NC-12 Community Project Funding Submissions and Rep. Adams’ Financial Disclosure Certifications
Additionally, you can find more information on these funding submissions below.
|Requesting Entity/Proposed Recipient||Requesting Entity Address||Project Site Location||Project Name||Requested Funding Amount||Project Description (No more than 1,000 words)||Explanation of why the project is a good use of taxpayer funds|
|C.W. Williams Community Health Center, Inc.||3333 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28208||3333 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28208||C.W. Williams Community Health Center Facility Improvements, Charlotte, NC, Mecklenburg County, NC-12||$1,125,000||Founded in 1981, The C.W. Williams Community Health Center, Inc. (CWWCHC or Center) is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and healthcare safety net whose main campus is located in a designated Medically Underserved Area (MUA), a designated Dental Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), and a Mecklenburg County Public Health Priority Area. Center services include primary and preventive Medical and Dental care, Pharmacy, Mental Health Counseling, Substance Use Disorder Counseling and Treatment, HIV/STI Testing and Treatment, Medical Case Management, Case Management to address Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), Women’s Health, Pediatric Care, Community Outreach programs, Food Pantry, and Patient Transportation services.
Community health centers are not only vital establishments for comprehensive healthcare and support services, they also are community pillars and trusted friends to the patients and communities served. For nearly 40 years, CWWCHC has been reliable source of care for marginalized patients with nowhere else to turn for healthcare. Every day, CWWCHC strives to provide an excellent patient experience in a culture of healing and wellness, with easy access to services in safe, comfortable environments where every aspect of treatment is designed with the patient in mind. This culture is especially important at CWWCHC’s main campus– one of the region’s oldest community health centers. Unfortunately, the building is over 80 years old, and based on recent professional assessments, several priority items have been recommended for immediate improvement. These items include renovating and/or upgrading existing outdated/faulty electrical and plumbing equipment, flooring systems, and HVAC equipment. If awarded funding, all renovation work will be completed under the oversight and supervision of a professional construction Project Manager.
In addition to building renovation needs, CWWCHC also is in need of specialized medical equipment in order to provide the highest quality services possible. Identified top priority equipment needs include a portable, point-of-care ultrasound machine and laboratory processing equipment to facilitate faster, more efficient diagnosis and treatment. The proposed ultrasound equipment consists of interchangeable probes to help diagnose vascular issues (vein and arteries of the extremities and neck), an ECHO cardiogram probe to help diagnose heart failure and other heart diseases, and an abdominal probe to help diagnose gallbladder and liver diseases. This state-of-the-art equipment will save time and money, as patients will receive point-of-care imaging services without having to be referred to a more costly specialty provider.
The proposed laboratory equipment includes Clinical and Toxicology processing and analysis components for both blood and urine samples. This “in-practice” equipment includes a comprehensive laboratory management and reporting system that will eliminate the cost and delay of sending samples to a third party laboratory.
Because health centers exist primarily to provide quality healthcare for underserved populations, many people view them as “basic clinics for poor people.” As a champion for the community, CWWCHC fosters a level of grassroots support that reaches deep into the underserved and vulnerable populations we care for daily. These patients and our staff need and deserve a facility that has sound, safe, and reliable infrastructure. They also deserve to reap the benefits of medical technology that is considered standard equipment in other practices. As such, CWWCHC envisions a community in which all residents have access to high quality care provided in an atmosphere of comfort, safety, dignity, and respect. These attributes are critically important in the healthcare arena, where the physical environment can influence behavior, motivation, and mood, as well as facilitate or discourage interactions among people and even influence whether or not a patient returns to the facility for future care. Funding from the Community Funding Project program will help CWWCHC update its building and medical equipment to better serve patients who come to the Center from throughout Mecklenburg County and surrounding areas.
|As a Federally Qualified Community Health Center and safety net primary care provider, CWWCHC fills a unique and important role in reducing burdens on hospitals, providing continuing care for patients with chronic conditions, addressing growing demands for behavioral health services, and contributing to COVID-19 response efforts- including triaging patients and providing testing and vaccines services. In addition, CWWCHC provides a “one-stop-shop” model of care that integrates primary, preventive, educational, and support services in one convenient location, which helps to reduce barriers to care. For thousands of underserved patients who have not been well integrated into healthcare systems due to cultural, economic and/or geographic challenges, CWWCHC provides a patient-centered medical and dental home and serves to minimize unnecessary emergency department visits, while lowering incidences of chronic diseases that could be prevented if diagnosed in a timely manner.
