The Greensboro Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development, in its annual report for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, lists a number of accomplishments.
One of those was the controversial Doorway Project, which placed 30 two-person shelters on the ball field built to accommodate disabled children at Pomona Park.
The name comes from the goal of the project, which was to reduce the number of people sleeping in downtown doorways on cold winter nights, and according to those who frequent the downtown, it was successful in that there were noticeably fewer people sleeping in doorways during the winter.
Once the shelters were up and available, they maintained an occupancy rate of 92 percent until March, when the project ended for the year. Two of the 30 shelters were handicapped accessible and could only house one person, which means on average they housed 53 people per night.
In 2022, the Doorway Project got off to a late start because of a delay in the delivery of the shelters and in the installation of the utilities. However, in 2023, Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development Michelle Kennedy said that the Doorway Project would be back at Pomona and would open on Nov. 1.
However, the Safe Parking initiative that was also housed at Pomona Park, which provided 35 safe parking spaces for people living in their vehicles, was moved in March to the Interactive Resource Center (IRC), which now provides 20 safe parking spaces year round.
The report also notes that the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development “will be among the first City departments to test our the ‘neighborhood hub’ concept – providing government services within communities in partnership with nonprofits or other community agencies.”
The proposed neighborhood hub is the former Glenwood United Methodist Church at 1317 Glenwood Ave., which the city purchased in February. The former church buildings will be renovated to serve as “home base” for the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development as well as community organizations.
The city also agreed to provide four buildable lots to Habitat for Humanity to build affordable housing on the two acre site.