Halifax County group seeking community support for the group's planned homeless shelter

By Colter Anstaett - Southside Bureau Reporter

SOUTH BOSTON (WSLS 10) - The old Fisher Auto Parts store at the intersection of Colonial Avenue and Edmunds Street in South Boston has just been donated to Do Something In Halifax to be used as the group's homeless shelter.

"Not just to help the chronic homeless but to help those that are displaced for short periods of time," Do Something In Halifax's Executive Director Bonita Nelson, said.

The shelter's bigger purpose would be to offer services like drug and alcohol counseling for the homeless, many of whom are homeless in part because of their struggle with addiction.

"To rid yourself of these, to get your GED, to go to skill classes to get a job," said Nelson.

Carl Hughes and Henry Claiborne are both homeless and said despite what people think about the homeless community, they are ready to take advantage of an opportunity to better themselves.

"It could help me get a good job, maybe, and encourage others to get their GED," Hughes said.

"When somebody really cares about your situation and they're willing to do something positive about it, now it's up to you to grasp that opportunity," Claiborne said.

Before the shelter can open, the building needs at least a new roof and new electrical wiring, which is estimated to cost about $50,000.

The town zoning code would also have to be amended.

"We could go through that process if asked by either a council member, a planning commission member, or a resident," South Boston Town Manager Thomas Raab explained.

As of Monday, Do Something In Halifax had not asked for rezoning, hoping to first use Monday night's presentation to secure more public support.

Nelson said she hopes to file for rezoning in a couple of weeks, once the building has been officially deeded to the group.

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