FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – After years of debate, Cumberland County is finally moving forward with plans to build a homeless shelter.
“It’s a long time coming. Before me, Former Commissioner Charles Evans has advocated for our homeless community,” Dr. Toni Stewart, Chair of Cumberland County Board of Commissioners said.
A groundbreaking could happen as early as next week for the Cumberland County Homeless Support Center. It will be located off Grove Street between B Street and Hawley Lane, adjacent to Fayetteville Technical Community College’s Education Center.
The property is owned by Cumberland County Schools. Earlier this month, Cumberland County Board of Education approved a request to convey two parcels to this project.
“This is proof the county is doing something,” Dr. Stewart said.
The center will serve as a shelter and transitional housing for the homeless community. Both Fayetteville Technical Community College and Cape Fear Valley Health System will offer recourses and educational programs to tenants at the center.
“We’re not just looking at giving them a place to stay for the night. We are looking at completely changing their living environment,” Stewart said.
The facility is in the architect designing stage. The architectural firm LS3P will finalize the building program and design the Homeless Support Center. Once construction gets underway, it could take at least 12 to 18 months for the project to be completed.
All of this comes as hundreds in the underhoused community in Fayetteville scramble to find a place to lay their heads at night.
The city recently opened Fayetteville Homeless Day Resource Center after passing an ordinance prohibiting homeless people from living on sidewalks and other city property. The day center closes in the evenings, leaving many in the homeless population with minimum options on where to sleep. In the meantime, Fayetteville is supposed to be working on turning some old motels into transitional housing.