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Could vacant Kmart serve as a homeless shelter?


The Kmart on Patton Avenue closed in late 2018.

Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the real deal:

Question: As winter approaches, I was wondering if there was any way the empty Kmart on Patton Avenue and Louisiana could be used to shelter people living on the streets? It seems like a missed opportunity to keep people warm and protected during the pandemic.

My answer: Boy, there’s just nothing humorous about homeless people being cold and not having shelter at night. Please do what you can to help the organizations that help the homeless.

Real answer: For this one, I went to Meredith Switzer, executive director of Homeward Bound, which helps local homeless people find housing and runs the AHOPE Center day shelter. Switzer was also involved in a move earlier this year that allowed the use of the Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville as a shelter for about 50 people living in homelessness amid the coronavirus pandemic.


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