The Interactive Resource Center (IRC) on Washington Street in downtown Greensboro has announced the first phase of expanding to a 24/7 facility.
The IRC, starting on Wednesday, Jan. 17, will expand its hours and be open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Friday.
Currently, the IRC is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The IRC has been primarily funded by the City of Greensboro, but in December the Guilford County Board of Commissioners approved over $300,000 to help with the expansion from a facility that is open seven hours a day, five days a week to a facility that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Greensboro City Council had already approved a similar amount for the expanded hours.
The IRC is not a homeless shelter but has been a day center where people experiencing homelessness could take a shower, see job listings, get their mail, check their email and generally get assistance from the staff.
Expanding the hours from seven hours during the day to an additional 12 hours at night during the week is a big jump, but when fully operational as a 24/7 facility the IRC will provide:
- A safe and sanitary space for people to be out of the elements, eliminating temperature requirements for emergency shelter.
- Increased access to fundamental services such as restrooms, showers, laundry services, storage lockers, and phones into evening and overnight hours.
- Evening case management connecting center guests to mainstream benefits, and increased likelihood of housing program success.
In the press release, Mayor Nancy Vaughan said, “Over the past year, the city has implemented safe parking, pallet shelters and now funding to support 24/7 services to people experiencing homelessness. This program will expand service access to hundreds of individuals in our community in need.”
IRC Executive Director Kristina Singleton said, “While this is a bold departure from our day center service model, this program allows us to fil la gap in resources. Fundamental needs like restrooms aren’t bound by specific hours of the day and access to them shouldn’t be either.”