WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — On the first night of being without a home, only 23 former Heritage House residents will take advantage of an emergency shelter set up by the Interactive Resource Center in Greensboro.
Executive Director of the IRC Michelle Kennedy said 27 people from the housing complex boarded a bus to visit the IRC on East Washington Street Wednesday. The group had been preparing for up to 80 residents needing temporary shelter.
Along with a place to sleep, the center is a source for food, bathing and washing clothes that leaders anticipate being open for at least a week as residents find a new place to live.
“We’re going to continue to work with them today tomorrow next week and even for months after they get into a place of their own,” said City Councilwoman Sharon Hightower. “We are going to do case management to make sure they are okay with their new living situations.”
The IRC said it could use volunteer help and non-perishable food to replenish supplies because it will continue to function as a day center for the homeless along with the new duties.
About 15 families who need more privacy than the emergency shelter provides are also being helped by the City of Greensboro until housing becomes available.
The City of Greensboro cleared the building and boarded it up in response to mounting water and electricity bills that were not paid by the Heritage House Homeowner’s Association.
The Heritage House remained open despite a building-wide inspection in June that found more than 830 housing code violations. Problems included broken smoke detectors, roach and bedbug infestations and animal feces on the floors.
Residents were given about one month’s notice of the water shut off. Since then community groups like the Greensboro Housing Coalition have helped more than 100 families finding housing.
Some though were still signing up for help on move out day. They told FOX8 they had been turned down for assistance in previous attempts to get help through non-profit organizations.