I am feeling upset, mad, frustrated and disappointed with Asheville’s city and county government as I write this tonight as well as all of the local churches. There’s a Code Purple for tonight (Saturday, Nov. 13), meaning the temperature is expected to be below freezing (down to 27 F, according to my weather app), and no government nor church officials are opening up any of their buildings or churches tonight to allow homeless people to come in from the cold and not risk freezing to death, with other shelters being full and/or inaccessible (according to local news channel WLOS).
I came through downtown Asheville earlier, and Pritchard Park had a handful of homeless people already zipped up in their sleeping bags on the ground/concrete for the night, including an individual’s personal tent set up across from the park beside an empty bank building.
Last winter, at times, they even allowed some homeless people to sleep in the hallway of the civic center due to the pandemic. If they did that then, surely they can do it now also, at the very least on Code Purple nights. And churches have no excuse not to provide shelter to those in need, especially on a cold night like this. There are a ton of churches just in the downtown area that together could easily accommodate all the people downtown who are out trying to sleep in the freezing cold.
Someone with the authority to use these buildings and churches needs to do something!
— Lisa Brennan