Residents of a minority-majority East Winston-Salem neighborhood are voicing strong opposition to a proposed Salvation Army family homeless shelter:

“We have a volatile community,” said Marva Reid, president of the East/Northeast Winston Neighborhood Association. “We’d be doing homeless people a grave disservice putting them here.”

….Reid said the community has problems of its own it is working on.
“There were an overwhelming number of ‘no’ votes from the community,” Reid said. “I don’t understand why you have the majority of the community saying no and it’s still a debate.”

Shraddha Modi, the owner of MLK Pharmacy in the Eastway Plaza Shopping Center near the intersection of New Walkertown Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and about two blocks from the proposed shelter, said she doesn’t think the shelter would be good for the neighborhood.

“I’ve been in this neighborhood for nine years, and it’s getting better,” Modi said. “The neighborhood is finally starting to come together, so to me it’s not a good idea.”

More striking are comments from Housing Authority of Winston-Salem CEO Larry Woods:

“Our biggest concern is that the residents’ dreams won’t be adhered to,” Woods said. “At this time, having a shelter would have a chilling effect on families looking to move into this area and investors with interest in putting businesses in the area. Having a shelter there is not compatible with what we’re trying to do at this time.”

In whta could qualify as the overstatement of this young week, Salvation Army Maj. James Allison said neighborhood reaction to the proposed homeless shelter “was somewhat unexpected,” according to the Winston-Salem Journal. The W-S planning board approved the rezoning request for the shelter by a 7-2 vote. The City Council is expected to take up the issue in July.