A Better Site for the Chapel Hill Men's Shelter




May  2018

Dear Neighbors,

It’s been a long time. The IFC’s Special Use Permit for the men’s shelter was approved in September 2011, construction was completed in August 2016, and the building has been operational for the past two and a half years.  Since then we’ve moved on, been busy with our daily lives, knowing we did everything we could to impose safeguards that would limit any impacts from the new facility.

On May 10th some neighbors received postcards inviting us to an IFC meeting to “celebrate” their new location, provide input, and discuss potential revisions of the Good Neighbor Plan.  At this meeting IFC staff outlined 19 “Policy Ideas” they would like to pursue. They claim the changes are necessary because the current transitional housing program was too rigid, too expensive and transitional housing is no longer well-funded by HUD. Their current proposal centers on HUD’s Housing First model which would provide rapid permanent rehousing for the homeless.

There are many variations to the Housing First model but the one IFC proposes would make profound changes to the current shelter and eliminate virtually all the safeguards we fought long and hard for.  

The proposed policy ideas call for eliminating the transitional program in favor of creating a “low barrier” walk-up emergency shelter. This is a radical change from the existing program and eliminates every important promise made to Homestead Park Area Neighbors.   A more detailed summary of the changes is included in this e-mail and a copy of the actual IFC change document is attached. IFC staff stated at the May 10 meeting they plan to meet with their Board of Directors at the end of May to solidify these changes then take these changes to the Town Council.
We are truly disappointed IFC plans to renege on these promises after just two years into its 50-year lease but we - along with your help - plan to make sure IFC and the Town keep their commitment to the Homestead Park Areas neighborhoods.

We are currently putting together a plan and will contact you again shortly. In the meantime, please ask your neighbors to join our mailing list on www. AbetterSite.org.


Major Changes Proposed
Current SUP
Proposed Changes
52 Transitional Men are the primary clients
Eliminate Transitional Program.  100% of Residents are considered as Emergency Shelter
17 White Flag Clients may stay on White Flag Nights
Eliminate White flag night inclement weather restriction.  Every night is White Flag Night.  Full capacity allowed 365 days per year
Max 69 Clients

Increase capacity to an currently unstated number of clients 365 days per year

Transitional Men sign substance-free contracts with individualized plans to resolve their homelessness
All 69+expansion men will be “low barrier” clients with low oversight and who are not required to commit to drug treatment or mental illness treatment as a condition of staying
Intake for white flag clients is during dinner at community kitchen followed by transport
Intake is on-site
Intake is 24 hours per day
After dinner, all clients are transported to Community House
Before breakfast, all clients are transported to the community kitchen.

Clients are fed dinner and breakfast on site

IFC will stop providing transportation.  

All transportation will be provided by Chapel Hill Transit (which will require clients to take two bus routes with transfer after kitchen relocation to Carrboro)