Community voices thoughts on use of New Hanover Community Endowment funds

NEW HANOVER COUNTY (WWAY) — More than 60 non-profit directors, community leaders, and concerned citizens signed up to speak at the second New Hanover Community Endowment public input meeting. With almost $1.3 billion at stake, speakers made their case for grants that will be given out next year.

The meeting’s goal was to identify common problems in the area and solve the source of issues like crime, mental health, and access to healthcare.

“We don’t have enough licensed clinical social workers to practice and support the amount of bilingual residents,” said one resident, who identified herself as part of the Latinx community.

“Trauma walks into my courtroom everyday with almost every person that walks in,” Judge J. Corpening explained.

One issue that continued to come up was housing.

“There is a significant lack of housing available,” a Wilmington Housing Authority representative said.. They also said if this problem were solved … the results could bleed into other issues the city faces.”

“Housing stability also leads to increased graduation rates, and mental health and well being. It also lessens incidents of community violence.”

With so many individual concerns, Wilmington Endowment Chairman Spence Broadhurst hopes the money can fix issues at the source instead of treating each individual symptom.

“All those things are connected. And we’ve got to figure out how to put a stake in the ground, stop the downward spiral, and then start dealing with those issues, because they are all interrelated,” Broadhurst said.

This was the board’s second listening session after the first one was held in October. Their next goal will be to create a community advisory committee.


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