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I don’t really want to go into the domestic circumstances that led up to it, but even though I had no car, no money, no work and now, nowhere to live, I walked down our darkened driveway in the middle of the cold starry night with little more than the clothes on my back.

Worse than the dearth of resources, I had no social support structure, and with no real knowledge of the resources available to someone in a short-term housing crisis, there I was, standing in a Maggie Valley gas station mere moments into Thanksgiving Day, in a short-term housing crisis.

Lately I’ve been hanging out at The Open Door in Frog Level and I have to admit, it’s my new favorite joint in town. After my mom passed, I began to feel overstimulated in traditional settings like ballgames, street festivals, and even crowded restaurants. All the noise, clanging, and happy sounds were so discordant with my melancholy; I would leave feeling exhausted and agitated.

fr froglevelWaynesville town leaders plan to broker a sit-down between Frog Level merchants and the Open Door soup kitchen in coming weeks to discuss an on-going conflict over a loose-knit band of homeless people who spend their days loitering and drinking on the streets.

fr soupkitchenSpend a few hours on the streets in Frog Level, and the heartwarming stories flow like water.

Theoretically, a new homeless shelter that opened across town in Hazelwood last fall should have made things better for Frog Level’s homeless plight.

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

It’s lunchtime at the Open Door, a 12-year-old soup kitchen in the Frog Level community of Haywood County, and chatter and laughter fill the modest dining hall. Here, down-on-their-luck residents can get a free hot meal and some much-needed social support. The non-profit serves as a haven from the troubles of the outside world, say visitors.

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