HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — A new homeless shelter could be coming to High Point but not without opposition.
Open Door Ministries is working to purchase vacant property off Brentwood Street and build a homeless day center and shelter.
People living in the area mixed reactions. About half the people FOX8 crews talked to said the community needs something like this, so they might as well have it there. The other half have concerns about the kind of activity a shelter could bring to the area.
“We understand it’s where they live, and we just want to add to the community,” said Ryan Ross, executive director of Open Door Ministries. “We don’t want to take away. We don’t want to hurt their property values or make their neighborhoods unsafe.”
Ross wants to work with the people living next to the former church site, which he hopes to turn into a resource center. First, he has to get rezoning approved.
“We just feel like that is where a lot of our population is served, and it’s a good localization, and I think we could really add a benefit to that side of the community,” he said.
The organization has outgrown its current location off North Centennial Street.
Open Door Ministries went from serving 4,700 meals in May to 7,200 in June. The need keeps growing.
The new center, which Ross hopes will be located at 410 Brentwood St., would have the same amenities Open Door Ministries currently offers, like a food pantry, soup kitchen and men’s shelter, plus a day center.
“It’s for the things that we take for granted on a daily basis: place to get your hair cut, to wash your clothes, to charge your cell phone, to take a shower,” Ross said.
The land is surrounded by homes. Some of the people who live closest to it didn’t want to go on camera but said they’d feel more comfortable with the plans if the shelter is fenced off.
Ross said at the end of this month, they’ll get a chance to see the potential designs and give their feedback.
“We’re going to be working with the community, specifically those around that area, to help them understand and see and hear their concerns,” he said.
Open Door Ministries has raised about $8 million of the $13 million it needs to open and fund the operations of the center for the first three to five years.