Triad City Beat | GSO Pallet shelter residents move out on Friday, days earlier than postponed date

Triad City Beat | GSO Pallet shelter residents move out on Friday, days earlier than postponed date

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Featured photo: Pallet shelter residents moved out on Friday after previously being told they would be able to stay until at least March 27. (photo by Gale Melcher)

Residents of Greensboro’s Pallet shelter community moved out Friday.

Around 2pm today, TCB visited Pomona Park where the temporary shelters for homeless individuals have been set up for the last three months. According to residents and an on-site security guard, all Pallet residents have been told to move out by lunchtime today.

After originally scheduling a move-in date for March 15, city officials issued a statement on March 14 stating that the program had been extended through the end of the month, with moves beginning the week of March 27. Based on the new timeline, the shelters would be taken down in phases with the final moves scheduled for March 31.

But on Friday, Kristina Singleton, the executive director of the IRC, which runs the Pallet Community, confirmed in a statement that all residents should be out by Friday instead.

“The 27th is when the collapse of all the Pallets happens,” she said. “The move had to be today for breakdown on Monday morning.”

Singleton said that because residents must be out by 8 a.m. on Monday, March 27, “[if] they are moved to another program that is not open on a weekend or is open before 8am on monday then they have to leave today.

“Everybody there knows, that’s why they’re already gone,” she added, noting that residents received notice to leave Friday afternoon.

One staff member on site said that some of the residents had already left before today.

When asked when the move-out date was changed, Singleton said she wasn’t sure.

“We worked in close partnership with the city and we all agreed on the dates,” Singleton said. “I know at the end there they changed a bunch so they might have put out different dates….

These are our guidelines that we have had all along and agreed upon when we accepted them.”

The conflicting information about when residents will have to move out can be seen in city documentation. According to the memo issued by the city on March 13, it said that residents who “have not found alternative housing solutions” could remain in the structures until March 27 due to the expected colder temperatures in the coming days.

The same memo states that based on the dismantling schedule, customers living in the specific shelters will be allowed to stay until 08:00 the same morning.

“The physical demobilization of buildings will take place in phases to maximize the number of beds

available until March 31 and in coordination with the Resident Transition Plan,” the memo reads. “On the date of the building(s) scheduled dismantling, the customer(s) occupying those buildings must have all personal items removed by 8:00 a.m.”

One resident who was still packing said they received the eviction notice a few days ago.

Another resident who boarded a bus at the stop opposite the park also confirmed that today is move out day.

“It definitely is,” said the resident. “I was supposed to be out by noon, but that’s okay. I should get help on Monday.”

Clear plastic bags of residents’ belongings were strewn across the ballfield, and on-site staff workers were going in and out of the shelters and appeared to be cleaning them up.

Pallet shelter residents moved out on Friday after being previously told they would be able to stay until at least March 27. (photo by Gale Melcher)

On March 14, Singleton told TCB that “to date, 57 percent of the people who have left the program have not gone back to experience homelessness and we won’t have a final number until the program is complete.”

One of the residents interviewed by TCB on March 13 said again on Friday that they had still not obtained permanent housing and that they were going to live under a bridge again.

Singleton did not give an updated percentage of Pallet residents who had secured housing as of Friday, saying that IRC staff was awaiting additional reporting from partner agencies.

As of Friday afternoon, all 30 shelters were still standing.

After the shelters are taken down on Monday, preparations will be made for the baseball field. Between April 1-13, scheduling and completion of any repairs will take place, and on April 14, a coordinated site inspection with parks and recreation staff will take place to confirm that all repairs or preparations have been completed.

On April 15, baseball practice will begin.

The temporary shelters, which cost approximately $500,000, were purchased by the city in October 2022 to protect people experiencing homelessness from the elements during the winter. Thirty shelters were installed in December and have been operating for about three months.

Read previous coverage of the Pallet community here.

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