GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Interactive Resource Center (IRC) in Greensboro is a lot more than just a homeless day shelter. On any given day, about 200 people use the facility.
“We provide everything from basic fundamental services like showers, laundry, access to mail, phones, coffee, to self-sufficiency programming or GED classes,” said Executive Director Michelle Kennedy.
The IRC first opened in a church in 2008. “We opened to exist through the winter, but when the winter ended it became clear the people weren’t going anywhere,” Kennedy said. “It was obvious the space that we were in at the time was inadequate, but as a small non-profit startup, it’s not like there were funds available to us to expand or do something different.”
And that’s where the Strasser family comes in. When they owned the building, it housed their glass business for about 20 years. But then in 2009, Aaron Strasser explained his family was ready to do something business. “We looked at the building as a philanthropic opportunity to have a real impact in Greensboro,” Strasser said.
With the help of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, Aaron, and his family donated the building to the IRC.
“We’re proud to have been part of the birth of the organization, and we’re proud to be part of its growth,” Strasser said.
According to Kennedy, the building’s space and location on East Washington street in Downtown make it a perfect fit for the clients the IRC serves.
“Because of this location and because of this building, they can literally walk to other services they need to access within 5 minutes and that’s life changing,” Kennedy said.