CWWCHC embraces human differences and believes that quality healthcare should be universally accessible. Each year, CWWCHC handles close to 30,000 patient encounters, representing nearly 13,000 unique patients. CWWCHC’s patients include the disabled, limited English proficiency residents, the homeless, the uninsured and underinsured, Medicaid, Medicare, and privately insured patients. According to recent statistics, 83% of CWWCHC’s patients live on incomes below 200% of the FPL, 75% are uninsured, and 14% are homeless. CWWCHC is a safe place for immigrants and is known for promoting an environment that welcomes cultural and language diversity and respect for all patients. By offering convenient access to comprehensive primary and prevention care in a family practice setting, CWWCHC helps to ensure the un/underinsured do not delay seeking care and face more serious health consequences which require costlier interventions.
The proposed project is a good use of taxpayer funds, as it will reinforce CWWCHC’s ability to provide affordable, high quality, comprehensive healthcare and support services to approximately 13,000 underserved patients each year, most of whom reside in Congressional District NC-12 and surrounding areas. Moreover, by processing its own laboratory samples, CWWCHC estimates that the return on investment will range from $450,000 to $500,000 annually. In addition, the ability to provide in-house ultrasound imaging services will save the healthcare system thousands of dollars each year. All of these costs savings will directly and positively impact utilization of taxpayer funds.
|Camino Community Development Corp.||131 Stetson Dr. Charlotte, NC 28262||131 Stetson Dr. Charlotte, NC 28262||Camino Behavioral Health Services Renovations, Charlotte, NC, Mecklenburg County, NC-12||$184,000||Camino Community Center is a non-profit organization focused on equipping all people to live healthy, hopeful, and productive lives. Since 2003, Camino has served low-income Latino families in the greater Charlotte area through a low-cost primary care clinic--Camino Clinic; behavioral health services--Camino Contingo; a health education and wellness program--Camino Vida; a thrift store--The WearHouse; and Camino Food Pantry. Camino uses an integrated and collaborative approach to care that addresses the physical, mental/emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the community. The community center is bilingual and multicultural, bridging gaps between language and cultural barriers for families in need.
Latino immigrants are at-risk of developing mental health disorders, often due to stress and trauma resulting from factors associated with migration and acculturation. Despite high rates of mental health disorders, Latinos access mental health services at lower rates than non-Latinos. Latinos, especially immigrants, experience significant barriers to seeking mental health services, including social stigma related to discussing mental health and utilizing mental health services, immigration status, and a lack of bilingual mental health services with the cultural competency to effectively serve Spanish-speaking Latinos (Vega, Rodriguez, & Ang, 2010; Castano et al., 2007). For over a decade, Latinos in Charlotte have reported access to linguistically and culturally competent health services as a barrier to seeking care (UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, 2006). Moreover, according to the latest Mecklenburg County health assessment report (2019), mental health is the number one issue for residents--over 157,000 adults report having diagnosed depression. Unfortunately, factors such as poverty, acculturation, and English-speaking ability negatively affect access to both clinical and mental health services among the Charlotte Latino immigrant community (Ludden et al., 2018).
To address the need for bilingual behavioral/mental health services, Camino developed Camino Contigo, formally “Tu No Estas Solo”. Camino Contigo includes multicultural, bilingual, individual counseling services, play therapy, and peer support services. The counseling program uses psychoeducation to treat symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, trauma, and other mental health issues to the Latino Charlotte population. The program also utilizes group and family counseling when applicable to serve and treat individuals. Social navigation uses a case management approach to refer patients to other services both internally and externally based on a Social Determinants of Health screening, ensuring patients all access to all services needed to provide holistic care. Peer support services uses an evidence-based approach to treat mental health and substance abuse disorders. To educate the Charlotte Latino population about mental health issues and reduce stigma, our behavioral health team provides stress management and mental health talks to the community. Camino Contigo is one of the only low-cost, bilingual, multicultural, mental health treatment options for Spanish speaking, uninsured, and potentially undocumented Latinos in Charlotte. Because of this, many other organizations including Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police, Mecklenburg County Health Department, Atrium Health, Novant Health, and many private practices refer Spanish speaking clients to Camino.
To keep up with the rapid growth of the Latino population in Charlotte and the need for bilingual, multicultural healthcare services, Camino has continued to grow and expand its services over the past several years. Camino Clinic expanded from two to five days a week and increased patient load from approximately 1,000 to close to 2,500 patients. As the clinic grew, so did the number of referrals to our behavioral health program, resulting in a long list of patients in need of mental health care. Camino Contigo has recently grown from part-time to full-time and added full-time therapists, interns, and peer support specialists to the program. However, because behavioral health services share a building with Camino Clinic, the ability to appropriately house both services are becoming an issue.
To address this issue, we plan to move the behavioral health program and staff to its own standalone building. We identified a building on campus located across the street from Camino Clinic. The location is ideal because individuals that use the clinic, food pantry, thrift stores, and other services can easily access it without the need for transportation. In addition, the proximity aligns with our collaborative and holistic approach to care. The new building will provide ample room for activities like peer support groups and play therapy for children, as well as space for individual counseling and offices for staff.
