A place to call home

Published 6:54 pm Monday, October 23, 2017

On any given night in 2016, about 10,000 people in North Carolina had no home to go to, according to the North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness.

Of that number, 34 percent were people in families with children.

Members of Open Door Community Center, a nonprofit working to create a homeless shelter for women and children in Beaufort County, report that each year, almost 100 women and children wind up homeless in Beaufort County. That could mean the women are temporarily living with neighbors, extended family or friends, or they are frequently moving from place to place, just trying to find an available place to sleep. Sometimes, they are forced to the streets or living out of cars.

Those women need help. There are resources available for homeless men in the community at Zion Shelter and Kitchen. Ruth’s House offers a safe space for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

However, other women and children in the community find themselves without a guaranteed safe place. And that is exactly why a group of dedicated residents in Beaufort County took the responsibility into their own hands to create Open Door Community Center.

The idea came to fruition about a year ago, and since then, it has been moving forward. But it’s not ready yet — the group is still looking for a building. Once it finds a building, it will be able to offer resources to up to 16 women and children at a time.

Most in the community are accustomed to having secure housing. It’s time to stop taking that for granted — and be aware of those in the community who may not be so lucky. It’s time to support the shelters and the people who work tirelessly to help correct the problem of homelessness.

Consider donating funds or time to the shelters in Beaufort County, especially Open Door Community Center as it tries to develop a much-needed resource here in the community.