Local News

HUD Honors Durham for Partnership Against Poverty

Posted June 25, 1997

— Durham is the recipient of two awards from the Housing and Urban Development. The John. J. Gunther Award has been presented to Durham for its aggressive community development programs. The honor is the result of a two year long partnership between Durham, non-profit organizations, and most importantly, citizens.

A year ago Jayquatar Walton had no job. She lived in the streets and was a victim of homelessness. Now she's works at Revco thanks to Dove House, a transitional home helping women get out of poverty.

Walton says it was the tough love approach that worked for her. Dove House gave her discipline. In turn, she had new direction and many doors opened.

Doors also opened for Alphonso Williams. He's been jailed, addicted, and homeless. Today, he's a leader of Phoenix House, a transitional home for men. That's where he received a helping hand.

Williams remembers the time when he thought it was the end. But through programs like Phoenix House, he regained a sense of direction.

Leading people to a successful direction is why Durham has received the Gunther award from HUD. The city works with non-profit agencies and citizens to tackle problems of poverty.

Michael Pullum, a City of Durham planner, says it's because the projects are done in a joint partnership that they are successful.

Another partnership is the Continuum of Care and Community Development Consolidated Plan. It provides funding for programs like the $650,000 expansion of Genesis Home, transitional housing for homeless families.

Hopefully, they will not re-enter the ranks of homelessness, but instead become a contributing member of the community.

Durham is continuing its attack on poverty. Thursday, Durham Mental Health and Housing for New Hope will open a new facility that will provide transitional housing for 70 homeless families.

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