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Wilmington ten year plan to end homelessness

READ MORE: Wilmington ten year plan to end homelessness
A new plan was launched today to end homelessness in the Cape Fear region over the next ten years. In ten years, the plan hopes everyone in the Cape Fear region will have access to permanent and affordable housing. Right now, the average cost to rent a two bedroom apartment in Wilmington is $700. For a person getting paid minimum wage, that means nearly 70 percent of their income goes toward housing. Homelessness is not something you end overnight. But the plan has some basic goals that the board feels they can meet in a ten year time frame. The first goal is to prevent homelessness, also learning how to engage with the homeless community, and finally provide adequate support services for them. It is a lofty goal, but the board feels even if they help change a few people's lives, it is worth it.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Homeless Scam

Those who put these corrupt officials in office are real estate speculators. These moneymen will build section 8 housing and rent it to the po people at double the value pocketing gobs of money in the process. They will get grants and low interest loans and we will be stuck with the rise in crime, and the dept of Social Services taking care of these "homeless" Can't beat it.


Well there are people that like to be homeless. They do not want responsibilities of paying bills. They would rather use any monies available to by beer/wine etc. Affordable housing is needed and makes sense but end homelessness is not a reality.


The comment you submitted is a huge stereotype and perhaps some time volunteering at a homeless shelter would introduce you to the truths about homelessness. What do you think the average age of a homeless person is? Nine years old. What does this say about the reasons they are there? I don't know many nine year old beer drinkers. Most of the stereotypes are very typical but, unfortunately are wrong. Mental health issues are so high in homeless individuals and there way of coping is drinking and drugs because of the inability to remain on a regimen to control mental health issues. Please research because your stereotyping can travel to so many including people who do know the truth, and those that don't causing uneducated assumptions to remain the reason people don't want to help.

Homeless education

The comment you submitted is a huge stereotype and perhaps some time volunteering at a homeless shelter would introduce you to the truths about homelessness. What do you think the average age of a homeless person is? Nine years old. What does this say about the reasons they are there? I don't know many nine year old beer drinkers. Most of the stereotypes are very typical but, unfortunately are wrong. Mental health issues are so high in homeless individuals and there way of coping is drinking and drugs because of the inability to remain on a regimen to control mental health issues. Please research because your stereotyping can travel to so many including people who do know the truth, and those that don't causing uneducated assumptions to remain the reason people don't want to help.

So they drink because they're nuts?

I know that upwards of seventy percent of the chronic homeless suffer from metal illness and/or substance abuse, but I have never before heard anyone claim that they are drunks or druggies BECAUSE they are crazy.

How do we know that it's not the other way around; that the demon rum or nose candy didn't MAKE them crazy?

Homeless in Wilmington, NC

If you want to get rid of the homeless here in Wilmington all you have to do is like Myrtle Beach. Send them somewhere else. They figure it costs about $200-$250 a week to keep them and they usually get into trouble. The tourists are robbed or injured by some homeless bum, so they send them to WILMINGTON, NC. It only costs about $21.00 and there are out of there hands. This happens everyday!! They are cleaning up Myrtle Beach and at the same time reducing crime. We can't do nothing about that because they are in a different state. Fayetteville does the same thing, they send their homeless on the bus to the beach and it's a constant circle.

Busing the homeless

In SC it is common for those being released from halfway houses and mental evaluation facilities to have a bus ticket to Wilmington, NC in their hand. It is widely known that at one time Wilmington had some of the best mental health care in the area. Now they just use Wilmington as a popular place to send the unwanted. Stop and ask a homeless person where they are originally from. You would be surprised. I have only heard of a few near the beach areas.


I had moved down here, from Syracuse NY 7yrs ago.our job's in NY had moved over sea's I was working and making a good living here. Well one night, I was working on my day off over on 3rd, and carolina beach road .at 2;30 A drunk driver [ mexican] hit me head on, I have been out of work for 9 mo , and i dont know when i'am going back ,I get 300 a week on workmens comp and it's hard to live on that why this driver is going on with his life !! he ran from the crash at the hosp ! my problem is not the homeless its the people who come in to are land [u.s.a.] and live drink and drive ,and take the job's from them [homeless ]. So if you want to bitch about something ,go after your city GOV to start clamping down on who dont have the right to live in wilmington!!! I'am sorry but the homeless are american not [mexacin] that dont belong here!!I sir will fight for thier rights over some one that dont belong here in the frist place!!!!BRING IT ON !!

