FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – Destiny Green-Hays is a social worker at Loving Hands International in Fayetteville. She said it’s becoming extremely difficult for the homeless to find a warm bed at night in Cumberland County.
There are only two shelters in Fayetteville with 36 beds combined.
“Got a guy who couldn’t get in. Second phone call he made, I’m calling the ambulance, because he knows he’s going to be inside the hospital at least for one night. That’s the most expensive hotel ever,” Green-Hays said.
She said while some people are even going to the emergency room just to be inside, it is also costing taxpayers.
“The hospitals are probably the biggest homeless services in the gap, in the trenches. We have all these people showing up and sometimes it’s not medical,” Green-Hays said.
The Cape Fear Valley Hospital CEO agreed to work with Cumberland County on building a shelter. Though no details have been released. The shelter is in the very initial planning stages.
Green-Hays said the pandemic is leaving more and more families on the streets by the day.
“There is a shift. There are people going through evictions that are coming out of homes and there are people waiting out to go in,” Green-Hays said.
There is also an area known as Tent City in Fayetteville.
It’s where dozens of people live under a bridge in tents. Additional homeless people are even moving to the area from other communities.
“What you see is a shift of people coming from bigger places (to) here. It’s cheaper here and you can get help quicker,” Hays said.
Hays said the homelessness problem may never completely go away.
“I don’t ever think you will be able to get to zero homeless. I don’t care what you build. Somebody else is coming behind them,” she said.
CBS 17 received an email from The Salvation Army of the Sandhills on Thursday afternoon claiming “the Salvation Army shelter in downtown Fayetteville has 98 beds, 44 of which are used for inclement weather (white flag) and have yet to all be filled.”
However, CBS 17 went to that shelter just before 6:30 p.m. on Thursday and a worker at the shelter said there were no available beds and no one related with the contents of the email was available for comment.