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Commemorative cowbell at the Marry Durham event in downtown Durham NC
AMERICAN RED CROSS

Central North Carolina chapter: 4737 University Dr, Bldg 3,

919-489-6541, website:

Learn how to save a life and gain other skills that can come in handy in an emergency:

 

  • Adult CPR/AED-R.21—Thursday, December 1, 9–11:15am, classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Thursday, December 1, 9am–12:30pm, classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Thursday, December 1, 9am–2pm, classroom, $126

  • Adult CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Saturday, December 10, 9–10:15am, classroom, $42

  • Adult CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Saturday, December 10, 9–10:15am, online + classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Saturday, December 10, 9–10:30am, classroom, $62

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Saturday, December 10, 9–10:30am, classroom, $62

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Saturday, December 10, 9–10:30am, online + classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Saturday, December 10, 9–11:15am, classroom, $82

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Saturday, December 10, 9–11:15am, online + classroom, $126

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Saturday, December 10, 9:30am–2:30pm, classroom, $115

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Thursday, December 15, 9am–12:30pm, classroom, $105

  • Adult CPR/AED-R.21—Thursday, December 15, 9–11:15am, classroom, $84

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Thursday, December 15, 9am–2pm, classroom, $126

  • Adult CPR/AED-R.21—Wednesday, January 4, 9–11:15am, classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Wednesday, January 4, 9am–12:30pm, classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Wednesday, January 4, 9am–2pm, classroom, $126

  • Adult CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Wednesday, January 4, 2:45–4pm, classroom, $42

  • Adult CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Wednesday, January 4, 2:45–4pm, online + classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Wednesday, January 4, 2:45–4:15pm, classroom, $62

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R-21—Wednesday, January 4, 2:45–4:15pm, classroom, $62

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Wednesday, January 4, 2:45–4:15pm, online + classroom, $105.                                                 

ANIMAL PROTECTION SOCIETY OF DURHAM

2117 E Club Blvd, 919-560-0640, website:

APS of Durham (2117 E Club Blvd) offers dog and cat food (and kitty litter) for pet owners in the City of Durham/Durham County facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more info about the Pet Pantry and the link to the online application. You’ll need to be able to pick up your order after being approved and letting them know when you’re available.

If you’re able to help, you can help APS of Durham by donating funds to one or more of their projects: the Pet Pantry (mentioned above), Adoption Assistance (reduction of adoption fees for people in need; covers exams, deworming, immunizations, microchipping, spay/neuter surgeries, heartworm testing (for dogs), and FLV/FIV testing (for cats)), Spay/Neuter service (lessens overpopulation, which can lead to neglect and abandonment), Heartworm Treatment service (gives dogs a second chance to be adopted), or Tiffany/Lifesaving Medical Treatment (helps provide resources for specialized medical treatment instead of giving up on animals with treatable conditions).

BOOK HARVEST RAPID RESPONSE CENTER

2501 University Dr, 252-497-2665, website:

Need books for your kids? The Book Harvest has outdoor bookshelves filled with culturally inclusive books for young people from preschool through high school age. The shelves are accessible 24/7 and you’re invited to browse and choose books to take home (and keep).

CITY OF DURHAM

Click on the calendar below to see all of the City of Durham committee, subcommittee, commission, board, and other meetings for the month of December.

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The City of Durham encourages interested citizens to serve on the following boards; if you’re interested, file your application by the following deadlines (in parentheses):


Durham Open Space and Trails Commission (December 1)

Durham Workers’ Rights Commission (December 1)

Durham City-County Environmental Affairs Board (December 1)

Mayor’s Hispanic/Latino Committee (December 1).

Click here for more info, including the reasons for the vacancies, the expected duties, the meeting schedule, and instructions for filing your application.

CITY OF DURHAM — COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT

The City of Durham has just announced its new Durham Down Payment Assistance Program in an effort to expand homeownership. Eligible low-income individuals and families will be able to apply for up to $20,000 to help with those downpayment and closing costs. These are 0% interest loans, which means you pay back only what you receive. To be eligible, the household income must be less than 80% of the area median income (AMI). This city program will be run by the Community Home Trust, a local nonprofit that focuses of affordable housing. The Durham Down Payment Assistance Program is part of the Forever Home Durham Initiative, which is funded from that $95 million affordable-housing bond that was approved in 2019. Click here to visit the website, and contact Ivelisse Mercado at imercado@communityhometrust.org or 919-967-1545 x302 for more info. Help is available in English and Spanish and can be arranged for other languages.

