OUR VIEW: County land swap a good move in support of homeless

Help for Richmond County’s homeless has come a long way in the past five years.

After the Baker House burned down, some set up camp on railroad-owned property and were subsequently forced to move.

When Rockingham officials denied a request to rebuild, several volunteer groups sprang into action.

The Place of Grace started out as a tent city for the homeless on the property of New Life Church before moving to a rented building. Organizers eventually built a permanent structure on the church’s property.

Now, they will be moving again.

This past week, the Richmond County Board of Commissioners approved a land swap between the county and the church, with the latter gaining control of the former Rohanen Middle School.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the church,” said County Manager Bryan Land. “I’m glad to see it come true.”

So are we.

We applaud the efforts of all involved in the saga which has continued to unfold: New Life for providing shelter; other churches, organizations and individuals for supporting efforts through donations of funds, time, services and supplies; and the county, for not attempting to shut down the original tent city and providing the opportunity for the new space.

We hope to see these efforts continue.

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