The City Council agreed to move forward with the plan to create a permanent supportive facility for the homeless in northeast Greensboro at the Thursday, Oct. 28 work session.
Although a number of questions were asked about the proposal, no member of the City Council expressed opposition to the plan to purchase the Regency Inn and Suites motel at 2701 N. OHenry Blvd. and spend an estimated $13 million to turn it into permanent supportive housing facility for the homeless.
The item that will be on the agenda for the Monday, Nov. 1 meeting calls for the city to make a $3 million, no interest, forgivable loan to Partnership Homes Inc. to purchase the property and make the necessary renovations for it to become a winter homeless shelter.
The plan then calls for an additional $10 million to be spent to renovate the property for a permanent supportive housing facility for the homeless. The source of the $10 million for renovation is unclear. There was no discussion of the cost of operating a permanent supportive housing facility for the homeless or how that would cost would be paid.
Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter noted that the $10 million for upfit of the old motel was about $150,000 per room. She said, “$150,000 per room – that’s a lot of money.”
The council was told that a number of other entities including Guilford County were expected to pay some of the $10 million for renovating the facility.
Councilmember Justin Outling asked if the city had commitments from any of the other “partners” mentioned.
Neighborhood Development Department Director Michelle Kennedy said, “To my knowledge no one has been approached.”
Outling said that the city was being asked to spend $3 million on a $13 million project when the source of the $10 million to make the project complete was unknown and that “gives me a little bit of pause.”
Councilmember Sharon Hightower said, “The $13 million throws me. I don’t think I heard that before at all.”
Councilmember Tammi Thurm said, “It’s a first step and like everything else has some risks involved.”
Councilmember Goldie Wells noted that the proposed facility was in her district and some people were not happy about it, but she added, “The homeless are citizens of Greensboro and we have to look out for them like we look out for other people.”
Despite questions no one on the City Council said they were not in support of the proposal.
It is easy to spend someone else’s money. Especially that which is extorted, and unaccountable.
So, $13,000,000 of taxpayer funds for an out of code motel, or $150,000 per room.
Just how many people will be helped by this staggering investment?
Seems we could build a HABITAT FOR HUMANITY home for all homeless people in Greensboro and come out cheaper.
Why not get rid of the useless parasites. They are a drain on our economy. They contribute NOTHING. Why support the leaches. Lets make Greensboro a City that WE ALL can be proud of. We need positive thinking and quality citizens that make OUT city a valuable decent place to US to live in peace. A City that is SAFE and beautiful and warm and inviting for ALL citizens. Why lower out City to this rotten level.
How do you ‘get rid of’ people Martin? You say for ALL citizens but by your own words you seem to be saying only those people you don’t find disagreeable.
Explain? As a veteran I am pleased that you have the right to free speech
From your speech I take it that you believe the homeless to be deplorable individuals that drain society of resources.
For the record you should know about me.
As mentioned before I am a U.S. Navy veteran that has experienced homelessness. Due to medical issues I am not able to work because of service connected injuries and non service connected injuries. To be more specific I have 7 ruptured discs in my lower back and 3 in my neck not to mention a hearing deficit.
I get by on $637.87 each month from the V.A. pentiion. This last year I helped build not 1 but 10 homes for veterans and homeless people. I did this as a volunteer.
Now Sir my question to you.
What have you contributed to the problem?
Of course they are all in favor-it will be a money fountain for all the cronies and contributors.
$150,000 per room? You could build each one of the homeless a “small house” for about $30,000. This is so out of reality that it is scary. Where is the $10,000,000 coming from? No one knows? Then do not move forward until the money is in the bank.
Yeah, let’s make sure Greensboro developes a Skid Row like Los Angeles has.
Uh, you do THAT by not investing in centers such as the one mentioned in the article. What are you trying to say?
There are at least several hundred homeless folks in the metro area. Most invisible, some you see every day. Many work 2-3 jobs. I’ve talked to homeless couples with children, veterans, hard working folks down on their luck. Some are sick. Some have been evicted, incarcerated, have drug and mental health issues, and MANY have access to firearms. How do I know? I give money and food when I’m able and have had in-depth conversations with some, who, despite circumstances, are no different than you and I. They all pursued the American dream until it came crashing down around their ears, often due to no fault of their own.
