The Greensboro City Council work session Thursday, Oct. 28 has been re-re-scheduled for 2 p.m.
The meeting was originally scheduled for 2 p.m. and then it was moved to 1 p.m. and the latest word from the city is that it is back to 2 p.m., but there is still time to change it back to 1 p.m. before the meeting.
In the better late than never category, on the agenda for the work session is a report titled, “Affordable Housing Development Acquisition for Permanent Supportive Housing Site.”
Allocating the funds to purchase the Regency Inn and Suites motel at 2701 N. OHenry Blvd. for a winter homeless shelter and then for permanent supportive housing for the homeless was on the agenda for the Oct. 19 City Council meeting. The Rhino Times published an article about that agenda item, and reportedly councilmembers received enough phone calls and emails that the item was continued to the Monday, Nov. 1 City Council meeting.
So at this work session city councilmembers will hear a report on how much money the community, not the city, will save if it spends the $3 million to acquire the site and turn it into a winter homeless shelter and then spend an additional $10 million to renovate the site for permanent supportive housing for the homeless. Permanent supportive housing provides housing and wrap around services for the “chronically homeless and disabled with high acuity needs.”
There is no estimate of the cost of running the facility.
This is a project of the Neighborhood Development Department, and the director of that department is former City Councilmember Michelle Kennedy, who before accepting her current job with the city was the executive director of the Interactive Resource Center, which is a daytime shelter for the homeless.
When she was on the City Council, Kennedy attempted to convince her fellow councilmembers to renovate the Maple Street Building that housed the Parks and Recreation Department into a permanent supportive housing facility. Kennedy didn’t get much support for that idea, which she presented at a work session as almost a done deal. Instead the city sold that building to Guilford County.
It appears this is a similar situation. The item on the Oct. 19 agenda was supposed to sail through with little discussion, but when councilmembers discovered that their constituents were not necessarily supportive of the proposal, the decision was made to inform councilmembers about what they were doing before they were asked to vote to approve it.