Raising awareness: Local group focuses on jobs, community

The Community of the Beloved — a local group of “diverse people, most who live in poverty and many who live on the streets,” says co-organizer Amy Cantrell — held an ice-cream social and a sign-toting event on Tuesday, May 18 at Prtichard Park in downtown Asheville. The goal, says Cantrell, was to raise awareness about the challenges facing Asheville’s poorest residents.

“We believe in building community, and we need to help each other,” Cantrell tells Xpress. Tuesday’s participants carried signs reflecting the need for jobs, healthcare, education and more. As one sign indicated, many Asheville residents may be just one paycheck away from homelessness.
photo by Jerry Nelson

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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3 thoughts on “Raising awareness: Local group focuses on jobs, community

  1. Dee Carter

    I am in total agreement to this article. There are way too many people out of work or that have disability that just can not afford a decent place to live..I know I am one of them.I try so hard to better myself and it just seems that every way I try it is a battle which I feel defeated. I rent a place,barely able to afford it trying to stay away from the drugs,fights and more that goes on in many communities.I lived in that before I moved here and it was not easy. I so feel for all the people who are jobless and homeless. I have seen our city go so downhill in those areas in just 3 years and the government keeps cutting back and making it harder for folks to get any type of help.Medical is much needed as well as mental health for many.We also need new low income housing to accommodate those in need.
    I am a widow my husband had no insurance due to his illness which happens to many folks. I find it very difficult to find housing that will accept my small 3.7 lb companion and that is tough he is my best friend my family.
    Something has got to change in this city even county.Shoot country for that matter.
    When are the PEOPLE going to be heard and help in this country ?? GOD HELP US ALL !!!

  2. Piffy!

    if ‘your’ just one pay day away from homelessness, you weren’t very good with your bills.

  3. Dee Carter

    Not everyone in Asheville makes above minimum wage and most have families. Our county has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the state.Which makes it very difficult for many people to make a mortgage or even a rental payment. I have frequented many of the places (as an onlooker) where many homeless people get help with food,medication and other services.Some do choose to be homeless but a majority do not.Many are women with children who just can not afford to get a place to live as services here for housing had been overwhelmed with many folks loosing their homes at this time.Many people are not in the $15,000 or more work force and it is not always due to lack of education most is due to lack of jobs.
    Sadly in Asheville if you rent a place that is say $450 the majority of these places are not up to code and are really in seriously bad shape and the landlords do not care as long as they can get their rent and get away with the bad living standards they provide. Sadly most people do not realize that they have rights as a renter to stand up to these people.
    All I can say is as a community we need to do something to help one another not have the attitude of I’ve got mine so the heck with everyone else.

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