GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — County Commissioner Chairman Skip Alston sat down with FOX8 to talk about a first-of-its-kind treatment center for people facing homelessness in Guilford County.
“I don’t want another winter season to come to Guilford County and be under the same conditions we are in,” Alston said.
Leaders are finalizing plans to purchase a building to house roughly 70 citizens facing homelessness and provide them with addiction and mental health treatment.
According to Alston, they’ve narrowed down the list and are seriously considering a handful of properties including an old school building.
Alston says the treatment center would get to the root cause of what’s forcing people to live on the streets.
During a recent push to count the number of people facing homelessness in the area, Alston found many people were eager to have treatment options they could get to easily and at a low cost or free.
“We don’t want another band-aid for the problem. We want to solve the problem from a holistic standpoint,” Alston said.
He’s looking to a similar program in Durham that also provided job training and re-certification for trade skills many people already have.
“We don’t want them to get comfortable living in a homeless shelter. We don’t want them to get comfortable living in a rehab center. We want them to be out on their own and have a job and pay for their upkeep and become a responsible citizen again like they once were,” Alston said.
The county set aside $8 million in American Rescue Funds to address the problem. They would use the money to purchase and outfit a building and hire necessary staff.
Conversations are underway with Cone Health, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Novant Health and Sand Hills Hospital to partner with the county.
Leaders in Greensboro and High Point are working with the county to get the center up and running.