Up & Coming Weekly

August 15, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 8 of 24

8 UCW AUGUST 16 - 22, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Day Resource Center set to open next week by CHAR MORRISON, CityView Today City and state officials gathered Aug. 8 to celebrate the completion of construction and upcoming opening of the Day Resource Center for the homeless. e facility includes a wide array of features and services, including show- ers and laundry facilities; a kitchen for lunch service; office space for social workers and case managers; a family and children's room; medical offices for preventative care and health ser- vices; a quiet room for meditation and rest; and space for people to gather to escape extreme heat or cold. "My hope is that this project func- tions as a catalyst for our community to approach homelessness holisti- cally," said Fayetteville City Manager Douglas J. Hewett. He spoke about how the project has been a long time coming and a part of the city's 10-year plan to address homelessness. e total cost was just under $7 mil- lion, which was fully funded by grants through the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Both grants were awarded to ad- dress the effects of natural disasters such as Hurricane Matthew, which can exacerbate homelessness. "It's these kinds of projects that really help us feel like we are making an impact with the federal dollars that have been entrusted to our state," said Tracy Colores, community develop- ment director of the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency. According to Colores, the project had the largest budget for his office in the state. Instead of running the facility them- selves, city officials decided to entrust it to community organizations and picked Cumberland HealthNet to run its day-to-day operations. "So this facility is going to be a one- stop shop for those that are experienc- ing homelessness so they can come to one place instead of having to go all over the city to get resources," said Shelly Hudson, executive director of Cumberland HealthNet. Community organizations will be able to serve meals, provide health care and counseling, and connect homeless people with resources. e Day Resource Center is only a half mile, or about a 12-minute walk, from the location of a planned 150-plus-bed transitional housing facility. Fayetteville City Council voted unanimously on Aug. 7 to convert the Nights Inn on South Eastern Boule- vard into transitional housing. [See article on page 10] City Council member Shakeyla Ingram of District 2 said the combina- tion of the two projects is "positioning (the city) to move forward in the right direction." Mayor Mitch Colvin spoke about how the day center shows the progress the city is making to combat home- lessness. "Let us remember that this is not the end of a journey but the beginning of a new chapter in our ongoing com- mitment to fostering a more just and compassionate city," said Colvin. HealthNet has said the day center is scheduled to open Aug. 21. NEWS County Commissioners release 2024 budget, tech awards presented, board appointments approved by CHAR MORRISON, CityView Today After a break from meetings in the month of July, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners on Aug. 7 discussed the 2024 fiscal year budget, made some appointments and presented a national achievement award. e board voted unanimously on June 7 to approve the budget. is year, the board presented the budget in a new video format. "I think it's a great way to commu- nicate with our citizens about what's happening with their tax dollars," said Commissioner Jimmy Keefe. e video is available on social media and on the county website. For information, go to cumberlandcoun- tync.gov/budget e video explains how the budget is split up and what projects will be funded. is year's budget totals a bit over $381 million, an increase of about 4% over last year's budget. e largest expenditure category is human services, taking up 31% of the budget. is includes staff for the public health, veteran services, social services and child support depart- ments. e second largest category is education, at 27%, followed by public safety, 19%; general government, 18%; cultural and recreation, 3%; and eco- nomic and fiscal development, 1%. e goals of laid out in the bud- get plan include renovations to the Crown Center; improvements in the Gray's Creek water and sewer district to address pollution; the design and construction of a homeless support center; expanding capacity of the Ann Street Landfill; and a plan to increase county staff retention. For public schools, $87.5 million has been designated, an increase of $3.2 million over last year. Additional money is appropriated to hire more school nurses, crossing guards, and resource officers. Fayetteville Technical Community College is getting $15.5 million in funding this year as well. Technology award A national award won by Cumberland County earlier this summer was presented during the Aug. 7 meeting. e National Association of Counties and the Center for Digital Government awarded Cumberland seventh place in the 250,000-499,990 population category in the Digital Counties Survey last month. e award highlights the use of digital tools to streamline government services "and apply innovative and emerging tech- nologies to county priorities," according to the citation. e award was presented to the information technology department. Cumberland County also received the award in 2016, 2017 and 2019. Board appointments e board approved four appoint- ments to county boards: •Harold Bachman to the Alcoholic Beverage Control board. •Charlotte Davis and Jeffery Brooks to the Cumberland County Animal Services board. •Michelle Williams to the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visi- tors Bureau board of directors. e meeting then went into a closed session. Adopted Budget Fiscal Year 2024 CHAR MORRISON, CityView Today. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200. e Day Resource Center is scheduled to open Aug. 21. (Photo courtesy of City of Fayettville) CHAR MORRISON, CityView Today. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200.

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