New numbers reveal more about Asheville’s homeless issue

Asheville’s homeless population declined in what city officials are dubbing “a good year,” according to an annual count conducted in late January. However, while local programs may be having an impact, one of the officials in charge of administering them says that economic pressures and a lack of affordable housing continue to create a difficult situation.

Report shines light on Asheville’s hunger, homelessness problems

Last week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released an in-depth report examining the hunger and homelessness situations in 25 cities across the country, including Asheville. The report found that the city has serious issues with low wages, unaffordable housing, poverty, and the number of domestic violence survivors who end up homeless. Increases in homelessness are modest, but more families are homeless. The report also highlighted some local organizations doing “exemplary” work on the issues but predicted that coming social service cuts could make the situations on both fronts more dire.

Asheville City Council: more agriculture, a festival search, and downtown crime

At tonight’s meeting, Asheville City Council approved new rules allowing urban farming and produce sales throughout the city. Council also approved starting the search for a summer event to replace Bele Chere. On a less optimistic note, the public and city officials discussed increasing issues of crime, policing and homelessness in Asheville’s core.

Homeless, nonprofits, APD vie over downtown policing

At a meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 18, city of Asheville staff and police officers met with homeless activists and local nonprofit representatives to discuss a new law enforcement approach that focuses on more arrests in the city’s downtown. Responses varied, ranging from concerns about the impacts of a failing system to criticisms of the Asheville Police Department’s new strategy.

Putting housing first: Champagne bar hosts benefit today to end homelessness-attachment0

Putting housing first: Champagne bar hosts benefit today to end homelessness

While sipping on a glass of wine or grabbing a late night coffee, residents can help fund an organization working to end homelessness locally and stopping people from spending the night in the harsh winter weather.  “Every time it is cold and I go into my own house, I think, ‘It is not OK that people in our community are sleeping outside tonight,” says Emily Ball, director of community engagement at Homeward Bound of Asheville.

Asheville’s plan to end homelessness is working

An April 16 mountainx.com story included photos from the Asheville Homeless Network’s visit to Mayor Bellamy’s office, where they were able to share their views with city staff about homelessness and housing in our community [“Asheville Street People Claim … Harrassment”]. At Homeward Bound, we’re grateful to be part of a community with leadership that’s […]

Photo courtesy of Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry

Executive director of ABCCM to speak in D.C. about local success with helping homeless veterans

Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry executive director, Reverend Scott Rogers, will speak before the Senate sub-committee on Veterans Affairs today at 10 a.m. alongside the national coalition of homeless veterans, to share their principles and practices that are producing local outcomes above the national average.

The “ironey” is lost on me

I am highly offended by your cartoon that shows someone in a green hat, and brown pants, and who is a photographer [“Brent Brown: Ironey the Iron,” Nov. 16 Xpress]. I walk these streets all day wearing about the same outfit, taking pictures. I would hate to assume that this is supposed to be a […]

Brent Brown responds

The cartoon of the photographer who’s forced into homelessness despite, ironically, being the best in his profession, was not based on you. Rather, the cartoon alludes to a Nov. 2 entry on the Ashvegas blog about local photographer Micah Mackenzie, who posted on Facebook of his struggle to survive in Asheville (ironically after just having […]

JourneyAsheville: Building relationships with Asheville’s homeless

On Monday, July 4, a group of teenagers were handing out bowls of ice cream in Pritchard Park. Nothing unusual, really. There’s always something being given away to eat in the park. But I got to talking with one of the teenagers and was directed to Nichole, who filled me in on what was going on. It’s the work of the Carolina Cross Connection, a youth Christian outreach project.
Photos by Jerry Nelson, JourneyAmerica.org

What happened to Pack Memorial Library?

When did Pack Memorial Library become a daytime shelter for ex-cons and strung-out drug abusers? Surely, a diverse mix is wonderful and an Asheville tradition, but this is nothing like that. There is no mix of children and everyday families and business people there. All I ever see, daily, are downtrodden, strung-out and scary-looking thugs […]