Local News

Raleigh eyes vacant warehouse as place to feed Moore Square's homeless

Posted November 26, 2013

— 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.

Moore Square Old warehouse could be solution to feeding Moore Square homeless

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.


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  • Billy the Kid Nov 27, 2013

    I thought these people were supposed to be starving and nothing but skin and bones. A few too many Bojangles meals for those guys, eh?

  • PDMARTIN Nov 27, 2013

    Those 2 fellows in the picture above don't look like they've missed too many meals

    Did the Salvation Army stop serving meals and it's it right there at Moore Square?

  • Barely Nov 27, 2013

    I am all for this and actually help out at food kitchens. But I always find it a bit offensive when people use these services who are neither truly need nor starving. There are always people taking advantage who look like they have never missed a meal and are always wearing a jacket or jewelry that costs more than a week's worth of my attire. I just felt like making that observation.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh Nov 27, 2013

    "Make the bleeding hearts find a place and kick them out Moore Square." - immaannoid

    Thanks for your kind, if late and uninformed, post. We have done exactly that.

    If reading is one of your vast repertiore of skills, I suggest my post yesterday at 6:14 PM on this thread.

  • BernsteinIII Nov 27, 2013

    Make the bleeding hearts find a place and kick them out Moore Square.

  • Tax Man Nov 27, 2013

    Why not let Habitat step in and do the rehab/conversion with volunteers? Then allow all the non-profits and churches to distribute their food/clothes at this location 24/7 365 days a year? Do the unfortunate poor need to show a county social services ID to get food/clothes for free? How do you prevent the fraudsters from stopping by for a free meal?

  • bill0 Nov 27, 2013

    "$111,000 to convert? What? You have got to be kidding me. "

    There are all sorts of safety regulation when you occupy and open up a government building to the public.

    Bet really, this is not any sort of reasonable solution to long term homelessness in Raleigh. We need to do a lot better job differentiating between "the guy who just lost his job and needs a break to get back on his feet" and "they guy with mental health and substance abuse issues that hasn't been self sufficient in years." A sandwich might be all the first guy needs to get by while he comes up with a plan, but that second group just lingers forever unless you do something else to help them.

  • didisaythat Nov 27, 2013

    I have worked in a shelter and see how the majority got there. It is great to find the one or two people that had some unfortunate event that displaced them. And they were able to get back on their feet after some help. I also see a large amount that are there because of their own bad decisions and take advantage of the help our society provides. The situation will never be fixed. Look at the amounts of money that has been given to help the poor and hungry. That amount would make every homeless and poor millionaires.

  • harleysfather60 Nov 27, 2013

    This is not hard to figure out. The new "mixed use" building being built on that corner right now paid the City of Raleigh 19.2 million just to lease some parking space in the parking deck next door. Remember Mc Crook had his lawyers scheming before they met with the charitable organizations. Money wins every time and they dont want to try and sell the condos in that building with homeless hanging around.

  • pickles Nov 26, 2013

    My suggestion to the panaceas being offered here is this, where were you when the City put together this 50+ people task force of people with varying opinions? -- Dr T Sanchez

    The task force only included the charity organizations and a handful of business owners in the Moore Square area. Residents of the Moore Square area (andresidents of any part of downtown) were not invited to be a part of the task force.

    That's where I was.