Tag: Open Doors

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City council candidates offer different takes on homelessness and disruptive student partying

On housing issues, the five candidates running for city council agreed Thursday that Harrisonburg needs to increase affordable options but split over the city’s role in addressing homelessness. And in front of an audience of JMU students, the candidates had slightly different takes on how to referee a clash of town and gown happening in the Old Town area where some residents have complained about their student neighbors’ partying — and the aftermath of those parties.  

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Council prepares for city manager candidate interviews, moves toward contract for homeless shelter’s design

The city council is taking a key step later this week toward hiring a city manager with a public meeting scheduled for Thursday during which city council members will interview candidates for the job in a closed session. 

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Renovated and reopened Salvation Army location provides beds, but city still faces dearth of shelter space

Following a change in leadership after allegations of mismanagement, the Salvation Army reopened its emergency shelter on Jefferson Street in Harrisonburg, which comes as another organization — Open Doors — is still looking for a temporary place to reopen its shelter. 

Mayor calls on community to help Open Doors; Council considers transportation changes

Mayor Deanna Reed on Tuesday expressed concerns for Open Doors, the local low-barrier homeless shelter. The organization has shifted its shelter from several locations in recent years, from churches to JMU at the start of the pandemic to the former Red Front grocery store building, then back to JMU this summer. But come Aug. 15, Open Doors will once again be in the market for space to run the shelter.

Open Doors returns to JMU for the summer but city finds a site for a permanent shelter

The city’s announcement that Harrisonburg has found a permanent site for a homeless shelter will eventually put an end to years of shifting from one temporary facility to another for Open Doors, the organization that runs the shelter. 

Open Doors reopens Red Front’s doors

From outside, the dark red bricks and scarlet facade of what used to be Red Front Supermarket are unchanged, and the sign bearing the name of the grocery store, which closed last spring, still looms over Chicago Avenue. Inside, though, is a completely different sight than what anyone who had shopped at Red Front for more than 60 years would recognize. In the entrance, bags of donated clothes are piled where the teddy bear claw machine and free newspaper racks stood. The checkout counters have been replaced with shelves stocked with hygiene items and other essentials, while 45 beds extend across what once were grocery aisles.

In latest round of COVID-19 business, council outlines CARES Act money and gets briefings on JMU and EMU

The Harrisonburg City Council on Tuesday took up several tactics to mitigate the effects of the pandemic: a plan for how to distribute more than $3 million more in federal CARES Act funding, an emergency ordinance to allow the Open Doors shelter to open October 1, as well as protocols to slow the virus’ transmission among college students.

Four organizations teamed up and ‘probably saved some lives’

Alena Pardi and her husband, Tim, thought they had found a house in Virginia and could move from Tennessee. But when they arrived in the Valley, they found they had been scammed, and the “seller” had run off with their first rent payment — which amounted to much of the money they had. Stranded, they slept in their car in Walmart’s parking lot. Then the coronavirus hit.

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