CITY OF DURHAM — PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT

The City of Durham’s Stormwater & GIS Services has just announced its Septic to Sewer project. Qualifying City residents can see if they can share the costs of replacing their septic systems with connections to the City’s sewer system. The water quality of local groundwater, creeks, and lakes will be greatly improved as the number of septic systems exist are reduced within the Northeast Creek Watershed. After you’re connected, the responsibility for maintaining your private sewer system will then be transferred to a public utility. If you’re worried that you might not be able to afford to participate in this project, visit the Septic to Sewer information page and look for “Financial Hardship.” You could be eligible for additional funds if you’re already enrolled in a Durham County property tax relief program or if your household income is less than (or equal to) twice the Federal poverty income guidelines (or if it’s less than or equal to Durham County's median household income).

 

Click here for more info and to apply for this new project. You’ll be able to submit your application online, by mail, or in person.

CITY OF DURHAM — SOLID WASTE DEPARTMENT

You can drop off Household Hazardous Waste on weekdays 7:30am to 4pm, and Saturdays 7:30am to noon, at 2115 E Club Blvd. They'll take aerosol cans, fire extinguishers (dry chemical only), oil-based paints, cooking oil, used motor oil/petroleum-based products, road flares, lead acid cell batteries (vehicle batteries), antifreeze, pesticides, garden chemicals and fertilizers, gasoline, batteries (alkaline, lithium-ion, nickel metal hydride (NiMH) and nickel cadmium (ni-cad) rechargeable), pool cleaner, household cleansers, stains, varnishes, mercury thermometers, fluorescent light bulbs, and electronic waste (small appliances). If necessary, wrap the containers with newspapers to absorb spills and place them cardboard boxes for safe transport. For individuals only, not commercial users. Call the City of Durham—Environmental Resources Department at 919-560-4381 or visit City of Durham—Household Hazardous Waste for more info.

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CITY OF DURHAM—WATER MANAGEMENT

The City’s Department of Water Management is giving away “Fat Trapper” kits to help keep fats, oils, and grease (including meat juices, salad dressings, and condiments) from clogging up the pipes and causing backups. Included in the kit is a plastic fat trapper receptacle, an aluminum resealable bag, and a metal strainer. Click here to fill out the form for having one mailed to you (you can request a receptacle only, refill bags only, or the whole kit).

DURHAM COUNTY

Click on the calendar to see all of the Durham County committee, commission, advisory council, and other meetings for the month of December.

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DURHAM COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

414 E Main St, 919-560-7600, website:

Durham County has a COVID-19 Resource Line that you can call to ask questions about COVID testing, back-to-work and back-to-school guidance, face masks, vaccine incentives, and to set COVID vaccine appointments. Call 919-560-9217.

DURHAM COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

414 E Main St, 919-560-8000website:

DSS has just launched the Low-Income Homeowners Relief Program (LIHR) for helping longtime homeowners pay their property taxes (for the 2022 tax year). Your property must be within Durham County and it must have been your primary residence for the past 10 years. You can’t be receiving other state subsidy tax assistance. You should consider applying if your total household income is less than 80% of the local median income (which is $86,400). (Priority will be given for those making less than 60%.) If you need help with the application, call 919-560-8000 to set an appointment. Click here to learn all about the program, and be sure to get your application in by Friday, December 30.

DSS has just launched the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP), a federally funded program that provides a one-time payment to eligible households’ heating companies if they’re having trouble (or anticipate having trouble) keeping up with their heating bills. Depending on the situation, payments will be $300, $400, or $500. Households with a person age 60+ or with a disability who’s receiving services through the County’s Division of Aging and Adult Services, those who are already getting Food and Nutrition Services or who received LIEAP last year are already eligible. (You should have been notified of this last month. If you weren’t notified, you can submit and online application by going to epass.nc.gov. You can also call 919-560-8192 to set up a virtual appointment.) Start applying now during the month of December. Everybody else will have to wait until Monday, January 2 to apply (through Thursday, March 31). To apply, you must meet the income requirements (equal to or less than 130% of the federal poverty limit), have reserves at or below $2,250, and must be responsible for paying the heating bill. If you’re unfamiliar with the program and aren’t already dealing with DSS, you can click here for more info, or you can call DSS at 919-560-8192.

