Home Supporting a Multiservice Day Center in High Point

Supporting a Multiservice Day Center in High Point

Open Door Ministries is embarking on a bold initiative to revolutionize housing and at-risk support services in the High Point community with the development of a new full-service facility, to include a multiservice day center for homeless individuals and those at risk of homelessness.

The new day center will address a range of needs for this population, including on-site medical and dental care, mental health services, vocational training, financial skill development, internet and cell phone services, and basic necessities like showers and laundry facilities. The day center will expand on the six current Open Door Ministries programs that focus on hunger and homelessness.

“We want to give people what most of us take for granted on a daily basis – a haircut, a place to wash clothes and take a shower, the ability to charge a cell phone,” said Ryan Ross, Open Door Ministries executive director. “Our goal is to get clients out of an immediate crisis so they can make better choices. Then we can help them if they need a job, substance abuse counseling, to find housing, and other larger issues.”

The goal of the day center is to help make homelessness in High Point rare, brief, and nonrecurring by addressing the root causes that can lead to someone becoming unhoused. The purpose will be to focus on the whole person and determine what can be done to best position them for success.

 “We know that our shelter beds meet a critical need, but they are a Band-Aid. Emergency financial assistance to pay rent is a Band-Aid,” said Ross. “If someone is currently homeless, we want to get them out of that situation. If they have housing but are at risk of losing it, we want to prevent them from becoming homeless. If we just put you back in the same situation, what good does it really do?”

The programming at the day center will address many of the factors that contribute to homelessness, including such pervasive challenges as illiteracy, mental health issues, and substance abuse. By offering these services in a centralized space, Open Door Ministries will lessen the burden on other community resources such as emergency rooms and police services. For example, a client with diabetes can receive assistance in monitoring blood sugar, potentially avoiding the need for a trip to the emergency room.

The Foundation for a Healthy High Point supported Open Door Ministries by providing funding for the planning phase and assessment of need for the day center. The day center supports the Foundation’s commitment to an upstream approach to improving community health by working to get people off the streets long term. It also supports the Foundation’s interest in collaborative efforts that address systems of care by establishing a center that will co-locate more than a dozen service providers under one roof.

The day center will be an important component of an expansion that will allow Open Door Ministries to address the growing need for services. In the first quarter of this year, the organization served 12,000 meals each month, compared with 4,000 meals a month in the first quarter of 2023. And there is currently a waiting list of more than 100 people who need the services Open Door Ministries provides. In addition to expanding capacity, the new facility will also allow Open Door Ministries to better collaborate with other agencies to provide a more comprehensive approach to supporting those experiencing homelessness, increase efficiency by reducing duplication of effort, and ultimately, helping clients on the path to self-sufficiency.

One of the greatest challenges Open Door Ministries has faced is finding a suitable location. While many High Point residents see the need for such a facility, they don’t want a homeless shelter or day center in their community, based on fears of an increase in crime or a higher incidence of people loitering. Open Door Ministries plans to address these concerns through community meetings and by soliciting input from community stakeholders.

“Our goal is to enhance the community, to make it better,” said Ross. “Once we’ve determined a location, it will be easier to share our plans and reassure folks that the center will not be detrimental to their community.”

Back to Stories & Updates