FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – The City of Fayetteville opened its Day Resource Center for the homeless community on Monday morning.
However, some members of the community it’s focused on serving, are not completely satisfied with its services. On Sunday night, Shyianne Harris was among a group of homeless people having a sleepout in front of the new center. The purpose of the sleepout was to bring awareness to the challenges they have finding a place to lay their heads at night.
“My husband works two jobs now because we are trying income at least to get into a place,” Harris said.
She is expecting to give birth to a little girl later this week. She and her husband are homeless in Fayetteville after falling on hard times.
“I don’t want my child taken away. I don’t want my child being born on the streets. That’s not going to happen,” Harris said.
The sleepout happened just hours before the ribbon cutting for the Resource Center. While the facility does provide services like showers and a place to wash clothing, some concerns remain.
“We need a place for people to actually be able to rest and sleep and this is a great place for during the day. We need places for at night,” Tiffany Miller, co-founder of Homeless Assembly said.
“Being homeless is a 24-hour thing. It doesn’t end at 6 o’clock. When they close these doors and they go home, we are still going to be out here. We are still going to have to figure out where we are going to sleep,” Justin Dawson, with Homeless Assembly said.
“Right now, it’s five days a week. We realize that that’s not ideal for that community. But it’s what we can provide now starting out and maybe as we build and it became more of a resource and we get other services in here,” Alfred Foote, Board Chair of Cumberland HealthNET said.
Toni Stewart, Chair of Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, said the city and county are not working together to solve homelessness.
“What is it going to take for us to be able to work together? I think what it’s going to take is for us to keep what’s important in front of us. It doesn’t matter who does it. It doesn’t matter who starts it. It doesn’t matter who finishes it. What we must keep in mind is there is some people who are displaced that are unsheltered that are before us,” Dr. Stewart said.
While Fayetteville just opened a Day Resource Center, Cumberland County is working on building a homeless center that will include a 110-bed shelter. However, they are having trouble finding property to build on.
“I think it would be helpful if we can collaborate.” Stewart said.
Stewart voted against banning homeless encampments on county property several months ago.
“If they don’t have options, how can we penalize them for not having options?” Stewart said.