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IFC's New Shelter Offers Men More Beds, Services In Chapel Hill

A picture of a homeless man and a shopping cart.
Matthew Woitunski
Chapel Hill's new homeless shelter has more permanent beds for men needing transitional housing.

The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service in opening a new men's homeless shelter in Chapel Hill this week.

The new SECU Community House will replace the one in the old Town Hall building, and it will offer more permanent beds. It's still the only shelter for adult single men in Orange County.

IFC Executive Director Michael Reinke says he's been working in transitional housing services for 28 years.

"In all my time working with individuals and families who are homeless, I have never seen a facility that is able to offer the kind of resources we have here at this new location, Reinke says.

"For example, it has rooms for counseling. It has rooms for doing job coaching. With large thanks to Piedmont Health Services, it has a health clinic where we can take care of people's health issues. It has a pharmacy. It has a dental clinic."

Beginning Thursday, the Community House will have 52 beds for men. Those actively pursuing school or a job can stay for up to a year.  Reinke says that allows them time to get back on their feet.

"We have the opportunity with the SECU Community House to really invest in somebody for the long-term and make sure that when they leave the shelter, they're leaving to go to a permanent place where they're going to stay, hopefully for the rest of their lifetime."

The shelter will open an additional 17 emergency beds when the temperature drops below 40 degrees.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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