A home for our prodigal sons and daughters

For ten years, discussions between the Inter-Faith Council, the Town of Chapel Hill, and the University of North Carolina have been underway to relocate the men’s shelter and community kitchen.  Many factors were considered during the deliberations, and with great generosity a site along Martin Luther King jr. Blvd. was donated by the University.  So an ideal site found but so was a new obstacle; fear.

Call it what It is: Free Land

On the surface, it is perfectly reasonable to agree with the IFC’s decision to take the University up on its offer to lease the land at a rate of $1 per year. However, there continue to be many unanswered questions that when addressed will shed an entirely different light onto the issue. I’ve listed some, but not all of those questions below.

1. Why is UNC being so generous?
2. What is UNC getting out of this extremely philanthropic act?
3. What are the criteria Chris Moran states the IFC used to select this area?
4. What criteria were used to select the previous sites that were ultimately rejected and where is the evidence the criteria were used before the previous sites were rejected?
5. What is to happen to the men who are turned away from using one of the planned 20 emergency beds?

Helping Homeless Men

I watched Monday night's public hearing on the IFC's proposed new shelter on Homestead Road with dismay. Every time the IFC identifies an affordable parcel of land appropriate for a new Homestart shelter, the neighbors object. Although the Town Council does a good job of responding to the concerns of neighborhoods, this time we have a pickle. The shelter has to move. It cannot stay downtown and achieve the type of service the town and the IFC want to provide to our homeless male population. To help promote a more positive dialogue, I'd like to propose that we stop talking about "the shelter" and begin discussing the various services currently offered by the IFC and the new proposed services.

The current shelter offers three primary services: overnight beds, job and life counseling, and meals. Those who wish to spend the night at the shelter must be clean and sober, and they have to be inside by 8:00 pm and gone by early morning. Counseling is obviously used by those who desire the service. Meals are available to men, women, and children, whether they stay in the shelter or not. Many of those who use the meal service are the underemployed. 

County-wide book club to discuss homelessness

I usually try to discourage wholesale posting of press releases - as I'm about to do - but this just sounds like a great idea and I don't have anything to add to it.

Orange County’s Partnership to End Homelessness would like to invite the public to participate in a “Community Read” of the book The Soloist by Steve Lopez.  The event is the first in a series of community education activities that will explore the issues of homelessness.

23rd Annual CROP Walk

From IFC:


Date:  Sunday, March 22
Registration: 1:30 PM at Carrboro Town Commons
Step off starting time: 2:30 PM

Please consider joining with others in the community for a four- or two-mile walk through Chapel Hill and Carrboro.  Funds raised will help to end hunger in our community as well as throughout the world through the Inter-Faith Council and Church World Service.  Invite your friends, co-workers, or neighbors to walk with you or sponsor you.  Especially during these rough economic times, your support is urgently needed!

1) Shorter route option--to allow for more individuals and families to participate
2) Lighter "Environmental Footprint"--T-Shirts are all organic and we are encouraging folks to bring their own water bottle if you have one to reduce waste at water stations
3) CROP Walk Benefit Concert--two great performances at The Station at Southern Rail (by Weaver St. Market)
                                                       March 15, 7 PM (see attached flyer)

T-Shirts are $8 in advance and $10 the day of the Walk.

A CROP Walk Benefit Concert is the Sunday before the Walk-- see attached flyer!

Please contact Shannon Gigliotti for more information or to purchase a T-Shirt in advance.


Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 9:30am


Carrboro Town Commons



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