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The Daily Planet's Opinion: December 2019
Monday, 02 December 2019 22:08

Thanks to the last shelter for homeless men on cold nights

We heartily salute the ABBCM and its military veteran residents as the only place in all of Buncombe County that has been willing to continue to provide shelter to homeless men on freezing nights (aka “Code Purple events”).

Truly a blessing to the area, the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry’s Veterans Restoration Quarters houses men in a former 150-room motel in East Asheville. And it reportedly has been vitually overwhelmed with the demand, as the weather gets colder.

While there are various shelters on cold nights for women and children, the other area organizations that had been providing shelter to men announced recently that they were forced to stop accepting men, including Western Carolina Rescue Ministries and the Salvation Army in downtown Asheville, citing safety concerns (as some of the homeless men reportedly were fighting with one another and threatening volunteers) and capacity issues.

In contrast, ABBCM Director Scott Rogers recently told the the Asheville Citizen Times, “We have a large campus with men (military veterans) who do value everybody’s safety. It builds a culture of safety that kind of reminds me of, you know, animals gathering around the pond during drought. It’s a kind of truce, a hiatus on everything that I find very encouraging.”

Further, he told the ACT, “It’s challenging to serve the male population, particularly with the new synthetic drugs that do make people very violent and out-of-control,” Rogers said. “We’re very grateful to police and the sheriffs office and other first responders who do support us when we have to call.”We encourage everyone to support the ABBCM in its courageous effort. 



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