Letter: Ending homelessness via St. Joseph’s campus?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I’m certain I can’t be the first to wonder why the St. Joe’s campus side of Mission Hospital couldn’t become a resource for housing hundreds of people just like that?!

The rooms of the vacant building all have plumbing and probably still have beds; there is a cafeteria that could become a place to feed people even if they had to pay $1 or $2 per meal; the old emergency room could be a “quick look” clinic; and there are other spaces that could become community rooms and activity spaces; and a way to create lots of jobs.

Is there no possibility of bringing this concept to the attention of the City Council and county commissioners to end homelessness around here real quick?

— Michael Harney

Editor’s note: This letter was received before COVID-19 concerns began affecting Asheville and WNC. Also, Xpress contacted Mission Health with a summary of the letter writer’s points, and we received the following response from spokeswoman Nancy Lindell: “Mission Health’s St. Joseph campus in Asheville currently houses inpatient and outpatient services for multiple departments, including the entirety of the behavioral health department. Throughout the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the St. Joseph campus is also included in the planning for potential bed space expansion. If a COVID-19 surge approaches, we are able to access additional bed capacity by converting other hospital beds into ICU beds and accessing unused capacity at St. Joseph’s, including a 14-bed ICU and its old emergency department.”


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Letter: Ending homelessness via St. Joseph’s campus?

  1. Enlightened Enigma

    sounds like a viable option for a short term fix. taxpayers cannot afford it however… ‘non profits’ CAN…

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.