Homes for homeless.

I can see this plan hitting YOU TUBE (AND IT WILL HIT YOU TUBE) and becoming the west palm beach of the "urban outdoorsmen". Congratulation on spending money you don't have, on people who don't have any either and the constant public housing parasites. When Myrtle Beach decides to continue to buy homeless outdoorsmen bus tickets to Wilmington, it will become a 50 year plan for 5,000,000. Great plan. Residents of the City/County better start doing sit ups, cause the local governments will break your backs. As usual, fiscal responsibility is unavailable in the city and county. Maybe they can use the overpayment of the 7-10 million dollars in property taxes recently. I'm sorry, that was an UNDERPAYMENT. I forgot who got fired for that. No i didn't, no one got fired, they got a retirement party. Maybe they can use the empty convention center for a communal setting. Wait a minuite, why not use the PPD parking deck for a multi million sky rise. Oh i forgot, they gave that away too. I've seen better heads on lettuce.

If you can't pay , hit the highway!

It is simple economics ,if you can't support yourself here in Wilmington then you need to move somewhere else where you can. I can appreciate the benefits of a diverse cultural and economic population. But all of these homeless that infest downtownndon't add anything to the cultural flavor of Wilmington by sleeping in the parks and pestering people for money all day. Some of these people I have seen around here for years True some and maybe many have mental or physical difficulties but a lot of these bums could be washing dishes or scrubbing floors to support themselves.

During the Reagan years,

During the Reagan years, most of the mental institutions were closed, tossing folks in the street and leaving new potential patients no where to go. You may be surprised at the number of homeless folks out there that have mental disorders and are not receiving care. Washing dishes does not pay for medication, a place to stay, a new/clean wardrobe in which to work, not to mention food and transportation. The offer of a potential job is not enough to get folks off the street, when they have nothing to start off with. Lack of education combined with lack of jobs, medical issues, and mental disorders are just a few reasons people find themselves homeless. Once you're there it's nearly impossible to rise back out of it, without a support network. Are you willing to do something about it? Talk is cheap. Do not make assumptions about a situation, if you have not been there yourself.

did you mention work?

where are they hiring? did I miss a resteraunt, maybe? On one of my weekly sweeps through downtown for a job search.... The government will tell you unemployment rate is approaching 7%. Well, that's a lie; although there is no statistic for it, I would guess the real number is closer to 25%, or higher. Instead, they tell you the percentage of poeple colecting unemployment, and call it the 'unemployment rate' ignoring that fact that a growing percentage of us unemployed 'bums' are not eligable for, or have been denied empoyment benifits; Or their benefits have expired but they're still unemployed, but are longer included in the 'unemnpoyment rate'... Just another way the 'Best Country in the World' has of putiing on the apearance of being what it claims to be....and of course for some of us, it is...


we go again...TIGHTEN UP YOUR WALLET working class...ending homelessness AIN'T FREE!!! These guys could be making more money at the cement plant...but some people just don't want higher paying jobs in the region.

Oh dear Billy

Oh Mr. Saffo... The poor minimum wage workers are already taken care of in this county. Welfare takes care of them just fine. It is the areas service workers making $18k - $40k that CANNOT afford to live here.. What you are doing is a waste of time.. a public publicity stunt when anyone (including myself) who makes or has made minimum wage knows darn well you cannot get a decent apartment in Wilmington and still afford other expenses. It has always been impossible.. Take "The Keys" apartments for example.. You would think apartment prices would go down... ten years ago when I rented a unit out there I paid $500.. The same unit now has almost doubled to $900.. As wages increase so does the cost of living.. Your firefighters, police officers, managers, service industry workers (plumbing, electric, HVAC) cannot afford to live in this wasteland that I grew up in as a little boy. Real Estate agents have flipped and flipped and flipped houses until the average cost of a house in my neighborhood (i used to live in when I could afford it) is $125,000.oo MORE than it was just 6 years ago.. So do'nt go blowing smoke up our butts about ending homelessness whan this community cannot afford to house those that provide it basic and required services... The "general" population has oficially been proced out of this market and with over 2000 licensed residential rel estate agents in New Hanover County alone... it's only going to get worse and the price of living os only going to get higher.. Thanks Wilmington for biting the hand that feeds... Now focus on the real problem.