However, a full assessment of the space showed the building will need significant upfitting before it can house Camino Contigo. The building will require the installation of new carpeting, sheetrock, painting, cleaning, and essential maintenance. In addition, we need to furnish the building with new desks, chairs, lights, and other equipment essential to the success of the behavioral health program and productivity of staff. Also, because we expect to increase capacity and, therefore, take on more patients from the referral list, we will require a more sophisticated Electronic Health Records System to track the progress of patients across all our services. The system we have identified and plan to pursue is eClinicalWorks.
|Latinos experience disproportionate rates of social and economic disadvantages, increasing the risk for mental and physical health issues yet lack access to affordable, culturally competent, bilingual healthcare services. Latinos have also been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic physically, emotionally, and financially, further amplifying health disparities that already exist. The unemployment rate among US Latinos rose sharply due to the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic. According to research conducted at Camino, 77% of Latino immigrant households experienced a drop in household income, 64% had a member of their household lose a job, and 88% experienced financial stress directly related to the pandemic. This financial stress, combined with health concerns and social isolation, can lead to, or exacerbate existing mental health issues; 89% of Latino immigrants experienced stress related to COVID and 88% reported COVID-19 directly impacted their mood. Data from the Behavioral Health staff shows patients’ mental health has been affected by the pandemic as they worry about their finances, health, future, and fears of eviction. The COVID-19 pandemic further illustrates the relationship between financial security and mental health as poverty is a significant indicator of mental health issues. Latinos living below the poverty level are twice as likely to report psychological distress compared to Hispanics above twice the poverty level (USDHHS, 2017). If Latinos are falling deeper into poverty due to the pandemic, it is highly probable that more Latinos are developing mental health issues and, thus, in need of mental health services.
Expanding Camino’s Behavioral Health program benefits not only the Latino immigrant population, but the local economy of Mecklenburg County. Many Latinos in Charlotte are essential workers vital to the operation of numerous services provided to the general population, including restaurants, cleaning services, and construction. Much of the Latino immigrant population in Charlotte helped build the city into what it is today, constructing numerous buildings all over the county. Individuals with better mental health outcomes are less likely to miss work and more like to work efficiently. Providing culturally competent and affordable mental health services to Latino community members also promotes better physical health, decreasing the use of other healthcare services, including hospitals and emergency rooms.
|City of Charlotte||600 E. 4th Street Charlotte, NC 28202||Central Avenue/N. Sharon Amity Road & Nations Ford Road/E. Arrowood Road||Cure Violence Charlotte Implementation||$1,000,000||In response to an increase in violent crimes and homicides in charlotte over the course of 2019, Charlotte City Council adopted its Framework to Address Violence in March 2020. The framework is comprised of five pillars that inform policy and program development: Intergovernmental Collaboration; Invest in Community-Led Efforts; Interrupt Violence; Community Collaboration in Priority Areas; Use Data and Evidence
Since its adoption in March, staff and council have worked collaboratively with Mecklenburg County, community members, and other key stakeholders to advance initiatives that address violence and promote safety in our neighborhoods. One of the cornerstones of the Framework is to “Interrupt Violence.” For the last five months the city has worked with Cure Violence Global (CVG) to understand how Charlotte might implement an evidence-based program to interrupt violence in an identified area of high violent crime. CVG has worked in cities across the world employing their methodology by leveraging data, trusted messengers, focusing on the highest-risk individuals and tracking key metrics of success: Reduction in shootings; Reduction in homicides; Reduction in retaliatory violence
Implementing Cure Violence: In February, the city released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit local organizations to implement CVG methodology along Beatties Ford Road. The core of CVG is to leverage trusted community members and messengers who can work in the neighborhood and interrupt violence before it escalates. In March 2021, the RFP closed and the city is currently evaluating organizations for implementation. The local organization will employ 3 violence interrupters, two outreach workers, and one supervisor and is expected to be operational in April 2021. The cost for implementing one year of Cure Violence is $394,000.
Opportunities for Expansion: In January 2020, the city identified four priority areas where a disproportional amount of violent crime was occurring in Charlotte. One of which, Beatties Ford Road, is where Cure Violence will be implemented this spring. There is an opportunity to add two other violence interrupter programs along other identified priority areas in new parts of the city: Nations Ford Road/E. Arrowwood Road and Central Avenue/N. Sharon Amity Road. These areas differ from Beatties Ford in several ways including demographics: Beatties Ford is a predominantly African American community whereas Nations Ford/E. Arrowwood and Central/N. Sharon Amity are heavily populated by immigrant communities. The future funding would be used to continue our existing partnership with CVG to implement this program in these new areas.
|SCOPE OF VIOLENCE INTERRUPTION: CURE VIOLENCE CHARLOTTE IMPLEMENTATION.
