Eric Knight, an owner of Steel String Brewery; Molly De Marco, a nutrition professor at UNC; and Tamara Sanders, manager at the Clean Machine bike shop, led a public homelessness forum at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro on Wednesday to discuss the issues of homelessness, hunger and poverty in the area.
Knight said discussions with community businesses on topics such as homelessness prompted his desire to initiate the forum. Through the discussions, he realized gaps in his knowledge about community issues. He said the goal of the forum was to engage more people in the conversation and spark further discussion.
“It really wasn’t about business for me,” Knight said. “It was more about there being a communication gap between services and the general public.”
The forum follows the Inter-Faith Council’s proposal to consolidate the IFC food pantry and community kitchen into one location in downtown Carrboro. De Marco, a member of the strategy team with Orange County Justice United, said downtown businesses were concerned that this remodel would have a negative impact on business in the area.