$3 million to buy a roach infested hotel that was once a hub of prostitution and drug dealing isn’t bad, but 10 million to renovate 60 rooms seems high, even in today’s market. As long as they put the renovation work out to competitive bid it seems like a decent but PARTIAL solution to the overall need. The hotel needs easy access to mental health, drug rehab and social services professionals, and employment opportunities. Better be on the bus lines. PART of the renovation may be to add clinic and counselling space to the facility? The details should be released as soon as possible for public comment.
Overall, $13 million is a small price to pay if it prevents ONE mass shooting or murder by someone pushed to the brink of their faculties by brutal circumstance. Of course, Martin would prefer we build a gas chamber and crematoria, but do really want to smell burning flesh and dodge ash clouds on O. Henry Street. Besides, we’d have to get an EPA permit and that would take YEARS. Right, Herr Martin?
Work 2-3 jobs and still have time to chit-chat? What DO these workaholics do with the money they make if they are homeless? They have no rent, power/water bills, taxes, insurance, upkeep, don’t even have to buy a broom or bathmat. Your chums that work 2-3 jobs should be awash in money. I ask again. What DO they do with this money?
Good on you for asking versus making assumptions.
Part of homelessness is limitation of access to housing if you have poor financial history, recently incarcerated, or drug addition (yes you can hold two jobs as a drug addict). There are options for those facing this issues but the wait list can be long.
Note that he didn’t say two full time jobs.
I agree that the homeless we see downtown or begging on the side of the road are not the true face of homelessness. I would like to see a plan of how the project would mix potential families with children and others who are homeless due to mental illness and/or drug use. This could be a dangerous situation for children if the parameters are not well defined. Let’s say it cannot be a day care/hang out like the IRC.
The City Council will be well advised to reject this plan. There must come a time when enough is enough and plan backers are required to answer key questions before the city jumps into a hole. Who will be in charge of the project during construction, who are the financial backers that have committed $10 million rehabilitation costs, who will be responsible for annual operating costs, where is the budget (someone indicated $10 million in costs)?
Councilmember Abuzuaiter said $150,000 per unit is a lot of money. How does that compare with per unit costs at some top Greensboro hotels?
This needs a no vote. If the city votes yes to spend $3 million dollars, what happens if the project is unable to raise $10 million on its own initiative. No is the better answer.
In one year the sounds of laughing, playing children will surround the spotless parking area. Flower boxes pridefully compete in front of each door with awards displayed for the greenest thumbs among them. The neighbors share rides to church services followed up by a potluck luncheon of casseroles and yummy desserts. The lucky residents will take such pride in their spic and span little apartments, upgrading each with their own personal touches and individual tastes. Singalongs are organized every holiday, and gosh, sometimes just for the heck of it. CNN will feature this happy, tight little community within a community on it’s morning show. Well worth the money. Well worth it, yes indeed.
I sure hope this was supposed to be satirical, because if it was not, maybe you can go to the site and clean up each week.
“Councilmember Tammi Thurm said, “It’s a first step and like everything else has some risks involved.”
There are no risks to the council members. They won’t be on the hook for the money and will be reelected no matter how badly it goes.
Give these people $10.00 and a bus ticket and put them ON THE BUS and send them out of OUR town. WE, the citizens of Greensboro, are more important!!! Lets SAVE Greensboro, WE deserve it.
At least seven members of our city council will vote in favor of this. They should chip in their own money to pay for this boondoggle, starting with Queen Nancy!
How about we all chip in a few bucks and ship your hateful, uncaring and mindless butt and ship you off.
Build the place but outlaw panhandling
A 3 million dollar investment to get started and another 10 needed. The question of where that 10 million comes from should be answered before the initial 3 is invested.
Major players like Michelle Kennedy and Partnership homes are mentioned but who else are on board with this?
$150 thousand per room in upgrades to make them habitable seems expensive given that 2 house can be built for the same purpose.
This will turn into another crazy project that will need constant injections of cash compliments of the taxpayer. Didn’t they do this before with that motel on Randleman Rd. years ago? Stupid.
I get it what everyone is saying. Yes it’s a lot of money to fix up the rooms and to operate it. But, if there’s a family that the parent or parents are working, why not charge them low rent and even a single person. It will reduce the cost also. Plus do a background check on every one also. Then the motel can come close to be a safe place to stay. Even have a timeline on how long they can stay. Just a thought.