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Airbnb review warns of ‘dope fiends’ outside Asheville homeless center

<i></i><br/>An Airbnb review warns of 'dope fiends' outside Asheville homeless center

An Airbnb review warns of 'dope fiends' outside Asheville homeless center

By Kimberly King

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    ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (WLOS) — Homeward Bound, the nonprofit that runs AHOPE Day Center at 19 Ann St., in downtown Asheville, has received millions of dollars in operating grants approved annually by Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.

But longtime neighbors and property owners near the center, which assists those experiencing homelessness, said their complaints have fallen on deaf ears when they’ve written, asking city and county leaders to address vagrancy, illegal drug use, defecation and public urination and vandalism happening in the area.

Sycamore Temple Church of God in Christ, which for decades operated next to AHOPE, finally gave up and sold its property to a hotel developer. Plans are in the works for a six-story, 115-unit Hilton hotel. News 13 Investigates could not reach the developer for comment Tuesday, but plans are moving forward.

News 13 Investigates on Tuesday saw unhoused men and women laying along the sidewalk feet from AHOPE, as well as standing in the middle of Ann Street talking as drivers maneuvered around them.

A longtime property owner across the street has four Airbnb units, but a recent review detailing the ongoing issues at AHOPE could curtail the rental owner’s business.

The post read in part:

The space was nicely updated but DO NOT STAY HERE WITH YOUR FAMILY! There is a building across the street that helps homeless people and that’s great and have no problem with them. However as a result there will be overflow like my family experienced needing to walk over passed out dope fiends on the front stoop. The pics of the space show one angle, but if you look down you will see a circus of crime from physical violence and yelling obscenities to shooting up and might even get to smell pungent odor of kitty litter crack smoke. The host apologized …”

Mayor Esther Manheimer and Council member Antanette Mosley, who expressed concern when the church was complaining about AHOPE’s clients, did not respond to requests for comments from News 13.

Homeward Bound interim director David Bailey did not respond directly to News 13’s questions about ongoing problems outside the center but stated by email in part:

We hear the concerns expressed about AHOPE and know that the answer is more safe and suitable housing for these and all members of our community. Homeward Bound is open to work with all who have suggestions.”

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