I visited Asheville for the first time last summer. It was wonderful! The only part I didn’t enjoy was the homeless situation downtown. I didn’t feel completely safe, and I wondered how the business owners felt about it. I am glad to see this is being addressed.
I moved here at the end of 2022, and I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing community. Every time I go downtown, though, I am still bothered by the homeless situation I see.
One of Asheville’s greatest assets is its tourism industry. I feel like if this situation isn’t seriously addressed, it will have a long-term negative effect on Asheville and its many businesses that rely on tourism. There must be a humane and practical way to clear this up quickly.
— Carrie Fuller
Editor’s note: This was one of a number of letters about downtown Asheville that came in after a recent Xpress newsletter highlighted three articles covering concerns about public safety and cleanliness downtown. Those stories can be found at avl.mx/chu, avl.mx/chw and avl.mx/cht. To sign up for Xpress’ free newsletter, go to avl.mx/8st.
2 thoughts on “Letter: Solutions needed for downtown homeless situation”
I’m so tired of hearing that the tourism industry is one of our greatest assets. Tourism brings in lots of money for some and employs a great many low-wage earners who can’t afford housing and tourism is indeed an economic driver–though one that has exacerbated many of the problems we now face. Asheville’s greatest asset is and always has been: law-abiding resident taxpayers who are good neighbors and are involved in the community and who know that we have woeful myopic leadership and that much needs to change in a hurry before everything we’ve built gets flushed away. First and foremost, we should aspire to keep our city clean and safe and pleasant and vibrant for those who actually live here; tourists are secondary. Asheville’s motto should be ‘Residents First’ and all good things would very likely follow from that.
You moved here last year (from Florida?)
and you’re already whining about the plight of downtown? I have an easy fix for your discomfort. Don’t go downtown. That’s the tourist zone now. It’s like Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Locals know to keep away.