“The lack of regular patrolling invites chaos and boundary testing. This has been a long-running issue and can only be solved by a community united by bold government leadership.”
Buncombe County’s latest Point-In-Time count — meant to record every resident sleeping on the streets, at a shelter or in transitional housing on a single night — found 232 unsheltered residents in January 2022, up from the 116 people counted a year before. Overall homelessness in the county increased by about 21% over the same period.
Asheville City Council’s April 26 meeting brought a new wrinkle to the already shambolic process of establishing permanent supportive housing at an East Asheville Ramada Inn.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners awarded over $11 million in federal COVID-19 recovery funding Nov. 16. Those grants did not include any money toward the city of Asheville’s controversial planned purchase of a Ramada Inn for a low-barrier homeless shelter.
“Spending $1 million to $2 million to construct a site on city-owned property and using the rest for the rescue of existing organizations would seem to me a far better allocation of the rescue funds!”
“The city recently purchased a tract of land by the Deaverview area. Immediate use should be for this shelter.”
The vote on the proposed $9.75 million emergency shelter project was delayed so that members of Council have more time to review the proposal and understand community concerns.
“Just as mental, physical and socioeconomic conditions are not lifestyles, neither is homelessness; it is an outcome of those conditions.”
Newly formed Asheville nonprofit Accessing Needed Crisis and Critical Help Outreach and Resources is proposing a low-barrier, high-access shelter that would forego many of the usual rules for tenants. Start-up costs could reach $6.5 million, with annual operating costs of $3 million, and would initially be funded through Asheville’s approximately $26.1 million in federal coronavirus relief.