The Inter-Faith Council for Social Services, or IFC, has announced it has now raised the money necessary to completely fund a new homeless shelter for men at 1315 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in Chapel Hill.
The Executive Director for the IFC, John Dorward, spoke about the nearly three decades it took to make this homeless shelter a reality. He says it all started when Chapel Hill donated the temporary quarters for housing homeless men, women, and children in the old municipal building. It all turned around in 2008 when UNC offered them property near Homestead and MLK Jr. Blvd. After getting permit process, they began their capital campaign in 2012 to raise the necessary $5.76 million.
“We finished that campaign in late June of this year,” says Dorward. “We got the last pieces to come together.”
He says that the final grant for the campaign came from a competitive grant.
“That would be the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta,” Dorward says. “We got a half million dollar grant from them, and that put us over the top.”
He says that one of the biggest struggles of establishing the shelter was finding a suitable location.
“We looked at lots and lots of pieces of property around the town during the time that we have been in the temporary quarters,” says Dorward. “Now the one piece of property we are going to be building on is one of the few places in town that is actually zoned properly for a homeless shelter. After that, the hardest part would be trying to raise all that money.”
The new shelter will replace the one found near West Rosemary and North Columbia streets and in the former Town Hall building.
Dorward says that the plan for the building will remain the same as they have established.
“It will be 52 men housed on a nightly basis that are part of the transitional program that we will be running,” he says. “We can house up to 17 [more] men on an emergency basis.”
For more information on the Inter-Faith Council, click here.