All the elected leaders in Guilford County want to see the county’s problem of homelessness addressed, however, in the past, Guilford County, the City of Greensboro, and the City of High Point have often been on very different pages when it came to solutions.
On Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 31, the local leaders hope to change that: Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston, Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan and High Point Mayor Jay Wagner – along with other elected leaders and top staff from the county and the two cities – are holding a meeting to see what can be done to fix the problem.
Alston said on Monday, Aug. 29, that the problem of homelessness has reached alarming levels in Guilford County – largely due to the economic fallout of the pandemic. He added that all three players have dropped the ball at times. He said there’s plenty of blame to go around – including some for Guilford County government – but, by getting everyone together with staff in this tightly focused summit-style meeting to discuss the issue and potential solutions, there will hopefully be a more effective and coordinated effort going forward.
“It’s all of our problem,” Alston said of homelessness.
Alston said the county needs to work closely with the cities because about 95 percent of homelessness in the county occurs in Greensboro and High Point.
Unlike some times in the past, there’s currently a lot of money that can be used to address the problem – the federal government has been generous with funding to local governments since the pandemic began. But Alston said that a long-term solution is needed.
“The American Rescue Plan Act money only lasts two years,” the chairman said of one source of funds.
According to Alston, some of the first steps needed include creating more beds in local homeless shelters, having a better system of transitional housing, addressing mental health issues among the homeless and providing job training to help solve the problem in a long-term fashion.
I have no positive expectations when this bunch gets together.. more taxes for the already heavily taxed?
Skip’s running another “I’m in charge “ project. He’ll have his way once again and taxpayers will foot the “long term solution “, probably with another bond referendum.
Bottom line–if you want more of something, keep throwing money at it. If you want less, stop subsidizing it.
Dems and republicans both advocate for temporary (non) “solutions” – see: shelters and transitional housing – for what is a permanent structural problem: low wages and a lack of affordable housing people can afford.
Band aids won’t cut it. We need housing people can afford
The homeless downtown have chosen to be homeless due to mental illness, drug use, or both. They are not eligible for shelters because they do not behave. It’s not a housing crisis for those homeless.
The other issue is that our city government only seems to be approving the building of luxury apartments that out price the middle class. They are making Greensboro the city of apartments. New single family dwellings are all in near million dollar neighborhoods.
I 100% agree with your second paragraph, but the first? “They have chosen to be homeless due to mental illness”? Did they choose to have mental illness?
You’re right. The structural problem is that the torrent of “green” regulations have massively driven up the cost of building homes, making the bottom end of the market unviable. So builders are forced to go upmarket, where the high cost of all the rules, restrictions, requirements and red tape can be priced in, without making the home overpriced.
With $15,000-20,000 of added green costs per house, “affordable housing” becomes impossible. Not to mention the slew of other regs that have been imposed over the last couple of decades.
Leftists imposed this – then complain “the market” isn’t producing cheap housing!
We just moved to Winston-Salem from Denver because of the huge homeless crisis out there. Money and housing will NOT fix this! It will only enable and attract more homeless people.
Go visit Denver and San Francisco…they tried the same approach and it has failed miserably. Go visit, figure out what they did, and do the opposite! Do not give an inch on allowing homeless because it will quickly take over your city.
I hope they include what current initiatives are not working and why they are not working. Perhaps they could review things done in the past that may have had a positive impact before being undone.
Drugs (fentanyl, heroin, opiates) Means homeless on the streets. These wacked out junkies don’t want shelters and shelters don’t allow junkies. Economic homeless can be helped, Our local Churches are doing the best they can but supplies are low. If Skip just tries to throw money at shelters he will never catch up. The drug problem must be solved too
God said we must look out for the lease and the left out.
The only true way to solve the problem is to make local cities less inviting to the homeless. Offering more and more incentives/initiatives (i.e., benefits) only encourages more homeless people to come and stay. If our legislators used common sense they would reduce the attractiveness, not enhance it for a longer-term solution.
As heartless as some may feel the concept of reduced benefits to be, if research is done, you will find that some of our larger cities (New York City & Los Angeles for example) adopted this philosophy and expanded it decades ago as a way to reduce their existing homeless population and the significant problems they created for city leaders and the population in general. Not being totally without guilt, the major cities did research in an effort to identify cities that they believed would welcome the homeless (my guess is that Greensboro/High Point was and still are on the list.) The cities then bussed the homeless to those and other cities (possibly during the cover of darkness.) No, the big city homeless problem was not totally solved, but the reduced population became more manageable, and the taxpayers benefited from the action taken by their elected officials.
Buy bus tickets or build more affordable housing. Which is a better long-term solution?
Why does Greensboro always have to meet with other cities and states to decide what we need. We looked at Greenville, SC to determine what was needed for downtown. We also looked at Knoxville, TN. They both had water running thru their cities and also had a agreeable city council that wanted to work together. The homeless situation here in Greensboro is much different than in the county and in other cities. It is to blame on the city leadership and not Guilford County or High Point. Our city management is just looking for someone else to blame and so they are not held responsible. Wake up Greensboro before the ship sinks and all that is left are the people with the government life jackets.
The majority of these homeless folks chose to live this way. You can find them a job, a place to live, and transportation and it might last for 6 months. But, the majority will just go right back to where they were before. They chose to live the way they do.