Chapel Hill residents need to show some trust in the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service.
The IFC wants to move the homeless shelter from its current location at 100 W. Rosemary St. to a location at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Homestead Road.
The IFC has been holding community discussion forums about its proposed homeless shelter move for months now.
Some residents have been very vocal in their opposition to the move. This past Monday, they expressed more concern about the move at one of the IFC’s discussions.
Discussion and debate are always needed in such community decisions. But some residents used Mondays meeting more for protest than a chance to listen to the IFC’s position.
The IFC has gone to great lengths to be transparent about its move.
Turning a community discussion into a form of protest gives off the perception that some residents aren’t open to hearing the IFC’s point of view and are unwilling to work with the IFC.
That needs to change.
Residents have voiced valid concerns about safety, often citing the numerous crimes linked with the shelter’s current address on West Rosemary Street.
Chris Moran, the executive director of the IFC, has rebutted that concern, saying that many of the people who list the Rosemary address never stayed with the shelter.
The IFC has been providing homeless men with shelter for 25 years. Its staff members know what they’re doing.
They’re acting out of concern for a needy population in Chapel Hill. They are not trying to act out against a residential community.
The IFC is hosting one more discussion at 7 p.m. April 13 at the Southern Human Services Center.
Residents have every right to continue expressing their concerns at that meeting. But there needs to be some acknowledgement that IFC isn’t unexperienced when it comes to dealing with homeless men.