If Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston gets his way – and he almost always does – the county’s homeless population will have 250 long-term beds to sleep in by Oct. 30 of this year.
For months, Alston has stressed that addressing homelessness in Guilford County is his top priority for 2023, and he said on Tuesday, March 14 that he’s now very optimistic that the county’s collaboration with the City of Greensboro will go a long way toward addressing that problem.
According to Alston, the county’s task force on homelessness has set a goal of establishing at least 250 beds for homeless people by the end of October – and he added that there are two buildings currently under consideration for purchase by the county and by the City of Greensboro that would likely meet that goal.
“The buildings we’re looking at are basically ready to go,” Alston said, adding that the facilities would take very little modification to be used as a shelter for the homeless. Both Greensboro and Guilford County have been mum about the exact location of these two buildings, since making that public would likely increase the price.
Alston also said that this would be a better solution than the temporary small housing enclosures that the city of Greensboro is currently using.
“That’s a temporary solution,” Alston said of the pallet shelters the city has put in a city park. “It’s better than them sleeping on the ground, but it’s a little inhumane. I want to see a more holistic approach. It’s not just about finding them beds. Many of these people have an alcohol problem, or a drug problem, or are experiencing mental health issues.”
Alston said he’s very encouraged right now by the collaboration he’s seeing between the cities, Guilford County and community groups who address homelessness.