it's nice digs at a price that's much lower then the market price of the old police station. It's all set up for groop living. It's close to down town and on a fairly good bus route. For all those who fear homeless related crime, it's close to CHPD. Politically it makes a lot of sense too. Sure it will bug a lot af people in the historic district. For every person angers on my street, there will be another praise the move in the business district.
My only gripe is that the IFC or the city just spent a bunch of money to re-hab the current IFC. To move now kind of shows poor planning.

They'd have to finish the sidewalk at the corner of Hillsborough and Rosemary if they did this, right? It always bugs me to have to walk into the intersection there.


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