General Scope. In 2019, more than 100 homicides occurred in Charlotte — an 80 percent increase over the previous year and the city's highest number of homicides since the early 1990s — and hospital emergency departments treated more than 4,000 Mecklenburg County residents for assault-related injuries. In response to the increase in violence, the City, Mecklenburg County and partners have adopted a new public health approach to prevent violent crime.
The success of this project will rely on the selected community organizations and other stakeholders mobilizing community members against shootings and homicides.
Program Overview: Violence Interruption is a unique, interdisciplinary, public health approach to violence prevention and an adaptation of the Cure Violence Model (CVM). The philosophy of CVM maintains that violence is a learned behavior that can be prevented using disease control methods. Violence Interruption works primarily with high-risk youth, aged 14 to 25, through regular individual interactions, conflict mediation, and community mobilization. Using proven public health techniques, the model focuses to prevent violence through a three-prong approach:
Identification & Detection: Violence Interruption is a data-driven model. Through a combination of statistical information and street knowledge, staff identify where to concentrate efforts, focus resources, and intervene in violence. This data guides staff to communities most impacted by violence. It provides a picture of those individuals at the highest-risks for violence and shows staff how to intervene.
Interruption, Intervention, & Risk Reduction: Violence Interruption staff intervene in crises, mediate disputes between individuals, and intercede in group disputes to prevent acts of violence. Staff are experienced and well-trained professionals from the communities they represent. These individuals must have credibility and strong reputations in the community. This is often due to having similar lived experience to the individuals they seek to work with. Staff understand who holds the influence in communities and who they need to engage to de-escalate situations before an act of violence occurs. Most program participants are beyond the reach of traditional social support systems. They have dropped out of school, exhausted social services or aged out, and many have never held a legitimate job. Often these individuals next encounter with the system results in incarceration or a victim of violence.
Change Behaviors & Norms: Violence Interruption staff work to change the thinking on violence at both the community-level and the society at-large. For disproportionately impacted communities, violence has come to be accepted as an appropriate—even expected—way to solve conflicts. Violence Interruption staff provide tools, at the street level, to resolve conflicts in alternative ways. Violence Interruption looks to shift the discourse toward the view of violence as a disease and placing the emphasis on finding solutions to end this epidemic.
|DreamKey Partners, Inc.||4601 Charlotte Park Drive Suite 350||Ellington at Wheatley Ave., Charlotte, NC||Grier Heights Master-Planned Community Project||4,500,000||Grier Heights Master-Planned Community Project: In November of 2019, Mecklenburg County issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to finance, design, construct and manage mixed-income housing on approximately 14-acres in the Grier Heights neighborhood of Charlotte, NC. DreamKey Partners submitted a response and was formally announced as master developer for the project in August 2020. DreamKey Partners is working with CrossRoads CDC to create this new master-planned community, which will address the need for affordable rental and homeownership housing in Grier Heights, while also establishing attractive amenity areas for gatherings and events. The vision for the new community will be informed by feedback received from the community and guided by a reverence for the history of the neighborhood. The site is located in Charlotte, NC at the corner of Ellington and Wheatley, in the heart of the Grier Heights community. Currently, two 1950’s-era commercial buildings are on the site and will need to be demolished. There is limited infrastructure to the site; therefore the redevelopment will require substantial water, sewer and storm water system improvements to make it suitable for residential development. In total, the development will yield approximately 285 units of housing, with over 87% of the total being available for incomes that are 80% Area Median Income (AMI) or below and at least 65% of the total units benefiting 60% AMI and below. The total cost to develop the site and amenities is over $60 million. The housing units will accommodate a wide range of family sizes, including one, two and three bedrooms, both rental and for-sale. All of the for-sale units will be eligible for down payment assistance through the City of Charlotte’s HouseCharlotte program.
