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$7 million multi-service center would help Wake County homeless

Posted November 15

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— 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.

5 Comments

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  • Thomas White Nov 16, 8:34 a.m.
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    Mrs. Crowder is only worried about littering and length of grass around the college neighborhoods.

    The common council just votes on projects that have little actual value. Their bike program costing millions to start and a projected $600,000 a year to run is the biggest waste of money as the administrative costs per bicycle per year is $2000 but they find the costs acceptable because the federal government will be paying most of the money. It is time for the common council to stop all of their pet projects that use taxpayer money. If the common council likes a pet project then let them donate to a charity that has the same goal in mind. Also stop requesting these stupid alterations to curbs that force people to drive wide at corners - see Kaplan and Kent Road intersection as a perfect example on how they messed up what used to be an easier road to navigate.

  • James Jones Nov 16, 8:26 a.m.
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    The city has forgot again their employees, Look out for the election Mayor, not everyone has a multi- million dollar first job. Most of your employees have second and third jobs to provide for their family. The Mayor is doing this for a hobby, but honest hard working city employees are the ones suffering under her leadership.

  • Sam Walker Nov 16, 2:07 a.m.
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    This is a lot better use of our money than the light rail to nowhere or the other wastes of money which just encourage growth for the profits of a few.
    This actually looks like a winner.

  • Jeffrey Derry Nov 15, 9:48 p.m.
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    Wake County loves big projects and raising taxes

  • Andy Jackson Nov 15, 7:32 p.m.
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    Council member Kay Crowder....you're worried about the proximity to the precious DIX park location? Really? You must not have any family or friends who are homeless. Homeless folks are human beings.....shame on you lady!!!!!! But what do you expect....Raleigh "tries" to be this prestigious city (with no parking) that is really a big joke.