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.”