The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday June 25th

Chapel Hill homeless shelter finds new home

Inter-Faith Council opening house ceremony (Left, Michael Reinke, IFC Executive Director; Right, Robert Seymour, IFC Honorary Life Board Member)
Buy Photos Inter-Faith Council opening house ceremony (Left, Michael Reinke, IFC Executive Director; Right, Robert Seymour, IFC Honorary Life Board Member)

Residents at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Inter-Faith Council for Social Service Community House on Rosemary Street will move to their new location at 1315 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The new facility will provide a transitional home for 52 men.

The State Employees’ Credit Union Community House celebrated the opening of the facility with the community Monday morning. Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle, Chancellor Carol Folt and U.S. Rep. David Price were among the speakers at the grand opening.

The SECU Community House’s mattresses still have plastic packaging wrapped around them. The shelves in the laundry room are waiting to be stocked. The aluminum kitchen counters shine — and IFC residents will begin moving in Thursday.

“I’m excited and nervous,” said resident Chris Horton, who is part of the residential staff. He said he will work the third shift making breakfast for all the residents.

The community house has adequate space to accommodate its residents with a kitchen, a dining hall, an exercise room, washers and dryers, bedrooms with desks and drawers, a library room, a community garden, on-site medical and dental care facilities, a pharmacy and rooms to receive job coaching and counseling.

Piedmont Health Services Inc. provided all the medical equipment and will provide medical professionals to care for the residents.

“Our former building had charm,” said IFC residential services director Stephani Kilpatrick in the grand opening speech, referring to the house located in the old Town Hall building. In her speech, she said the new facility had the potential to pioneer new opportunities like volunteer-led exercise classes or a 12-step rehabilitation program.

“We can also say ‘yes’ to a space that honors the dignity of our clients,” she said.

In three years, IFC raised $5.8 million for the new facility, which took almost a year to build. About 500 organizations and individuals contributed to the campaign. SECU donated $1 million to the campaign.

The IFC’s community kitchen will remain in the old Town Hall building and will serve lunch and dinner to anyone who is hungry. Neal Mochel, a volunteer for the kitchen, said there are plans to move the kitchen to the Douglas Building in Carrboro.

The Douglas Building provides a space for the IFC food pantry and administrative services. According to IFC’s website, the organization hopes to convert the kitchen and the pantry into one food operation center called FoodFirst.

Anthony Sharp, another former resident, also spoke at the ceremony. Sharp said the support he received from the volunteers and staff at the old community house helped him graduate from the program.

Sharp now has a home and works for the housekeeping department for the University.


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