Now what, as Salvation Army withdraws its request?

Now what, as Salvation Army withdraws its request?
July 23
00:00 2015

In above photo: Salvation Army Center of Hope (File photo by Erin Mizelle for The Chronicle)

The Salvation Army of Winston-Salem has ended its quest to obtain re-zoning for the property at 939 Cleveland Avenue in order to renovate it and move its homeless shelter for families there.

The organization has decided to look elsewhere for a new home for the shelter.

The Army’s Center of Hope, which is on Trade Street, fueled heated debate among stakeholders in the Cleveland Avenue area of the East Ward.

The Center of Hope already is in the East Ward, but not in the Cleveland Avenue area; not in the “backyard” of those who live in the Cleveland Avenue area and those who say they have that area’s best interest at heart.

On any given day at The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope for homeless families, 50 percent of the residents are children.

The Salvation Army’s goal is to quickly rehouse shelter residents into permanent housing and help them improve and stabilize income so that they can make an even greater positive impact on the community.

The arguments made against bringing The Salvation Army into the neighborhood were that the children need to see positive role models instead of what is there in the Cleveland Avenue area.

Also, the anti-Salvation Army crowd said the residents of the Center for Hope would only add to the distress in the community.

So the bickering ends and the status quo remains.

The question is now what?

The Salvation Army requests help from “the entire community, and our city leaders, to help us continue the search for the appropriate location for the continuance of this vital service with in our city.”

It is still seeking a place to relocate its shelter.

The East/Northeast Winston Neighborhood Association and the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem and others who shouted “NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard)” can lower their voices and remain in a neighborhood that has a lot of problems, including lack of economic development.

They have a plan to implement, but no telling how long it will take for the plan to bring the desired results.

And the owners of the property at 939 Cleveland Avenue, Greater Cleveland Christian Church, will have to find another buyer. Will the NIMBY effect keep the church from selling the property at all?

The effort to re-zone 939 Cleveland Avenue from a day-care facility to a homeless shelter brought out some issues residents have.

It showed that the residents, along with some City Council members, know how to stop entry into the Cleveland Avenue area.

The question is, do they know how to bring the kind of businesses they want to the area?

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