GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Doors are opening for people who have been struggling to find permanent homes. Five apartments will serve as a temporary roof over their heads.
Having somewhere to call home is the foundation of a good life, and it’s now reality for several people in Greenville, thanks to community groups working together, along with support from Pitt County.
“We have five units, and they’re fully-furnished down to the washcloths,” said Greenville councilwoman Tonya Foreman. Foreman is the founder of the nonprofit CAREE or Citizens Advocating for Racial Equity and Equality.
“We’ve been talking over the last couple of years in the community about the face of homelessness changing in the community,” said Foreman.
Foreman says there’s often a misconception that people facing homelessness aren’t working hard enough, but everyone staying in this temporary housing has a job.
“It’s taking them longer to find a place to stay because apartments in our community are more and more expensive, and so one of the answers to that has been transitional housing,” she explained.
Five apartments off Thomas Langston Road in Greenville will serve as safe homes for people transitioning out of homelessness for up to four months. During that time, Foreman and others will work with the residents to support them depending on their needs.
“We just want to make sure that when they move on that it’s long-term sustainable,” said Foreman.
Richard Joyner has a farm in Conetoe. He’ll help residents learn how to grow their own food.
“Our goal is, is how do we get rid of food insecurity by not bringing food to the community, but teaching the community to grow food, either by patio gardens, raised beds or just road cropping,” said Joyner.
One single mom who will call this apartment home for the next few months says she’s been living out of a car or with family for more than a year.
“It’s hard, trying to figure out how you’re going to survive,” she told WITN. “Every day I strive to get to work, every day on time, make sure my kids got to school and make sure they have what they needed to go to school.”
She says moving in gives her a sense of hope.
“I’m very determined, and I’m not gonna stop here, and I’m gonna do everything in my power to look forward to better things for us,” she said.
Foreman says it’s important to remember that wages are not increasing as much as rent, and that’s what’s put these residents in these positions.
Unfortunately, there are lots of other people like them, and she says they already have a long waiting list.