Letter: Everyone deserves housing

Graphic by Lori Deaton

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


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2 thoughts on “Letter: Everyone deserves housing

  1. rwd

    Ha !! City and County Admin have no authority to make Churches do anything. However YOU have a voice in this…go to one or all of the churches, speak with the Pastor/s and/or other Administrative Officials and express your idea. Get others within the congregation to agree with your idea to speak out. Merely expressing your views on a Social Platform just will not get very far. YOU can control your own narrative…or choose not too and then you become part of your own issue.

  2. Robert McGee

    I agree that more letter writers and Facebook posters need to put some action behind their ideas. Again and again, I see people sad-facing posts on social media, but with many, that’s all they do. Sad-facing won’t do it! If you want to make an impact, write op-eds and speak at council meetings and, yes, go directly to churches and individuals who have the power to help. While many churches are very involved gathering clothes and food for those in need, other organizations maybe have never been approached or even given any thought to what they can do on a very practical level. Lisa, you’ve taken the first step by writing this letter. I hope you’ll use your passion/vision and keep up the momentum. This is how many find their life’s work.

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