$7 million multi-service center would help Wake County homeless
Posted November 15, 2016
Raleigh, N.C. — A proposed $7 million project near downtown Raleigh would help thousands of homeless families living in Wake County.
A new center, with a proposed location on South Wilmington Street, would offer a one-stop-shop, including meals, showers, laundry facilities and job counseling, for anyone experiencing homelessness.
The Oak City Center is designed to be a long-term solution in an effort to help the homeless in Moore Square. The abandoned 34,000 square foot building sits on the bus line and is only about a mile away from downtown.
"For years I've seen so many possibilities, and for years it has been wasting away," said Clifford Corbin of the building.
Corbin said he would take advantage of the center's services and educational opportunities.
"I'm disabled and it is hard to struggle to get from one place to another to try to get things I need," he said. "Being that I have no income, it is very difficult."
Annemarie Maiorano, with Wake County's Human Services Department, said the center would help people get back on track.
"People will come into the multi-service center and they will get a comprehensive assessment - what led them to homelessness, maybe things that they have done before, what their needs are, can they go directly into housing, do they need other services first," she said.
City Council member Kay Crowder said her biggest concern about the center is the location.
"It is within a mile radius of Dix Park, a destination we just spent $52 million for. We have visited other cities and looked at what happens to the area around the destination parks, the property values go up," Crowder said.
But Corbin said the Oak City Center could not come soon enough.
"The community here needs it, the people need it," he said.
City council members will vote on the center next month.