January 13, 2020
Asheville’s Hidden Homeless
We have long been involved in the work here in Asheville to reduce chronic homelessness. We have partnered with Homeward Bound of WNC and, specifically, the REACH fund so individuals experiencing homelessness can get the resources they need. But there is another side to homelessness that our community may not always see. There are people throughout Asheville experiencing what is known as hidden homelessness. Let’s take a closer look at the hidden homeless right here in Asheville.
Who Are Asheville’s Hidden Homeless?
Someone we work with recently told us this story. Their husband, now middle aged, lost his dad when he was very young. For years, his mom worked hard to keep a roof over their heads, but finances eventually caught up with her. The home where they lived was foreclosed. After that, they were evicted from a house they rented. Without any choices left, she moved with her then teen-aged son into a friend’s home. He lived on a couch in the basement far from his own school district where he still managed to get a ride to school every day.
He, and people like him, are the hidden homeless. Not the face of homelessness that we usually associate with the crisis. They’re people that work jobs along side you but do not have a home to return to at the end of the day. Their children are enrolled in school, just like your kids. They may live in their cars or bounce between friend’s homes. They don’t qualify for many of the programs available to others experiencing homelessness because they earn too much money, but their money can’t cover the high cost of living in town. Hidden homelessness is a problem in many communities, not just Asheville, but because of its nature, we aren’t always aware.
The Impacts of Hidden Homelessness
Some would say that anyone unable to afford life in Asheville should move somewhere more affordable. That’s easy enough to say, but it doesn’t always work in practice. There are all sorts of things impacting people who may be counted among the hidden homeless.
For example, hidden homelessness has an impact on high school students who may not have any other resources outside of their community. For others, they may have been evicted but still have to work to earn money to pay other bills and can’t afford to leave the area.
Advancements in Affordable Housing
Asheville, like many communities, is engaging in the conversation around affordable housing. Specifically, what does it mean, what avenues do people have to access it, and how does it impact the community itself?
There is a push and pull from residents. Some loudly express “not in my back yard” when affordable housing is proposed while others are willing to build ADUs on their own property to create affordable rental opportunities. But with every step forward, there always seem to be two steps back. The city council recently struck down a request for a tiny house community in East Asheville because the homes would be on wheels. They also approved a large build in the South Slope area of downtown with 488 units, but only 49 classified as affordable. The pathways to affordable housing need to be diverse, offering multiple opportunities for individuals who teeter on the edge of one bill away from homelessness.
Resources Available to Individuals and Families
One resource that may be helpful is Homeward Bound’s AHOPE day center. For those who may find themselves living out of their cars, AHOPE offers valuable resources such as showers, mail and phone service, and a place to store belongings.
Pisgah Legal Services offers representation to low-income individuals in a variety of matters, including domestic violence, eviction, and other circumstances that may result in homelessness.
Zachery Adam and the team at GoPrime Mortgage of West Asheville will continue in their efforts to end homelessness of all types in our community in 2020 and beyond.
Do you want to know more about the options you have for your mortgage? Contact Zachery Adam and the team at GoPrime of West Asheville. Call us today.
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How we can help you
Although labeled an independent mortgage lender, GoPrime Mortgage, Inc. is not a one-man operation. Zachery Adam and his Team has the support of a streamlined operation, with professionals who assist in every phase of the loan process. His team includes an appraisal vendor, loan processors, underwriters, closers and even the CEO or president if needed. When you choose to work with Zachery, you get the support of his team as well.
It’s important to Zack that he and his team are approachable and can provide assistance to home buyers who are often inundated with misinformation about the financial picture and mortgage options. In an automated culture reliant on digital communication, it’s time to put the human element back into these conversations. He could never be behind the scenes.
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862 Haywood Road Asheville, NC 28806