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The Daily Planet's Opinion: E. Asheville taking a hit as Days Inn to house homeless
Thursday, 16 September 2021 18:42

While the aim of those trying to provide permanent housing for the chronically homeless in Asheville is laudable on the surface and on the human level, it nonetheless leaves those with regular homes, businesses and investment properties in the area taking a financial hit, not to mention safety and other concerns ... on a deeper level.

 In particular, we are referring to the Sept. 10 news that, according to Asheville television station WLOS (News 13): “It’s official: Days Inn to become 85 permanent housing units for chronically homeless.” Confirmation was provided to News 13 by Homeward Bound, which recently closed on the Days Inn property on Tunnel Road in East Asheville. “The hotel will soon be converted into 85 permanent housing units.”

News 13 added, “The project is slated to cost around $13.5 million and will include around-the-clock support staff meals, a health clinic and job training... Homeward Bound says it’s a unique opportunity to finally be able to house some of the chronically homeless people in the community.” The project is expected to be completed for move-in by early 2013.

A press release from Homeward Bound adds, “Since 2006, Homeward Bound has moved more than 2,300 people into housing and 92 percent have not returned to homelessness over a 12-month survey period....”

While we are sympathetic to the plight of the homeless, we also “feel” for those affected in East Asheville, one of the city’s less-vocal and influential areas politically and, therefore, an ideal choice for politicians and others to dump such a facility.

Alas, the deal is done, so our hope moving forward is for all involved to do all they can to avoid damaging property values, quality of life and public safety (to name a few concerns) on Tunnel Road in particular, and in East Asheville in general.



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