DSS has just launched the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to help keep water service from being disconnected because homeowners fell behind in paying their bills. If you’re already receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or Work First services, or you benefited from the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) between October 2020 and September 2021, you’re already eligible to participate in this program. Everyone else can get the ball rolling by picking up an application at the information kiosk outside the DSS office (414 E Main St). You can also call 919-560-8000 or click here to apply online. Jump on this immediately if you’re in danger of having your water cut off, if it’s already disconnected, or if you currently have an outstanding water bill.

DSS has a mobile app, which you can use to complete and send applications for Food & Nutrition Services, Work First benefits, and Medicaid. You can also send documents for Crisis/Emergency Assistance applications. Grab your cell phone and go to dssmobile.dconc.gov. You’ll need to enter your date of birth and either your social security number or county case number. The DSS Mobile App is a secure website. By using the camera on your cell phone, you’ll be able to “Click It! Snap It! Send It!” and save lots of time and effort.

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DURHAM COUNTY LIBRARY

website:

The Main Library has had its grand opening, and now all of the libraries are open during regular hours (see below)*. Be sure to wear your face mask; your temperature will be checked at the door. The meeting and study rooms, water fountains, and one-on-one computer help are unavailable at this time, and in-person programming (special events) aren’t in the works just yet. (You can still visit the website and put books, CDs, and DVDs on reserve to be picked up later.)

 

  • Main Library—300 N Roxboro St, 919-560-0100

  • East Regional Library—211 Lick Creek Ln, 919-560-0203

  • North Regional Library—221 Milton Rd, 919-560-0231

  • South Regional Library—4505 S Alston Ave, 919-560-7410

  • Southwest Regional Library—3605 Shannon Rd, 919-560-8590

  • Stanford L Warren Branch Library—1201 Fayetteville St, 919-560-0270 (closed for extensive repairs through early 2023)

  • Bragtown Family Literacy Center—3200 Dearborn Dr, 919-560-0210.

Here are the current walk-in hours:

  • Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays 9:30–8pm (all libraries except Bragtown)

  • Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays 9:30am–6pm (all libraries except Bragtown)

  • Bragtown hours: Mondays 1–8pm; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 10am–6pm.

* Stanford L Warren is closed for extensive repairs and is scheduled to reopen in early 2023.

DURHAM CRISIS RESPONSE CENTER

206 N Dillard St, 919-403-6562 (English), 919-519-3735 (español), website:

Anyone experiencing domestic or sexual violence can always have someone to talk to, and when ready, can get help with taking steps to finding a solution. These helplines are available 24/7; if email is preferred, write to crisisline@durhamcrisisresponse.org.

DURHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT

602 E Main St, emergency 911, nonemergency 919-560-4600, Crimestoppers 919-560-1300, website:

The PAC (Partners Against Crime) meetings, where you can share information on what’s happening in your community, learn about City and County programs, services, and events, have continued online during the pandemic with virtual meetings on Zoom. (Click here and type in your address if you’re not sure which police district you live in.)


Here’s the PAC meeting schedule:

  • PAC 1—3rd Saturday (November 19, December 17), 10am; Holton Career & Resource Center (401 N Driver St)

  • PAC 2—2nd Monday (November 14, December 12), 6pm; Edison Johnson Recreation Center (500 Murray Ave) 

  • PAC 3—2nd Saturday (November 12, December 10), 10am; Lyon Park Recreation Center (1309 Halley St)

  • PAC 4—2nd Saturday (November 12, December 10), 10am; IR Holmes Sr/Campus Hills Recreation Center (2000 S Alston Ave)

  • PAC 5—2nd Saturday (November 12, December 10), 10am; IR Holmes Sr/Campus Hills Recreation Center (2000 S Alston Ave).


