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Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Interactive Resource Center and Homelessness in Greensboro

Have you heard of the Interactive Resource Center (IRC)? Do you know much about homelessness in Greensboro? I admit, even though I consider myself to be fairly on top of what's going on in our community, I didn't know enough. I still don't know enough. However, today I had the opportunity to help move some cots into the IRC for the people who are about to be displaced by the emergency closing of Heritage House. I was helping a friend who works at the IRC with the cots, and she was kind enough to give me a tour and more information on what the IRC is and what they do for the people in our city who are managing homelessness. I was blown away by this wonderful resource center. They have amenities on site to help meet basic needs (showers, laundry, barbershop) but also provide a computer room, a mail room, a phone bank, a day room, a medical clinic, and more. They also house the Artifacts Cooperative, The Greensboro Voice, Changing Gears, and Food Not Bombs. On top of all that, they have edible landscaping and gardens.

There are plenty of ways to help the IRC throughout the year. Read about these opportunities on their website http://gsodaycenter.org/get-involved/ and http://gsodaycenter.org/support-the-irc/

However, right now, the IRC needs help! They need VOLUNTEERS, BLANKETS, SHEETS, TOWELS, PERSONAL CARE ITEMS (shampoo, soap, shaving cream, toothpaste/toothbrushes, etc), and certain kinds of NON-PERISHABLE FOODS. (IRC is not a food bank, but will be serving as an emergency shelter so their requests are specific - please email gwen@gsodaycenter.org for appropriate items).
*If you have any of these items to donate, and aren't able to travel to the IRC to drop them off, please contact me (Becky) at gsofamilies@gmail.com and I will work with you to coordinate the collection of items.

IRC #CommunityWorks

From the IRC website:
"We didn’t start this week at the IRC thinking that we would need to provide emergency beds by next week, but we are up to the challenge.

Like everyone in the great city of Greensboro, the IRC is prepared to work with our  partners and the City as we all coordinate a response to the emergency closing of Heritage House.  According to WXII, the City of Greensboro must shut down the 178 unit-building due to at least 800 code violations. Learn more about the City effort to coordinate assistance here.

The IRC is preparing to open as an Emergency Shelter to residents of Heritage House starting July 30th, 2014 when property is boarded up.  IRC staff, along with our partners at the Greensboro Housing Coalition and many other locations, will work with residents to find permanent housing solutions.

Transitioning from day services to additionally being open for nighttime emergency shelter will necessitate the IRC to operate on a 24 hour basis for the immediate future.  In preparation for the Emergency Shelter opening,  we are asking for community support at this time to help us purchase cots and bedding. #communityworks

Please consider supporting this emergency funding campaign here."

This graphic shows the services offered at the IRC:
IRC Services
This graphic shows a snapshot of what they did in January 2014 - pretty incredible, right?!

Interactive Resource Center snapshot - January 2014

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