The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

How the Interactive Resource Center is Decreasing Homelessness in Greensboro

Kani’ya Davis
A mural painted outside of the Interactive Resource Center in Greensboro.

As homelessness in Greensboro increases, the Interactive Resource Center continues to use a whole-person approach in hopes of closing the widening housing gap. 

Located in downtown Greensboro, just under one mile away from N.C. A&T’s campus, the IRC attempts to solve the issue of homelessness by offering various low-barrier essential services that help make each visitor feel like a person again. 

“At the baseline, we believe in dignity. We believe that it’s about [coming] as you are and meeting each individual at the level they need,” said the director of programs, Bennita Curtain. 

From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, the IRC provides visitors with showers, hygiene supplies, laundry services, fresh produce, telephone access, mailing addresses and mailboxes, replacement IDs, an onsite barbershop and much more. 

In addition to offering essential services, the IRC connects its visitors with self-sufficiency resources such as skilled trade classes, interview training classes, resume and job application reviews and more. 

“The most fulfilling part of working at the IRC is seeing someone who has a goal meet that specific goal,” said Karen Bullock, the center’s community relations coordinator. 

Visitors of the IRC have access to on-site medical services to alleviate the effects of homelessness and assist individuals with immediate health problems without requesting proof of health insurance.

During the winter, when the temperature reaches 25 degrees or lower, the IRC extends its services as a day center to operate as an overnight warming center.

The center also uses the barbershop space as an emergency pet resort for individuals who have pets.

Bullock believes that, at the end of the day, people who lack housing are still human and deserve the love and companionship their pets bring them. 

Although homelessness is most prominent in downtown Greensboro, homelessness runs rampant throughout the entire city; that’s why the IRC has implemented a community outreach program called PATH. 

The PATH team is responsible for going around Greensboro, finding individuals who are experiencing homelessness, and connecting them with the IRC and its services. 

Staff members on the PATH team are trained to work with individuals who are struggling with things such as mental illness or drug addiction so they can get them whatever help they need.

Individuals struggling with mental health can access the behavioral clinic, where a mental health care specialist can see them and provide them with a free evaluation. 

Since the IRC’s goal is to address all aspects of homelessness, they offer solutions to overlooked issues like lack of transportation.

The IRC partners with Bicycling in Greensboro, a local organization that renovates donated bikes to give to individuals who lack transportation. To receive a free bike, an IRC visitor has to fill out an initial request form. 

Vowing to serve Greensboro since 2009, the Interactive Resource Center is a revolutionary organization continuing its mission to end homelessness. 

Visit their webpage to learn more about the IRC’s upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

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