Affordable Housing Breakdown by Type and Area Median Income (approximate):
Multi-family Rental - Family - 155 units total
30% AMI - 31 units 50% AMI - 19 units 60% AMI - 66 units 80% AMI - 39 units
Senior Rental - 80 units total
30% AMI - 20 units 60% AMI - 40 units 80% AMI - 20 units
Townhomes for sale - 27 units - 110% AMI and under
Single Family for sale - 23 units - 100% AMI and under
Financing: Due to the redevelopment size, the project is proposed to be developed in separately financed projects and will take 5 years to complete . Rental developments will rely on Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) (4% and 9%) as well as debt and sponsor equity. The single family and townhome homeownership units will be financed through traditional construction debt and sponsor equity. Predevelopment costs of the site, which are subject of this request, will either be HUD EDI or some other combination of subsidy, grant or loan. The total estimated sources include DreamKey equity of $868,000, traditional debt of $33,945,000, tax credit equity of $19,598,000, and other non-federal subsidies of $2,250,000. The proposed appropriation funding will fill a predevelopment infrastructure gap in sources of funding of $4,500,000. Total Sources: $61,161,000
Neighborhood History and Importance: Grier Heights has an extraordinary history. The neighborhood originated in 1886 when Sam Billings, a former slave, purchased 100 acres in Mecklenburg County. Mr. Billings was the first African-American to purchase land in the County. Since its inception, the neighborhood has provided housing opportunities for people with limited opportunities to purchase homes elsewhere. Because of red-lining and other obstacles that unfairly disqualified black families from owning a home, the neighborhood today is predominately rental housing, with little reinvestment over several decades. With this proposal, our goal is to deliver a fresh start for the neighborhood.
Community Engagement: Our approach to engage neighborhood residents gives people a platform to voice their opinions and to inform decisions that impact their sense of community and belonging. DreamKey Partners has completed significant community engagement in Grier Heights in partnership with Crossroads CDC to ensure our redevelopment plan reflects resident vision. Beginning prior to the release of the RFP, DreamKey conducted a series of community conversations called “Indabas” to gain input into project elements and the desired housing types and mix. Through the Indabas, the community’s story and priorities were revealed, informing our project both in terms of design and programming. Because Grier Heights is at gentrification risk, most residents desired to see new affordable housing opportunities including homeownership on the site. In addition to the Indaba’s, DreamKey has made numerous presentations to local faith organizations, the Grier Heights Community Improvement Organization and other stakeholder groups to gain further input into project design and outcomes.
Programs and Partnerships: DreamKey’s further intent on the site is to provide access to a holistic mix of services. In addition to our own homeownership counseling and down payment assistance programs, DreamKey will form robust partnerships with health care providers, educators and social service agencies to ensure the residents of this new community, and Grier Heights as a whole, gain economic and social opportunity.
Next Steps: The next steps are to acquire site control, negotiate the development agreement, submit a rezoning petition, begin demolition of the existing Mecklenburg County buildings, and commence site work and ready the site for a 2022 LIHTC application cycle.
About DreamKey Partners: DreamKey Partners, formerly Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, was founded in 1989 as a private, nonprofit housing development and financial corporation organized to expand affordable and well-maintained housing within stable neighborhoods for low-and moderate-income families. DreamKey Partners is the largest nonprofit affordable housing developer in the Charlotte region and has tremendous staff capacity in community engagement, real estate development, and education programs to carry forth its mission and vision. DreamKey Partners has led or assisted in the development of more than 3,000 affordable rental units in Charlotte and has provided more than 28,000 individuals with homeownership education.
|The project is an excellent use of taxpayer funds because the primary use is to develop affordable housing in a traditionally African American neighborhood that is seeing gentrification pressure. The project includes both affordable rental and homeownership opportunities and was designed with significant community input and engagement.|
|Mecklenburg County, North Carolina||600 East 4th Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202||Valerie C. Woodard Center, 3205 Freedom Drive, Suite 1000, Charlotte, North Carolina 28208||Unified Workforce Development Program Expansion, Mecklenburg County, NC-12||$999,803.65||Mecklenburg County developed the Unified Workforce Development Program (UWFD) in 2018 as an evidence-based approach and response to serve unemployed residents facing multiple significant barriers to employment such as homelessness, substance misuse, or involvement with the criminal justice system. UWFD’s employment services include skills assessments, vocational education, and on-the-job training among others while resources such as childcare, transportation, health care as well as housing and food assistance are available on an as-needed basis to customers transitioning to the workforce. With demonstrated success, Mecklenburg proposes to expand UWFD to serve two additional populations: graduating high school students interested in pursuing a trade and underemployed residents with limited resources for additional training. The requested funding will help continue and expand the UWFD program, improving overall economic stability, mobility, and well-being of vulnerable populations.||The Unified Workforce Development program seeks the use of economic assets like taxpayer funds to expand upon services offered to individuals who are currently facing hardships such as under-employment and unemployment. Specifically addressing the skills gap through job training and employment services will have an economic impact through higher wages and increased job opportunities. Improving employment opportunities for residents who may utilize public support programs allows for reduced reliance on public assistance by program participants; closing the overall cycle as individuals begin to contribute back into taxpayer funded services. It will also reduce the ongoing workforce development gaps that exist between job seekers and employers, who continue to experience long term vacancies due to lack of qualified candidates.|
