For over a decade, Catholic Charities has provided services to the Wilmington community from their office on 4006 Princess Place Drive. In fiscal year 2014/15, over 660 families were served from this office impacting over 2,000 individuals. On February 1st, Catholic Charities opened a new office the Harrelson Center at 20 N. 4th Street, Suite 300. The office moved as a result of more individuals asking for assistance and expansion of services to assist these families.
The new office space accommodates new staff and interns that have been hired over the past few months. The office now has a large common room to run group programing such as family budgeting, financial literacy, parenting, and computer skills. Additionally, more private space will be available for interviewing clients, which will respect the dignity of each individual. The new office will also have space to accommodate storing diapers that Catholic Charities will be distributing through a recently signed agreement with the Diaper Bank of North Carolina.
Ms. Emilie Hart, the Cape Fear Regional Director, explained the importance of this new storage space. “In the past, we have unfortunately needed to turn away material donations because we had no space to store what the individual wanted to donate. We will now be able to accept more donations and help more families with the additional space.”
When Ms. Hart was hired in February 2015, one of her first projects was to find a new location. Ms. Hart explained, “When I began searching for a new space in April, I wanted something that was in a populated area and central to our service region. I also wanted something along the bus line to make transportation to the office easier for families. Finding a place in downtown Wilmington was a blessing.”
The space Ms. Hart found was in the Harrelson Center. On their website, the Harrelson Center states that they are “a nonprofit center that supports and partners with other nonprofit organizations in the Wilmington community. The center works with its partners to meet the needs of the community such as safe and affordable housing, education, employment, health care and family support.”
Having a space in the Harrelson Center is important because many other non-profits are located in the same location. This will increase foot traffic around the Catholic Charities office and make referrals to partner agencies within the building more efficient. Ms. Hart was required to meet with Harrelson Center staff and submit an application before Catholic Charities was accepted as a partner agency and tenant.
Ms. Hart expressed her gratitude to the community by saying, “I want to thank the Wilmington community for their continued prayers, support and partnership to provide for poor and vulnerable families.”