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Overcoming Homelessness (Blog)

March 12, 2021

In the Asheville/Buncombe County area, there are an estimated 554 people homeless on a given night, which is about 21.5 in every 10,000 people. In Asheville, 40% of the people experiencing homelessness are veterans, which is significantly greater than the national veteran homelessness rate of 11%. Homeward Bound is an organization dedicated to ending the cycle of homelessness through homeless and housing services such as Housing First, along with several community partners.

Youth Suicide Prevention (Blog)

March 4, 2021

In 2006, the suicide rate for children and youth in Watauga County was thirty percent higher than for the state of North Carolina. To address mental health concerns for students, Watauga High School partnered with Appalachian State University to establish High Country Help.

Economic Impact of Historic Preservation (Blog)

February 19, 2021

Historically a mill town, the decline of the textile industry resulted in economic and job loss for Rocky Mount. The city and private investors engaged in adaptive reuse, which means using buildings in creative new ways beyond the intended original purpose of the building (especially when the original purpose is obsolete), to strengthen the local economy.

Access to Healthcare and Improving Health Outcomes (Blog)

February 11, 2021

The Highland community in Gaston County, a primarily African American neighborhood, struggled with a lack of access to affordable, healthy foods and healthcare. The Highland residents formed the Highland Neighborhood Association and the Healthier Highland initiative, which enables them to form additional partnerships and empowers them to drive change based on their needs.

Water Infrastructure Challenges (Blog)

January 29, 2021

Water systems require extensive infrastructure, which is highly capital-intensive to build and maintain. Regional utilities are able to leverage economies of scale, drawing from a larger population (and therefore revenue pool) to support capital-intensive water systems.

Collaboration in the Face of Crisis: The Keys to Economic Recovery from COVID-19

January 28, 2021

The project team outlined two major, interconnected issues facing communities during the COVID-19 pandemic: hospitality employment and parents departing the workforce. The hospitality industry is one of the hardest hit industries given business closures, reduced capacity, and low consumer confidence. Hospitality employment plummeted in April 2020 and has yet to recover. In North Carolina, September 2020 sector employment was still about 20% lower than September 2019. Underlying this issue is the struggle to reopen businesses safely and improve consumer confidence.

Designing Better Local Food Systems – Wake County (Blog)

January 11, 2021

North Carolina is the 10th hungriest state in the nation, with 604,000 households that do not have enough to eat. The Wake County Food Security Plan tackles hunger through a whole systems approach, examining not only hunger, but the social and economic context around the issue.

Elder Abuse Prevention – Johnston County (Blog)

January 4, 2021

Elder abuse is a growing problem in the United States, with about 10% of elder adults abused in some way each year. Learn about how UNC School of Government faculty formed the North Carolina Elder Protection Network, and how Johnston County assembled a multidisciplinary team to combat elder abuse.

Unwrapping the Information to Action Framework

December 19, 2020

The ncIMPACT Initiative has been collaborating with many of you leaders on the front lines, to learn how you have found effective paths forward during these once unimaginable circumstances. We have observed some relative consistency in the way decisions have been approached in communities across the state and the country. The Information to Action Framework distills our observations into a scaffolding that is usable and replicable, regardless of the size of your community or your available resources.

The Great Migration? Small Town Economics and a COVID-19 Population Reshuffle

December 15, 2020

Small towns may not be able to compete with large and mid-sized cities in terms of major amenities, but small towns have unique assets on which they could capitalize. Place-based strategies contribute to the development of the community and may make that community more attractive for remote workers. Prior to the pandemic, workers craved communities with peer support groups and places to foster creativity. Co-working spaces and other entrepreneurial supports can help develop rural communities into thriving areas full of creative connections.