WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – There is an effort underway in the East to make sure no woman or child is without a place to stay.
That’s the goal of a shelter in Washington, but they are facing some roadblocks.
The Open Door Community Center in Washington formed about a year ago, but they still don’t have a place to call home.
They tried to get locations approved, but have been denied by the board of adjustments.
“We are all ready to open our doors as soon as we find a door to open,” Dot Moate said.
Moate is one of several ODCC board members.
“Well over 100 students in the school district, we are aware, are really homeless,” Moate said.
Moate first saw the need while volunteering with a local domestic violence shelter.
“I was involved with Ruth’s House at first, and then I know that when I was there and still today they get calls from women who need a place to stay but they can’t take them because they have to be abused,” Moate said.
Zion, the men’s shelter, says it also gets calls for help.
“I answer the phone,” night manager Gonathan Pieerre Gaskins said. “I know there is a need. I get quite a few weekly that needs shelter.”
Zion has been around since the 1980s.
The shelter director says it wasn’t easy for them to get their start either.
“When you mention that it’s going to be homeless men, we were declined because of the neighborhood.” They didn’t want that type of activity,” the shelter said.
Moate says her center is facing the same resistance from the community decades later.
“We had three neighbors that objected,” Moate said. “People have the feeling that it will degrade their neighborhood.”
She hopes for more support moving forward.
“We need to take care of our own here in this community,” Moate said.
Moate says once they find their next location, they are going to send teams to the area to talk to all the neighbors and alleviate their worries.
She says it’s a community effort, and everyone needs to work together.