Perhaps those making minimum wage....

...will have to have a roommate? Or do without cigarettes, beer, cable TV, a cellphone, or a car? Where did we ever latch onto this crazy notion that poor people are entitled to every amenity that the middle class and wealthy enjoy? THEY'RE POOR! They should be living like poor people! BTW, you can address average rent all you want to - until you figure a way to keep them off the booze and drugs, they will remain homeless.

re: Perhaps those making minimum wage....

I agree with Uncle Reality. I think it's sad you drive by public housing and see nicer cars than in a working class neighborhood. If you can afford that Escalade with the big bling bling can afford to move out and rent your own place and stop living off the city and tax payers.

Bad times coming

The economy's going in the crapper in the very near future. Lots of folks here who feel really proud of themselves for not being "poor" are going to find themselves on the streets. When that happens, I will think of the greed, arrogance and lack of compassions on these comments and laugh and laugh. Southern Christian compassion at it's finest, yup. For the record, the primary cause of homelessness is mental illness, not laziness. Saint Reagan closed the mental hospitals to save money and threw their inhabitants on the streets, where they remain today. Are you going to hire an anti-social, unmedicated schizophrenic to work with you? If not, then shut up about the fact that someone's trying to get these people off the streets.

Get a grip!

How could Reagan close STATE mental hospitals? He wasn't King Reagan, was he? The movement to de-institutionalize the functional mentally ill was a movement within the mental health field itself. It started in the late Sixties among mental health "professionals" who complained of people who posed no danger to themselves or others being kept in hospital. For twenty plus years, they let out every variety of deranged whacko known to modern medical science. I personally stood in court when a woman that had tried suicide EIGHT times was ordered released as long as she "promised" to stay on her medication. I also attended her funeral, less than two years later. When the folly of that little experiment became obvious, revisionists tried to pin it on Reagan and federal budget cuts. Considering that hospitals are run by states orn counties, the charge is nonsensical. The flood gates were open long before Reagan even left California. BTW, mental illness is the SECOND leading cause of chronic homelessness. Substance abuse is the leading cause. Seventy percent of the chronic homeless are drunks/druggies, mentally ill, or both. In closing, let me turn an old phrase: "Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're an anti-social, unmedicated schizophrenic." Tougher still when you're a DRUNK anti-social, unmedicated schizophrenic.

Experts all around

It seems to me that there are so many experts out there who are content to hide behind a computer screen and spout off about things they claim to know about. If you are so knowledgeable, why not join the efforts presented in the 10 Year Plan? A few facts to clarify: Did You Know *16% of the homeless are children. *40% of the homeless are employed *32% have a college degree *The leading cause of women who are homeless is domestic violence *NO one who is homeless chooses the life All of these statistics can be supported by research conducted by the Interagency Council on Homelessnes, the local arm of the ICH, as well as other reliable sources. When making statements as ugly as the ones I have read over the past 36 hours, at least try to be educated about your responses. Just because you think something, you are not necessarily right.


I help at our church with homeless feedings. Thank you for the statistics you provided. Maybe some of these people need to participate in an afternoon feeding outside Grace church on Saturday at 12:00. Witness the woman, children, and families that are fed. We are currently feeding on average 140 people. This is double the amount last year. When a family is struggling to pay bills, the first item they cut back is food. Open your eyes people.

Perhaps they should have cut back on kids?

There's likely nothing more reckless or indicative of limited intelligence then bearing offspring you can't provide for. That said, we have bankruptcy laws for those who find their liabilities exceed their assets. Let them avail themselves of the law, and properly feed their children. BTW, 140 people in a county with the population of New Hanover is, as we say in the business, "statistically insignificant." You might increase the numbers by staying open later. Most of the TRUE homeless don't even sober up until two or three in the afternoon.


