Local News

Operation Inasmuch breaks ground on new Fayetteville men's shelter

Posted August 17

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— After years of planning, workers at Operation Inasmuch broke ground Wednesday on a new homeless shelter for men at the corner of Chance and Hillsboro streets in Fayetteville.

Across the street, members at St. Luke AME Church were originally concerned about the number of homeless people in the area, but Operation Inasmuch Director Sue Byrd said the facility will do more than just take men off the streets.

"It's going to have a job program associated with it," she said. "We are not interested in people just coming off the street just so they can go back to the street and do the same thing they have been doing."

Byrd has been feeding and taking care of the homeless for the last nine years. She said the idea for the shelter came to light after realizing men were returning to the streets every night, even though some were working during the day.

"But we didn't know that until they became our family, until we understood who they were and truly what their needs were," Byrd said. "It wasn't another deodorant, it wasn't another pair of underwear, it was a safe place to lay down at night."

Despite the concerns from churchgoers, the church has been supportive of the new shelter.

"They are kind enough to keep their parking lot open for us every day," said Ray Helton, deputy director at Operation Inasmuch. "We have family members that come and eat here that park there. They have had a number of events where they have had tables out passing out clothing to homeless folks. There are some wonderful folks there."

The new shelter is not using taxpayer dollars. Operation Inasmuch has raised the $500,000 through private donations.

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