Interview with Micah

What concerns you most about people in the community who are impacted by homelessness?

We are an organization that believes people shouldn’t be impacted by homelessness we want safe stable affordable housing and people to achieve that. It’s not a good situation for them or the community. Being homeless shortens life expectancy to that of someone in the 1800’s (40-60 years old) compared to 70/75 years old. Problems: They have to do what they need to do to survive because their security is threatened. Some resort to drugs and alcohol.

 Why do you think this issue has developed?

Number one issue: lack of support network, i.e. people to help them, house them, drive to appointments, etc.

30,000 people below poverty rate, but making it barely. 209 people on any given night are on the street or in a shelter. Difference in numbers is support network.

Others: growing income divide, shut down mental institutions, medicine too expensive or homeless aren’t able to pick up their prescriptions, criminalization, get reported and thrown into jail for drinking in public or loitering and they cannot pay their fines.

 Have you heard concerns from community members?

Yes, from businesses and individuals (referenced first two answers)

 What could be done to help those already affected by the issue? What might be the downsides of these actions?

Homeless are fed well, given breakfast, dinner, and snacks by local churches. We want people to help by being a large support network, teaching, driving to appointments, help teach people to live indoors again, tutoring, donating toiletries like the freebies from hotels, donating socks, etc.

 What programs do you all have in place?

Currently doing a study to see if putting people in affordable housing reduces homeless and makes it easier for the homeless to get back into the workforce and a normal life.

-Do you all collaborate with other homeless shelters if there are issues or if a place is full?

We do if we can. If people come to them, (Micah is a last resort). Micah doesn’t focus on families really, but newly homeless people instead.

Other Info/ Asked about 2014 article:

Since 2010, 10% decrease in homeless each year

A.k.a. The result of the article has so far been successful!

Interview with House of Ruth

What concerns you most about people in the community who are impacted by homelessness?

Ruth’s House provides safe shelter to women and children who have experienced domestic violence and individuals who are deemed homeless are referred to homeless shelters within the surrounding counties including New Bern, Kinston, Jacksonville, Durham and Tarboro. There is one homeless shelter located in Washington, NC which is managed by Metropolitan AME Zion Church, (Zion Shelter and Kitchen) located on 114 W Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Washington, NC (252) 975-1978. This shelter aid men only. I was informed by a recent resident that the shelter offers a safe place to sleep and a snack but they must be in the shelter by 11pm and out by 7am. The shelter in Pitt County provides shelter to men, women and children and they are located 207 Manhattan Avenue, Greenville, NC 27834 (252) 752-0829

Why do you think this issue has developed?

According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce Beaufort County has been designated as a tier one county for 2015-2016. This designation signifies a distressed county. I think issues such as domestic violence, unemployment/under-employment, addiction and lack of affordable healthcare and housing may have a great deal to do with individuals becoming homeless in this area.

What are the main challenges we face in dealing with this problem?

Funding, affordable healthcare, housing and educating the public about the cause and effect of homelessness and the impact it has on the individual and the community.

What programs do you have in place?

Ruth’s House provides residents with counseling, court advocacy, and life skills training. We also refer residents to resources within the community.

What do you all do with food contributions, i.e. do you all accept all food contributions or is there a process?

We accept food donations as it is used by all residents living within the home as well we refer our residents to Eagle Wings (Food Bank) located on 932 West Third Street Washington, NC 27889. We also donate food items to the Homeless shelter in Washington.

United Way may be able to assist in answering some of your questions as they may be able to provide you with more information pertaining to homelessness in this area.

Interview with Carl’s

Summary of Interview

What do you do with leftover food?

Carl’s, at the end of every year during their closing week (weekend before thanksgiving) they make the rest of the ice cream with the materials they have, pack it up, and take it to local food banks for them to give out. They have a set amount of quarts they give away before closing for the year -whatever leftover quarts they have. They usually have a good amount since they also have leftover mix to get rid of it since it would go bad when they’re closed.

Do you see homelessness as a problem around Carl’s?

This isn’t a big, populated city like New York but it’s still a decent sized town so of course they have homeless people. They do not see much of a problem with homeless people around their business. If they do, they are fine to sit around. It is if they start asking for money, then the workers will politely ask them not to do it there.

Is giving away ice cream beneficial for Carl’s in any way?

They don’t receive anything in return, it’s just a nice thing that they like to do so the homeless can have a nicer Thanksgiving.

Problem Statement

Homelessness and Food Waste is an issue in the Fredericksburg community and here are the six themes we found that contribute to this issue:

  1. Lack of space in homeless shelters
  2. Lack of support networks
  3. Lack of knowledge about homelessness and programs around the community for homeless individuals
  4. Lack of volunteering
  5. Lack of food donations
  6. Lack of knowledge about policies

Interview With Chick- Fil- A

How does the donation process work?

Whatever cold food is left over on Saturday nights and they take it to the shelter and they drop it off in front of the building.

What shelter do you donate to?

Thurman Brisben Center.

What have you donated?

Cold food and we have donated nugget trays

What have they accepted?

They have taken everything.

How long has Chick-Fil-A been doing this?

Not sure, but since she has been an employee there which has been about 6-7 years.