After reading the comments on homelessness I do understand how the population of homelessness got out of hand and is a hot topic. Peter had an excuse for Paul Paul blamed them all but John John refused to listen to Peters' excuse 'cause Paul told John it was Peters fault. If and when they (Peter, Paul and John)realize that passing the buck or participating in the blame game makes situations and circumstances worst They may come together as one to create solutions, brainstorm ideas such as homeless shelters, communial living or shared living quarters OOps forgive me, I am sorry to inject ideas for this is Peter, Paul and John task After all this is there city.

Experts all around

Research conducted by the Interagency Council on Homelessnes. Research gathered by the Church of the painful truth provides the following statistics. You expect us to believe questions answered by the urban outdoorsman. Of course they don't drink.......gulp..gulp. No one chooses the homeless life..outright falsehood. 32% have college degrees...then they're stupid, and you can't fix stupid. 40% are employed. How did you interview them on the job. (panhandling and standing at the intersection with a sign are not professions). 16% are children. That's what foster homes are for. If the parents can't afford a home, meals, clean running water, the children are being ABUSED. "At least try to be educated". Thankfully I'm educated enough not to buy into another give away feel good program based on ridiculous data gathered beneath an overpass. We have domestic violence organizations that provide temp assistance to women that are victims of domestic violence. All of these statistics can be supported by research conducted by the Interagency Council on Homelessnes. There's nothing like providing your own data. It's called "being responsible for your life choices".

Not experts, just "non-saps"

You and I both know that YOUR definition of "homeless" is ludicrous, designed more as an employment program for underachieving sociology or psychology majors who try to convince us that we're up to our eyeballs in homeless people, and that anyone can be homeless tomorrow. After all, why work at McD's when you can get a job paying TWICE minimum wage at some counselling center or shelter, right? Best of all, you're getting paid by the government or a charitable institution, so you don't have to produce any results! A family moving to Wilmington who has to live out of their car for a month ISN'T homeless. They're going through a rough time, and they will get through it. There are millions of poor people who aren't homeless and will never BE homeless. Poverty has very little to do with homelessness. It can be a contributing cause, but not the root cause. You and I BOTH know that when we're addressing the TRUE homeless, we're talking about the chronic homeless.....and you know that in their case, the seventy-percent figure for substance abuse and mental illness is spot-on accurate. It's also ludicrous to say that no one chooses to live that way. I am related to a man who lives in a very nice home with his sister, but every now and then simply takes off to hang out under the bridge and drink cheap wine with his buddies. In about a week or so, maybe two, he'll call and ask her to come get him. After showering to wash the vomit and urine smell away, he'll do fine for a short while...until that open road starts calling again. No bills, no responsibilities, answering to no one....some of them love it. As for me getting involved with the homeless, no thanks. I spent far too much of my life in the company of drunks and loonies. I managed my life quite well, and I'm not Superman. If I can do it, anyone can.


No sir/ma'am, I do not agree, nor do I subscribe to your belief system. I am very fortunate to have the life I have, and I prefer to give back to those who are less fortunate than I. I hope your privilege follows you for your lifetime and never need help, like the woman who lost her home and her life in a natural disaster. I prefer to have empathy (not sympathy) for my fellow man/woman. I hope you channel your strong feelings into some act of good for our community, perhaps battling to raise the minimum wage or prevent children from being abused. You obviously are a person of conviction, but do you stand for anything?


Dear Jane, I don't believe we know each other well enough for you to dip into my pocket for an open ended program with no price tag. I give. I give VOLUNTARILY. I do charitable works. But don't TAX me for the homeless. I would gladly sign on for the "bus them to South Carolina program". As many come from there thanks to Myrtle Beaches "bum bus" they send up here. Before you look down your nose at any of us, realize one thing. We give. We've given until we're give out. You Post: "I am very fortunate to have the life I have, and I prefer to give back to those who are less fortunate than I." Sounds like your doing ok. How many are staying at your house?

What I stand for, Jane... individual responsibility and self-reliance. I believe this country became great when we ALL carried our own load, only having to help those too infirmed to carry their share. I therefore restrict my caring and contributions to the TRULY less fortunate, those who cannot help themselves or the conditions they are in: Animals, children born with birth defects, and people who have become disabled through no fault of their own. That doesn't include drunks, druggies, and people too stupid to stay on their medication.


How many have you hired?