Raleigh eyes vacant warehouse as place to feed Moore Square's homeless
Posted November 26, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh City Council committee on Tuesday recommended a temporary food distribution facility for the homeless be set up in Moore Square.
City Council will consider the recommendation during its Dec. 3 meeting.
The city has been studying the issue since August, when volunteers said they were kicked out of Moore Square and threatened with arrest for feeding the homeless there.
The city established a Food Distribution Task Force to study alternatives to food handouts. The group determined the best option is to use a vacant warehouse at 215 S. Person St., behind the former downtown Salvation Army, as a temporary distribution center.
The 3,200-square-foot warehouse was part of the Salvation Army property and is now owned by the city. Officials estimate it would cost $111,000 to convert the building into a center where meals could be served on Saturdays and Sunday until a permanent facility can be established. It would cost an estimated $58,000 a year to run the warehouse, officials said.
"That is worth this solution," Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said about the cost. "The city – we can step up. We can afford to do this."
Officials said they would seek donations from the private sector to offset costs, and the city would operate the facility as a partnership with nonprofits that feed the homeless.