Keeping up with what’s happening in your community is easier if you subscribe to your local PAC’s listserv. Send an request via email by writing to:


Contact info for each PAC for sharing information and asking questions:

DURHAM TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE’s SMALL BUSINESS CENTER

Chesterfield Building, 701 W Main St, Suite 203, 919-536-7241 x4505website:


Durham Tech’s Small Business Center offers classes, seminars, and webinars for aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs who want to ensure their success in business. Here are a few of the free seminars. Additional free seminars from small business centers across the state are also listed here:​

  • How to Find Customers—Monday, November 28, 6–7:30pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Getting Started with Google Analytics for the Small Business Owner—Tuesday, November 29, 2–3pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Sales and Use Tax Workshop for the Small Business Owner—Tuesday, November 29, 2–4pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Cash Flow Scenario—Tuesday, November 29, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Federal Grant Opportunities for Nonprofits—Wednesday, November 30, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Basic Bookkeeping—Wednesday, November 30, 6–8:30pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Dynamite Marketing for Small Business—Thursday, December 1, 6–7pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Tips for Using Facebook to Build Your Business—Thursday, December 1, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • If Disney Ran Your Business—Thursday, December 1, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Best Practices for a Business Website (and Using Analytics)—Saturday, December 3, 10–11:30am; click here for more info and to register

  • Website Building for Small Businesses Via Zoom—Monday, December 5, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Make Your Small Business Website Search-Engine Friendly with Google Search Console—Tuesday, December 6, 2–3pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Understanding Unemployment Compensation and Taxation—Tuesday, December 6, 2–3pm; click here for more info and to register

  • The Best Small Business to Start Right Now—Tuesday, December 6, 2–3:30pm; click here for more info and to register

  • (Re) Launch Your Airbnb in One Weekend: A Masterclass in Airbnb Hosting—Tuesday, December 6, 6–8:30pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Facebook Shops—Tuesday, December 6, 6:30–8:30pm; click here for more info and to register

  • About.Me: Creating a Landing Page for Your Business—Thursday, December 8, 3–5pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Retención 101 para Su Pequeña Empresa—Thursday, December 8, 5–7pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Get Your Business on Local Business Search and Maps—Thursday, December 8, 6–7pm; click here for more info and to register

  • How to Build Your Faith-Basd and Nonprofit Organization from the Ground Up—Thursday, December 8, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Financing Your Small Business—Monday, December 12, 6–7:30pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Mission Monday: For-Profit: B-Corps—Monday, December 12, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Improve Your Small Business Website Speed and Integrate Tracking Scripts with Google Tag Manager—Tuesday, December 13, 2–3pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Split-Test Everything with Google Optimize to Find the Best Results for Your Small Business—Thursday, December 15, 2–3pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Creating a Winning Business Plan—Thursday, December 15, 6–7pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Record Keeping and Taxes—Thursday, December 15, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register.

LEGAL AID OF NORTH CAROLINA

201 W Main St, Suite 400, 919-688-6396 (local)/866-219-5262​, website:

Legal Aid NC announces the NC Homeowner Assistance Fund for those who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re having trouble paying your mortgage payments and other expenses (such as homeowner Insurance, flood-insurance premiums, homeowners association (HOA) fees, unpaid property taxes, and/or utility payments), can apply for help by calling the Helpline at 866-219-5262 or by visiting the website at nchaf.gov.

Legal Aid NC offers free help to low-income residents in all 100 counties in North Carolina. Here are some of their programs:

  • Legal Aid Helpline—help with civil (noncriminal) legal problems; call 866-219-5262 weekdays 8:30am–4:30pm and 5:30–8:30pm on Mondays and Thursdays; or apply online.

  • Senior Legal Helpline—help for those age 60+; call 877-579-7562 weekdays 9am–4pm; or apply online.

  • NC Navigator Helpline—get help enrolling in affordable health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace (HealthCare.gov); call 855-733-3711 weekdays 9am–5pm; or apply online.

  • Fair Housing Helpline—get help dealing with housing discrimination; call 855-797-3247 weekdays 9am–5pm; or apply online.

  • Battered Immigrant Helpline—immigrants who are victims of domestic violence can get help; call 866-204-7612 on Tuesdays 3:30–7:30pm and Thursdays 9am–1pm; or apply online.

