NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Connecting students and families in New Hanover County with much-needed resources is one of the primary focuses for Port City United, a newly-established department for New Hanover County Government.
To help facilitate this process, Port City United is pleased to announce partnerships with three longstanding nonprofits in the community. Communities In Schools of Cape Fear, Voyage and Leading Into New Communities (LINC) have been selected to bring community resource coordinators into schools.
“Our community deserves to have easier access and a better process for wraparound services, but sometimes they don’t know who or how to ask,” said Port City United Director Cedric Harrison. “These three nonprofits have been working in our community for years. They’ve developed inroads and a strong reputation for helping others. Our goal is to provide additional connections that these organizations can use to expand their reach and impact to assist more students and families.”
Twenty-two coordinators, including a Latino coordinator, will be funded through the county, and they will be based in seven impact-zone identified schools: International School at Gregory, Snipes Academy of Art and Design, Forest Hills Global Elementary, Rachel Freeman School of Engineering, D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy, Williston Middle School and New Hanover High School.
Their work will connect students and families to community resources based on their needs. Working with parents and school personnel, these coordinators will provide intensive case management and ensure educational, nutritional, health and social needs for students are being met.
Fifteen community resource coordinators will be based with Communities in Schools of Cape Fear, which works with more than 1,000 students yearly who are at risk of dropping out of school to connect with resources needed so they can continue their educational journey.
“Our staff works directly with students with the greatest risk factors throughout the school day, doing whatever it takes to break down barriers and unlock student potential,” said Louise Hicks, Executive Director for Communities in Schools of Cape Fear. “We are thankful for the county’s investment in our work and appreciate the opportunity to expand our services to reach more local families and surround more students than ever before with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.”
Four community resource coordinators will be based with Voyage, formerly known as the Blue Ribbon Commission, which helps to provide students and families with an array of direct services, along with inter-agency collaboration to help meet their mental, emotional, physical and educational needs.
“Voyage operates really with a focus on community health and it’s not just about empowering young people but helping empower the communities they live in,” said Voyage Executive Director Genna Wirth. “Teaming with Port City United, our schools and our communities, we believe, can really create a synergy that can lead to a cooperative effort to do what’s best, not only for kids, but for New Hanover County as a whole. It really does take a village to raise a child and we’re excited to be part of building a better path to make that possible.”
Three community resource coordinators will be based with LINC, which helps empower young people to make positive life choices for a more successful future through a structured enrichment program designed to reduce barriers in education and/or employment. LINC also works with men and women returning from incarceration to be productive members of the community, and their community coordinators will focus on African American students and those with incarcerated family members.
“Our youth development program known as LINC Initiative to Educate, or LITE, has been in four of our county schools for several years. This expansion will provide comprehensive case management to students who are in need, as well their families,” said Frankie Roberts, LINC Executive Director. “We are thankful for the opportunity to give this kind of support and really looking forward to ensuring that students have what they need to be successful, along with their families, which creates a healthy community.”
Learn more about the work of Port City United and the community resource coordination program at PortCityUnited.com.