GREENSBORO — Nearly two dozen people sought shelter Tuesday night at the city's newest emergency winter shelter for the homeless, a former motel that is being transformed into supportive housing for the homeless.
For now, the former Regency Inn and Suites motel at 2701 N. O. Henry Blvd. will be available during the winter's coldest nights as an emergency shelter for up to 100 people who are homeless, city officials said. Temperatures dipped to below freezing overnight Tuesday and stayed there until almost 9 a.m. Wednesday, when it warmed up to 36 degrees, according to weather data collected at Piedmont Triad International Airport.
The former motel site provides shelter for adults only, and guests must be referred from either the Interactive Resource Center or Greensboro Urban Ministry for registration. No walk-ins will be accepted.
The nonprofit Partnership Homes Inc., with help from $3 million in city loan financing, bought the motel and remodeled the units with the goal of providing supportive housing for homeless individuals and families, according to a news release from the city.
The program will focus on helping the chronically homeless and people with disabilities, according to Partnership Homes president Mike Cooke.
As a winter shelter, the site will supplement programs through the Interactive Resource Center and Greensboro Urban Ministry, which work together on housing or shelter placements and case management for participants during winter weather, the city said.
City staff said national studies have shown that communities with supportive housing like what the motel will become save more money than paying for the variety of services each person may need, from emergency room visits and detox services to psychiatric care and police/fire response calls, for example.
Such supportive housing allows the city "to take more comprehensive care of our chronically homeless and disabled residents and be better stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars,” Michelle Kennedy, director of Greensboro's Neighborhood Development Department, said in the news release.
The program aligns with the city's 10-year affordable housing plan, Kennedy said.
Anyone interested in helping with the hotel's transformation to supportive housing may contact Partnership Homes at 336-707-5289.