Note: I was unable to find the original print version of the article, so I had to screenshot the article text via ProQuest.


Barile, Suzy. 1999. Downtown shelter may move. Triangle Business Journal 14, (46) (Jul 16):26, (accessed November 4, 2018).

This primary source, titled “Downtown Shelter May Move” is an article dated July 16, 1999 published in the Triangle Business Journal. The article portrays the complex relationship between Chapel Hill businesses – such as the beloved, now-defunct restaurant Spanky’s –  and the local homeless population. At the time of the publication, the men’s homeless shelter, ran by the Inter-Faith Council for Social Services (IFC), was located near many Chapel Hill businesses at 100 W. Rosemary Street, where the community soup kitchen is still located present day.

The article notes that on one hand, local businesses were supportive of IFC’s operations: Spanky’s employees volunteered at the shelter, and the restaurant routinely donated food to the community soup kitchen. On the other hand, Greg Overbeck, partial owner of Spanky’s, along with other businesses are frustrated with the issue of “undesirable” panhandlers in downtown Chapel Hill, a problem that they feel is proliferated by the prominent location of the homeless shelter. “What we have right now are a lot of panhandlers and a situation that is not conducive to good business,” says Overbeck. Thus, him and other business owners were eager to see the shelter relocated, in hopes it would alleviate the problem of panhandlers.

Additionally, the article mentions the “Say No” program, which was instituted several years prior by the Chapel Hill Downtown Commission. This program asks everyone to not give money to panhandlers. Robert Humphreys, then-director of the Downtown Commission, says that “persons asking for handouts should simply be told that the kitchen serves three meals a day, then given directions.”

The local business community wished to see all IFC services relocated to Homestead Road. While talks of the move began in the late 1990s, further research shows that the official relocation was not announced until 2008, and did not actually happen until 2011.1 Furthermore, only part of the IFC facility moved to Homestead Road in 2011, and the remainder of IFC operations did not relocate to a facility on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard until 2015 – 16 years after the move was first proposed.2


Sources Cited:

  1. Cheryl, Johnston Sadgrove. 2008. Big move for IFC: The IFC shelter is getting a new home. what does it mean for chapel hill’s homeless? McClatchy – Tribune Business News, May 11, 2008. (accessed November 7, 2018).
  2. Huang, Jie. “Chapel Hill Homeless Shelter Finds New Home.” The Daily Tarheel. September 22, 2015. Accessed November 4, 2018.


By Zac Spainhour