|Pineville, NC||200 Dover St. Pineville, NC 28134||Intersection of NC 51 and Johnston Dr.||EB-5949: Realignment of Johnston Dr. to Church St.||$1,435,000||This project will remove a stoplight in the downtown area to improve pedestrian safety and traffic flow by realigning a street to create a four-way intersection. As part of the project crosswalks will be improved and staking of cars will be reduced to improve safety.||Historic Downtown Pineville has seen a revitalization over the last couple of years with more pedestrian foot traffic. This project will help with pedestrian safety. The flow of traffic will also be improved because staking of cars will not happen due to a traffic light being removed that is within 50 feet of another traffic light.|
|Town of Davidson||216 South Main Street Davidson North Carolina 28036||347 Jetton Street Davidson NC 28036 (former Hoke Lumber site)||Hoke Townhomes Development||$400,000||The town of Davidson, the Davidson Housing Coalition and the Davidson Community Foundation are partnering to create 8 affordable rental units in a new town home development that will have a market rate of $400K plus and 81 units total. The affordable units will be 1900 square feet with 3 bedrooms/2.5 baths and targeted at 50-80% AMI. The total non-profit/public sector contribution is $2 million.||In Davidson, land values as well as the lack of available land make it difficult to incentive developers to partner on affordable housing projects. This project is an exception. The infill development, in the historic African-American West Davidson community, was originally slated to be entirely market-rate townhomes with a starting price point of at least $400,000. However, after much community input, the developer has agreed to partner with the town, the Davidson Housing Coalition, and the Davidson Community Foundation to carve out nearly 10 percent of the units as affordable rentals in the much needed 50-80% AMI range. These units will be 1900 square feet, a great size for families. By receiving federal funds, that will allow the town and partners to pursue other collaborations like this one as the community works together to increase the supply of affordable units in Davidson.|
|University of North Carolina System Office||910 Raleigh Rd, Chapel Hill, NC, 27514||NC-12 and Statewide||Next Step Pilot Project||$230,000||Challenge: North Carolina has a skills gap and is lagging most states in FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) completion. By 2030, 67% of jobs in NC are projected to require a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree, but currently only 49% of North Carolinians are prepared. In 2020, the North Carolina FAFSA completion rate was 58% and was ranked 34th among the states. As for Mecklenburg County, 2,373 more seniors need to complete the FAFSA annually (goal: 80% vs. 56%) to reach state goals (source: myFutureNC).
Solution: Next Step is an annual spring program to help high school juniors and their parents plan for two or four-year college. Next Step is led by the University of North Carolina System Office (UNC SO) as part of the CFNC (College Foundation of North Carolina) service.
In spring 2020, the program served 8 high schools and 187 students and parents in Craven, Franklin, and Wake County. Evaluation of pre/post knowledge-based questions showed a 19% increase in participants understanding why they should complete the FAFSA, and a 37% increase in participants understanding who needs to get an FSA ID (username and password used for the FAFSA). In spring 2021, the program is now serving over 30 high schools across the state and has expanded to include the online form with data sharing, more engaging online curriculum content, and text-based engagement with a chatbot. There are three major components:
1. Online Form - Students and parents complete an online form indicating their plans after high school graduation, planning needs, and career interests. These data are immediately available to high schools and district leaders to help them better meet student and family needs.
2. College Connection - Participants who are interested in a two or four-year college can share their contact information and career interests with NC’s 110 colleges and universities. Colleges can reach out to students who might be a good fit for their institution.
3. Online Curriculum – Participants who are interested in a two or four-year college can join an online program to help them learn about credentials and degrees, FASFA, and identify college options that fit their goals. The sequenced curriculum walks them through the completion of key steps using interactive videos, action items, chatbot technology, and CFNC.org resources.
Evaluation is based on measuring knowledge changes in pre/post questions for the online curriculum, feedback from high school and college professionals on the usefulness of the data, student and parent feedback, and web analytics on engagement.
|Next Step helps North Carolina families in District 12 and across the state understand and afford programs at NC’s two-year and four-year, public and independent colleges. By 2030, 67% of jobs in NC are projected to require a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree, but currently only 49% of North Carolinians are prepared. In 2020, the North Carolina FAFSA completion rate was 58% and was ranked 34th among the states. As for Mecklenburg County, 2,373 more seniors need to complete the FAFSA annually (goal: 80% vs. 56%) to reach state goals (source: myFutureNC).|
|West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition||2901 Romare Bearden Dr., Charlotte, NC 28208||2901 Romare Bearden Dr., Charlotte, NC 28208||Three Sisters Market Food Cooperative, Charlotte, NC, Mecklenburg County, NC-12||$750,000||Studies show that West Charlotte is home to low educational attainment and high unemployment rates. Despite the Corridor’s proximity to commercial and residential development, the options for Corridor residents to acquire food come only in the form of convenience and Family Dollar stores that saturate the area. Since at least 33 percent of residents have to travel more than a mile to a supermarket or large grocery store, the corridor is federally-recognized as a food desert.