MEALS ON WHEELS

2522 Ross Rd, 919-667-9424, website:

Meals on Wheels delivers food to people who are homebound and/or who can’t prepare their own food (and anyone being newly released from the hospital can get 2 weeks’ worth of food). Instead of daily deliveries, Meals on Wheels volunteer drivers now drop off boxes of five to seven frozen meals for the week. To receive free meals, you have to meet certain qualifications; otherwise you can pay for (or toward) meals via check, credit card, food stamps, or cash ($5 per meal (full price) or $3.80 per meal (with SNAP discount). Click here for more information about services and how to apply. Feel free to call if you have questions or if you need help filling out the application.

If you’d like to volunteer by sorting food and supplies or by being a delivery driver, click here for more info.

NORTH CAROLINA COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

27 Horne St, Raleigh, 919-828-6501, website: 

The NC Council of Churches’ Partners in Health and Wholeness (PHW) initiative is looking for faith communities to apply for grants to help educate their communities/congregations.

 

  • Mini-Grants for up to $1,000 are available for houses of worship that can come up with projects that fit into the focus areas of the PHW program, including tobacco cessation and prevention, healthy eating, increasing physical activity, mental health, HIV/AIDS, healthy aging, and the drug-overdose crisis. Your congregation must have submitted a PHW Collaborative Pledge within the past 12 months, and if I read the description correctly, you can apply when submitting your mini-grant application.

 

  • Community Grants can be sought by a group of congregations (at least three) that want to work together while identifying a clear need for the project idea they come up with. Each congregation must not have received a mini-grant over the past year, and together the group can receive up to $5,000 for their project. Each must submit a PHW Collaborative Pledge.

 

  • BIPOC (Black/Brown, Indigenous, People of Color) Mental Health Grants are also available. Houses of faith serving these communities can apply for funding between $5,000 and 10,000 to use for COVID-19 mental-health efforts.

 

Click here for more info and for instructions on how to apply.

NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is offering the Hope4NC helpline for people needing mental-health support due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone can get free and confidential emotional support and helpful resources 24/7 via telephone, text, or chat. This service is also available in Spanish. The Hope4NC helpline number is 855-587-3463; click here for more info, to start a chat, send a text message, and to get help in Spanish.

Feel free to explore the NCDHHS’s COVID-19 website here for more resources and information on staying both physically and mentally healthy during the pandemic.

NORTH CAROLINA READING SERVICE

211 E Six Forks Rd, Suite 103, Raleigh, 919-832-5138website:

The North Carolina Reading Service (formerly known as the Triangle Radio Reading Service) helps blind and visually impaired people keep up with the news and entertainment worlds. Volunteers read local news stories, editorials, obituaries, books, and advertisements from a variety of publications. They also read special programs that discuss specific topics like education, tech tips, and legal matters. Users can then listen via their smartphone and tablet apps, the NCRS website, or with any “Alexa”-enabled device.

Listeners who don’t have internet access can borrow specially tuned receivers free of charge. Donations to NCRS help cover the average price of $70 per receiver, and some listeners make donations if they’re able to. Click here to see the various ways of enjoying the broadcasts and to see the list of podcasts included with the service. Visit the website if you’d like to make a monetary donation or if you’d like to be a volunteer reader.

SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)

website:

SCORE offers free, live webinars that are designed to help entrepreneurs plan for success and improve their prospects of running successful businesses. The local SCORE office is in Chapel Hill and they serve Orange, Durham, and Chatham counties. Free mentorships and a wealth of resources are also available. Here are the webinars on offer for this month:

  • How to Build a Website for Your Business—Tuesday, December 6, 1–2pm; click here for more info and to register

  • How to Write a Business Plan and Avoid Getting Stuck—Wednesday, December 7, 1–2pm; click here for more info and to register

  • How to Trademark Your Business Brand—Thursday, December 8, 1–2pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Can You Start a Business in a Recession?—Tuesday, December 13, 1–2pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Starting an E-commerce Business: Tips to Selling Online—Thursday, December 15, 1–2pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Starting a Business: How to Build a Foundation that Lasts—Tuesday, December 20, 1–2pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Starting a Business on a Shoestring Budget in 2023—Wednesday, December 28, 1–2pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Getting Certified as a Woman-Owned, Minority-Owned, or Veteran-Owned Business—Thursday, December 29, 1–2pm; click here for more info and to register.