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Development hopes to help homeless in Winston-Salem

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Housing Foundation of North Carolina, The United Way, Goodwill and many community groups are excited to announce the creation of a new model to help some parts of the local homeless population have a place to live, learn and get tools to be self sufficient.

The Commons will open sometime next year on the former Human Service Alliance Campus off Old Greensboro Road in Winston-Salem.

The non-profit groups along with Winston-Salem’s 10-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness are working on the program, targeting teens leaving foster care, homeless families, and adults with autistic related disabilities. Those groups will be able to live and learn there.

“The Commons is going to be an answer to some of that need in the community.  All of them, we have found, have not found their needs met in the services we currently have available in the community,” said Andrea Kurtz with the 10-Year Plan.

Garry Merritt with the North Carolina Housing Foundation has been spearheading the project and said the project has great potential.

“We will teach life skills, job training skills, goal setting skills, financial skills, all those things it takes to survive in Winston-Salem,” said Merritt. “It’s designed to help all people in our community to be the best they can be.”

The campus already has 15 condos, a dormitory, commercial kitchen, conference center, classrooms and workshop space. The Human Service Alliance is selling the property.

Organizers are hoping to raise the last $1 million of their $4 million goal later this year.  Organizers of the Commons would like to take ownership of the property by the year’s end.

“We are hoping that the Commons will become that place where they can find a community, a sense of support and place of belonging they haven’t had before,” said Kurtz.

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