After decades of living in a food desert and a healthcare desert, the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition organized to develop a comprehensive, grassroots strategy to revitalize their community through fresh produce, entrepreneurship, and responsible gentrification. Given that Corridor residents are faced with these issues every day, they utilize a human-centered design approach in recognizing that residents are subject-matter experts in the lived experiences and needs along the Corridor. They have regularly involved the residents in a wide range of community engagement opportunities to ensure that their path forward is what our community wants and values. Such community engagement efforts are critical in building Corridor-wide capacity and increasing participation and awareness in their effort to transform the Corridor for the very people who currently live here.
Seeds for Change is a multi-tiered strategy to address a multitude of resident aspirations within the Corridor. Overall, the initiative goals are to (1) improve public health; (2) enhance educational opportunities; (3) increase economic development; and (4) create a community-driven, community-owned, and community-operated project. Seeds for Change acknowledges that increasing access to healthy food and improving access to information about nutrition and healthy living are social determinants for improving health outcomes for the people who live in the Corridor. The Seeds for Change Urban Farm is currently located at 2901 Romare Bearden Dr, across from the West Boulevard Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, and occupies 0.25 acres of land. The Seeds for Change Urban Farm is a multi-tiered health equity and economic development initiative that engages youth along the corridor for above-minimum-wage employment, entrepreneurial and leadership development, fiscal education, and agricultural education.
A derivative of the Seeds for Change Strategic Pillar is the development of a food cooperative market that directly addresses food insecurity and food access challenges along the Corridor, the Three Sisters Market. Previous research has found that 75% of the population identifies as Black or African American (compared to 30.7% in Mecklenburg County); 36% of residents use Food and Nutrition Services (compared with 12% of Mecklenburg County); Median Household Income is $31,749 (compared to $61,695 in Mecklenburg County); 16% of adults over the age of 25 have a Bachelor’s Degree (compared to 44% in Mecklenburg County); Average age of death is 67 years (compared to 71 years in Mecklenburg County). The data reinforces the health disparities experienced by the predominantly African American residents along the West Boulevard Corridor and drives home the need for access to fresh, healthy food options.
A multi-phased market implementation plan has been developed in order to address the short- and long-term challenges of food insecurity. Phase One is a small-scale modular unit market located adjacent to the Seeds for Change Urban Farm, and Phase Two is envisioned as a full-scale community-owned cooperative market. The implementation of the Three Sisters Market pilot phase one has been supported by funding from Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte for development in year one. However, this support does not include financial support for vital health education programming that will address healthy eating and cooking habits—and subsequently shopping habits—of residents along the corridor. Federal funding for this grassroots community project will provide support for community health education programming to improve healthy shopping habits; multi-year support for market operations; and programmatic support for Seeds for Change farm, the primary food source for Three Sisters Market.
Three Sisters Market is a community effort that lifts up the innovative, self-reliant, self-supporting nature of that has historically characterized the cooperative nature of the African American community. After years of requesting food security from policy makers and bureaucrats, the residents of the West Boulevard corridor are taking the initiative to create a community-owned, community-led and community-driven solution to generations of food sovereignty, economic disadvantage, and disenfranchisement.
|Three Sisters Market Food Cooperative is a good use of taxpayer funds as this is an innovative, community-led and community-driven solution for food security, economic disadvantage, and disenfranchisement. This initiative is targeted to address generations of food instability, and the complex interplay of dynamics of which food insecurity is only a symptom, such as community wealth, health equity and economic mobility. Food security is a public health issue that has risen to the fore in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, however for residents along Charlotte's West Blvd corridor, the pandemic has only exacerbated many facets of their lived reality in years prior. Support for the Three Sisters Market Food Cooperative is a great use of taxpayer funds in that these funds would be used to directly impact North Carolina taxpayers whom have long been under-resourced, under-employed and malnourished.|
|Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Charlotte||400 East Morehead, Charlotte, NC 28202||1946 West Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28208||West Boulevard Health Clinic at Stratford Richardson YMCA, Charlotte, NC, Mecklenburg County, NC-12||$2,657,760||The YMCA is an anchor institution, and takes immense pride in their work to strengthen communities. As COVID-19 continues to have a deep and lasting impact, the YMCA is working to pivot their programming to support our community’s most urgent needs and long-term well-being in a sustainable way. Working alongside their neighbors and partners, they are committed to break the cycle of poverty for marginalized communities through initiatives that address food insecurity, increase access to care and provide more opportunities for youth and teens.
