New City Ordinance Clears The Block

on the blockThe City of Greensboro’s new loitering ordinance, ostensibly aimed at controlling downtown’s late-night crowds, is claiming other casualties — it’s clearing “the block” at Lee and Eugene. This block is home to Greensboro Urban Ministry (the largest homeless services provider in Greensboro) and its Weaver House night shelter.

Weaver House is at capacity most every night, all year ’round. But there are more homeless people than shelter beds in Greensboro. Homeless people also sleep in the parking lot of HealthServe, beside Weaver House, adjacent to “the block.” And they sleep in the doorways of the Greensboro Housing Authority building across the street. And on the property of businesses and churches and even residences all up and down both Lee and Eugene. And under bridges on Lee.

During the day, many of these homeless people go to nearby temp agencies looking for work. Many of those that don’t find it end up on the block, waiting for lunch at Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Potter House, or for someone to ride by looking for a day laborer. And now, the cops are telling them to “move along?” But to where? Where does our City Council expect these folks to go? They don’t have homes and their options for places to go during the day are dwindling rapidly.

This would be a fine time to start a day center.

>> Please read Jeri Rowe’s article: “Keep movin’ or tell it to the judge.”

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