The International Resource Center (IRC), the daytime shelter for people experiencing homelessness in Greensboro celebrated its 10th anniversary with barbecue, beer and music on Friday, May 10.
The IRC has made a lot of progress from when it started ten years ago at the Bessemer United Methodist Church. The IRC operated at the church for less than a year and then moved to its current location at 407 E. Washington St. in downtown Greensboro when the Strasser family moved its glass business to a new location and donated the old one to the IRC.
But it’s also come a long way since first moving into what was clearly a facility built for another purpose. Two years ago the IRC went through a $260,000 interior renovation and a $270,000 outdoor renovation was finished just in time for the anniversary celebration.
IRC Executive Director and Greensboro City Councilmember Michelle Kennedy has her own anniversary coming up. In a couple of weeks Kennedy will have been the director of the IRC for five years, half it’s life.
The Chairman of the IRC Board of Directors Fran Pearson said that the idea behind the IRC was to provide people “A place you can be.” She said that might sound strange, but if you don’t have anywhere where you are welcome, it makes a huge difference to have a place where can feel at home. She added, “It’s a place where people feel wanted.”
Pearson also noted that the renovations were paid for with donations which demonstrates the support in the community for the IRC.
The IRC serves about 200 people experiencing homelessness a day. It offers showers, clean clothes, coffee and services that are more involved like medical and mental health care, and employment services.
Pearson said, “At the IRC we’re brokers in potential.”