The first and most critical step involves transforming the Stratford Richardson YMCA into an integrated Health Equity Campus. Located in the West Boulevard Corridor, near the intersection of West Boulevard and Clanton Rd./Donald Ross Rd, the Stratford Richardson Y sits in the heart of an Opportunity Zone comprising an “economically-distressed community” in critical need of long-term investment. This area of Charlotte is deemed a “food desert” where residents have little to no access to quality fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, despite being an area with disproportionately high percentages of chronic disease including high blood pressure and Diabetes, the residents of the West Boulevard Corridor have limited to no access to healthcare.
Since opening in 2006, the Stratford Richardson Y has been a community hub, providing opportunities for health and wellness, youth and teen programs and community outreach initiatives like before and after school, summer camp and teen enrichment. Annually serving thousands of families and individuals, the campus encompasses 23 acres in a centralized and accessible area of the West Boulevard Corridor. Through active engagement both in the facility and out in the community, residents have come to see the Stratford Richardson Y as safe and welcoming. For example, during the pandemic, hundreds of residents came to food shares where the Y partnered with Loaves and Fishes to provide food for those who were unable to obtain nourishment for their families. In addition, residents have and continue to come to the campus for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, in partnership with Atrium Health. Based on their history of building trust in the community, their strong ability to partner, and their successful and diverse program delivery to the residents of the West Boulevard Corridor, YMCA feels confident that they are well positioned to expand our reach.
THE IMPACT: The West Boulevard Corridor Playbook, completed by the City of Charlotte in 2019, noted the attractiveness of the region, and the impending growth, largely due to proximity to Uptown. The City identified the region as having lower property values than surrounding areas, making long-term residents vulnerable to displacement. Furthermore, the plan identified that current traffic counts on West Boulevard, coupled with low density, place the region as a low priority for retail and general service locations. The plan includes partnerships for mixed-use development committed to a social impact model. Community listening sessions conducted by the YMCA and partners have yielded feedback that healthcare, a grocery store, educational services, path to housing ownership, and county services are needs for the region. This project aligns with Charlotte’s 2040 proposed Comprehensive Plan to create an equitable growth framework with complete communities that include 10-minute neighborhoods, as well as goals for neighborhood diversity and inclusion, housing access for all, and healthy, safe and active communities. This project specifically addresses the outcome to increase the percentage of households within 10 minutes access of primary care health services.
PROJECT STATUS: The YMCA envisions an integrated Health Equity Campus that is designed to address food insecurity, provide access to care and increase opportunities for youth and teens. An initial and critical element of transforming the campus is the construction of a 5,000 square foot Health Clinic and adjoining 2,000 square foot Community Health Education Center.
The vision for an integrated Health Equity Campus has the potential for community partnerships that could include one or more of the following: a financial institution, library, retail, housing, educational/program space, food distribution, and provide opportunities for literacy, mental health, etc.
The YMCA is committed to building on strong public/private non-profit partnerships to bring the master plan to fruition. The YMCA is currently in negotiations with Atrium Health for the Health Clinic, and in advanced discussions with multiple partners on the remaining pieces. Based on information from ESRI 2019 data, they have the potential to reach the 22,675 residents who live in a 5-minute radius from the Stratford Richardson YMCA and 329,715 who live in a 15-minute radius.
FUNDING: The YMCA requests $2,657,760 to design and construct a Health Clinic and Community Health Education Center on the Stratford Richardson YMCA campus. The total cost of completing the integrated Health Equity Campus ranges from $5 million to $50 million depending on the finalized scope and level of partnerships. All other projects will be funded through either partners or philanthropy.
|The Stratford Richardson YMCA sits in the heart of an Opportunity Zone in critical need of long-term investment. This area of Charlotte has been named one of the city’s six Corridors of Opportunity and is deemed a “food desert” where residents have little to no access to quality fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, despite being an area with disproportionately high percentages of chronic disease, the residents of the West Boulevard Corridor have limited to no access to healthcare.
Working alongside their neighbors and partners, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte is committed to break the cycle of poverty for marginalized communities by addressing food insecurity, increasing access to care and providing more opportunities for youth and teens. As an initial and critical step, the YMCA of Greater Charlotte is offering well-positioned land on West Boulevard to construct a healthcare clinic that will be a catalyst for establishing the first YMCA integrated Health Equity Campus in Charlotte at the Stratford Richardson YMCA. If awarded, taxpayer dollars would be utilized for the construction of the clinic that would be available to and accessible by all residents of the West Boulevard Corridor, not just YMCA members.
Upon completing construction, YMCA will collaborate with a healthcare partner to provide the medical services necessary to meet the critical health needs of the West Boulevard community by providing clinical care and health education resources. Their belief is that by providing residents of the West Boulevard Corridor with access to care, they will be able to live happier, healthier lives, and serve as one of the tools that ultimately helps to break the cycle of poverty.