HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — The High Point City Council approved a resolution on April 23 to begin the process of bringing a day center to better address homelessness in the city.
The resolution will seek federal funding to open a center providing services to people without stable housing, job training or a place to shower and do laundry.
“It’s amazing how many people…can’t afford electricity and running water, so they still need those shower facilities. They need somewhere where they can come charge a cell phone,” said Ryan Ross, executive director for Open Door Ministries.
The project is still in the early stages. If the city wins federal funding, High Point could receive about $3 million. The city would also contribute $1 million for the effort.
The shelter is operating at half capacity, and Ross said staff can only provide services for those sleeping at the shelter.
He explained that a day center would allow them to expand programming for those dealing with addiction.
“We have a large drug problem right now. There’s violence…so getting people off the streets and trying to help them out, that’s really what we’re trying to accomplish,” Ross said.
Bryant Hairston is staying at the shelter and says staff members helped him secure an interview after he lost work as a custodian several months ago.
He said the need is there for a safe place for people without stable housing.
“It’s people’s livelihoods. They need that. They don’t need to be out in the streets,” he said.
Carmen Hernandez also sees the need from her smoothie business on North Main Street in High Point.
According to High Point police, there have been 27 trespassing calls in a one-mile area of North Main surrounding Hernandez’s store in 2021.
In 2020, there were 37 calls in the same time period.
“When it comes to people hanging around in the parking lot, sometimes I’ve had people come in the door asking for money,” Hernandez said.
A location for the center has not yet been selected.