Cumberland Homeless Families Find A Place to Call Home
Posted February 15, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
FAYETTEVILLE — Cumberland County and the city ofFayettevillejoined forces with a non-profit organization to build an apartment complex to help homeless families work toward a brighter future.
Currently, there are 11 homeless families living in the 12-unit Robin's Meadow apartments located on Old Wilmington Road.
For one of the tenants, cooking in her own kitchen is a luxury. For the last year, Coretta Wright and her husband have lived in a hotel because they could not afford the deposits required to get their own place.
Now the Wrights and their new baby live at the transitional apartment complex. Homeless families can live there for up to two years. Rent is 30 percent of their income.
"Before, I felt like I was in a box, not getting any air, not knowing which way to turn," Wright said. "And now I know there's a light at the end of the tunnel."
Residents must commit to a strict, structured program to be eligible for an apartment. The program includes future goal meetings, weekly therapy, non-violent discipline for children and a promise to stay drug free.
If they do not follow the rules, the family has to leave. They are also provided job placement and opportunities for education.
"We can provide them a one night stay, shelters do that, but you really don't get support of services and things families need to help them transition into becoming self sufficient citizens," says Thanena Wilson, director of Cumberland County Community Development.
With more than 2,000 homeless families in Cumberland County, the city and county joined together withVolunteers of Americato take the shelter concept one step further.
"It motivates them to go to work, do what they're supposed to do, go to school, and better their families," says Melissa McAllister, the assistant program director.
The apartments were built with federal and local funds. There are already 30 families on the waiting list.