Interview with Empowerhouse

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

With my domestic violence focus, I am of course concerned for their safety if they decide to return to the abuser to avoid homelessness. And safety in general—no one is very safe living on the street or even in hotels.

Why do you think this issue has developed?

For survivors it occurs because they have to leave to remain safe or even alive and then they cannot immediately support themselves as they may not have worked for many years as some mothers do not, or they may have no car, no job at the time of the incident, no car and many other reasons.

For others financial situations, cost of living, lack of affordable housing, limited or no job opportunities, etc.

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

Affordable housing, transportation

What could be done to address or improve living situations for these people in need?

Affordable housing and programs like our communities Rapid Re-housing program

What might be the downsides of these actions?

Not enough resources for all who need them

What could be done to help those already affected by the issue?

Affordable housing and programs like our communities Rapid Re-housing program

What might be the downsides of these actions?

Not enough resources for all who need them

What other thoughts about this issue would you like to offer?

If communities pulled together—agencies like ours, churches, social services, businesses etc they can be more successful in ending homelessness—our community is on the right track

What aspect of homelessness due to domestic abuse or homelessness in general does the public most need to talk about?

That we all need to be concerned as it affects not only the homeless but the community as a whole. If we all do our part or even a little bit it makes a bigger impact.

Directly related to domestic violence—SAFETY must be a top concern—if they have no-where to go and especially if they have children they will very likely return to abuse.

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 the University Center

What is your protocol for unused and leftover food

When there is leftover food, chefs will determine what can be used again on campus, however food can only be reused or reheated once.

If any food cannot be reused or reheated it is discarded.

In order to decrease the amount of leftover food, food production is done based on the need on campus. This information comes from their post production review.

Cooking in the dining hall is done in a style called batch cooking, this is where meals are cooked to order rather than having mass amounts prepared. This allows for fresher food, higher quality and eliminates over production.

Do you have any partnerships with local homeless shelters?

On campus dining has encountered some snags with homeless shelters in the area because they often times cannot store the quantity of food and it would have to be served immediately.

Dining is hoping to reconnect with them and see what possibilities are for the future.

Most homeless shelters in the area have previously planned meals, and it is difficult for dining to gauge when they will have the level of food availability that the shelters need.

Once a semester, they partner with Micah Ministries. Their team made up of staff and students, will prepare and serve all of the food for that meal.

Typically there are 100 people attending. Dining tries to prepare enough so that people are able to go through the line twice and take leftovers.

These meals typically include baked chicken, roast turkey, pasta salad, and vegetables.

Are there any donation programs that campus dining is involved with?

Dining does a food drive each year, most recently they donated 6,700 pounds of food. This was all donated to the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank. The food goes directly to the food bank and they have partnerships with homeless shelters in the area.

There is a food recovery network program on campus that is student-led. They come twice a week, Monday and Thursday nights around closing time.

Sous chefs will give the students food, which will be wrapped in disposable food containers, weighed and then taken to the Fredericksburg Baptist Church.

The food at the Baptist church feeds refugee families in the area.

One of the families that regularly attends is a family of 10, the father said that because of this program it allows for them to eat and actually be full.

A direct impact can be seen.

If there was higher involvement from students, they could potentially donate food every night. Dining would just have to work to find a place that is able to receive the food.

Additional Information:

It is difficult for dining to control post consumer waste- waste that takes place after food has been served to students.

Hoping to introduce tasting sizes, that way students can see if they like or don’t like the food rather than getting a full plate and wasting it.

Dining conducts food waste studies every year, last year was the first year that food waste increased after the results from the study had been published.

Food trays were done away with 6-7 years ago, and dining saw a decrease in food waste as a result.

Everything that goes into the dish line is pulped and disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.  They are working on trying to get it to a composter.

Believes food waste to be a cultural problem.

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.

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.

Interview with Giant

What is your protocol for unused/leftover food?

Any dry foods, as long as they are edible, are donated to the fredericksburg food bank

Products that are not eligible for food donation are donated via the Organic Recycling program. This program started in 2011.

In 2015, 35.1 million pounds of organic waste was diverted through the Organic Recycling program

From January through September of 2016, 646,000 pounds of food has been diverted from landfills to the organic recycling.

Products from the meat and seafood department that cannot be donated are recycled for some makeup products.

Fryer oil and oven grease is recovered and recycled.

Tell me about the Thanksgiving pie donation program that is currently going on.

For $3.99+tax, pies and proceeds can be donated to the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank.

This is something that Giant does every year.

They currently have 50 cases of pumpkin pies to donate to the Fredericksburg Area Food Bank. The pies are donated frozen so that any extras can be used at a later date.

Last Tuesday, Giant donated 1,000 turkeys to the food bank.

What is the protocol when donating food?

As long as there are no holes, food is donated.

The food bank has a sorting area where people will go through all of the delivered food. This is where they will see if the donated food is safe to be used in the food bank or not.

Foods that are out of date and cannot be sold in store are donated.

Typically, manufacturing dates give a shorter lifespan for the food to ensure that customers are getting fresher food.  Foods such as salad dressings can go longer than the dates printed on them. The food bank has charts for the foods to see how much longer they are edible.

Foods that have reached their sell by date are also donated unless the manufacturers take them back to receive credit.

Do you think that this is a beneficial process?


What do you think the main issue is in the community regarding homelessness?

A lack of decent paying jobs.

There is a difference between minimum wage and living wage, and she does not believe that the wages have caught up with the population increase in the area. Some people still consider it a rural location despite all of the development in the recent years.

There is a need for better paying jobs in the area.

Additional comments:

They love working with the community, they see the need for it and have tried harder to increase their donations as a result.

There has been a long partnership between the Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank and Giant.

They have in house plastic bag recycling.

They have in house donation bins year round for the food bank.

People in the area give back frequently without hesitation.

She was recently transferred to this location and at her previous one, they would make Thanksgiving dinner bags and take them into the local schools. Children whose families needed a meal were able to receive a bag.

In the White Oak location, they partner with Rikki’s Refuge in Orange County, Va, a farm that houses unwanted and abandoned animals and that Giant donates unused food as well as cloth, cleaner, etc. for the farm.