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Commemorative cowbell at the Marry Durham event in downtown Durham NC
AARP FOUNDATION TAX-AIDE

website

Taxpayers of all ages, especially seniors, are invited to have their taxes prepared for free by skilled and trained volunteers. First, get your paperwork together (photo ID, original Social Security card or SSA-1099 for everyone on the return, plus last year’s return). If you need more information, write to durhamtaxaide@gmail.com. Then stop in to make an appointment. Stop by the Durham Main Library (300 N Roxboro St) on a Monday (through March 4) or Wednesday between 10am and 6pm, or a Friday (through April 12) between 10am and 3pm. 

AMERICAN RED CROSS

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

919-489-6541website

Learn how to save a life and gain other skills that can come in handy in an emergency; after going to the website, click on “Training & Certification” and then “Take a Class”:

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

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

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

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

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

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Monday, March 4, 2:45–5pm, classroom, $62

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session—Monday, March 4, 2:45–5pm, classroom, $82

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Monday, March 4, 2:45–5pm, online + classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Monday, March 4, 2:45–5pm, online + classroom, $126

  • Adult CPR/AED-R.21—Wednesday, March 27, 9–11:15am, classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Wednesday, March 27, 9am–12:30pm, classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Wednesday, March 27, 9am–2pm, classroom, $126

  • Adult CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Wednesday, March 27, 2:45–4pm, classroom, $42

  • Adult CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Wednesday, March 27, 2:45–4pm, online + classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Wednesday, March 27, 2:45–4:15pm, classroom, $62

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Wednesday, March 27, 2:45–4:15pm, online + classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Wednesday, March 27, 2:45–5pm, classroom, $82

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Wednesday, March 27, 2:45–5pm, online + classroom, $126

  • Adult CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Thursday, April 4, 9–10:15am, classroom, $42

  • Adult CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Thursday, April 4, 9–10:15am, online + classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Thursday, April 4, 9–10:30am, classroom, $62

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Thursday, April 4, 9–10:30am, online + classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Thursday, April 4, 9–11:15am, classroom, $82

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Thursday, April 4, 9–11:15am, online + classroom, $126

  • Adult CPR/AED-R.21—Thursday, April 4, noon–10:15am, classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Thursday, April 4, noon–3:30pm, classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Thursday, April 4, noon–5pm, classroom, $126.

Here are some online-only classes; click here to sign up and to see more classes:

  • Adult, Child, and Baby First Aid/CPR/AED—$37

  • Adult CPR/AED—$37

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED—$37

  • Advanced Child Care Training—$45

  • Anaphylaxis and Epinephrine Auto-Injector—$35

  • Babysitting Basics—$45

  • Bloodborne Pathogens Training for Tattoo Artists—$35

  • Cat and Dog First Aid—$25

  • Child and Baby First Aid/CPR/AED—$37

  • First Aid—$37

  • First Aid for Opioid Overdoses—$20

  • First Aid for Severe Bleeding—$30

  • First Aid for Severe Trauma—$30

  • Water Safety for Parents and Caregiversfree 

  • Seguridad en el Àgua para Padres y Cuidadores (Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers)gratis (free)

  • Until Help Arrives—$40.

*     AED = automated external defibrillator

       CPR = cardiopulmonary resuscitation

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 

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). You are also welcome to donate like-new books; there’s a large dropoff box right behind the book shelves.

Inside, they have the Book Harvest Family Space, where parents, grandparents, and their young children can read and/or play with the puppets and magnet wall. The Family Space is open Tuesday through Saturday 9am–5pm, and there’s no admission fee.

CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE DIOCESE OF RALEIGH

2020 Chapel Hill Rd, Suite 30, 919-286-1964, website

 

Our local Catholic Charities runs the Durham Community Food Pantry in the Lakewood Shopping Center. If you are in need, stop by, register, and if you qualify, receive a week’s worth of groceries to take home. In addition to food, they also have diapers and other supplies (just ask). Once you’re in the system, you can stop by the food pantry once every 30 days. The hours are: Wednesdays 10am–1pm and 5–7pm, and Thursdays 10am–1pm. Services are offered in English, Spanish, and French. Call for more info.

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 March.

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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:

Wednesday, March 6

  • Durham Affordable Housing Implementation Committee

  • Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission

  • Mayor’s Hispanic/Latino Committee

Wednesday, March 20

  • Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee

Wednesday, March 27

  • Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission

  • Durham City-County Environmental Affairs Board.

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 MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT

919-560-4186, website

 

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.

If you’re not sure what you can place in your recycling bin, click here for more info.

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CITY OF DURHAM—WATER MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT

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).

One way to save water and lower your water bill is to replace an old toilet (which can use up to 7 gallons per flush) with a modern, efficient one that uses 1.28 gallons or less. The City has a Toilet Rebate Program that rewards the purchase of a High-Efficiency Toilet (HET) with a credit of up to $100 to your water bill. The rebate is restricted to one toilet only, and the toilet must be on the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense list. Apply by providing the original, dated sales receipt/invoice. If you have a plumber handle the purchase and installation of your new toilet, make sure that the invoice is detailed, showing the purchase and the installation cost (because the City will only credit the cost of the toilet itself (up to $100)). Click here for more info and to fill out the application.

CORE (Children Of Restaurant Employees)

national program with main offices in Tennessee and Georgia

 

As most of us know, many restaurant employees are not highly paid. When there’s a medical crisis, injury, or death in the family, it’s hard to keep up with finances. CORE was set up to help people working in the food and beverage service industry with grants that can be used to help with rent/mortgage, utilities, prescriptions/medical equipment, childcare, funeral expenses, and funds for basic necessities. Click here for more info and to see what they will and will not pay for and what situations they’ll take into consideration. Applications can be submitted starting on Monday, April 1.

DRESS FOR SUCCESS–TRIANGLE

website 

 

Dress for Success helps women who struggle to make the steps up to employment. Sometimes they want to find work or get a better job because they feel held back because they lack a wardrobe that looks professional and gives them confidence. Dress for Success offers the following services, all of which are offered free of charge:

 

  • Going Places Network—Each woman identifies her strengths, develops her “elevator pitch” (short verbal explanation of what she‘s about), updates her resumé and LinkedIn profile, and creates strong networking skills. She also prepares for job searches by participating in mock interviews.

  • Career and Image Coaching—Each woman gets help with her resumé, her personal “elevator pitch,” and interview preparation. She can then select an outfit for her interview and then can return for a 10-piece wardrobe once she gets a job.

  • Wednesday Webinars—Online lessons teach such concepts as strengthening conversation skills, negotiating salary offers, and developing leadership skills.

  • Transition Industries—Some women are already working but are thinking about switching over to a different industry. This program helps them to identify where their skills align with careers in new industries so they can conduct successful job searches.

  • Senior Planet from AARP/Digital Skills Ready@50+—Older women can gain new skills and learn how to navigate a world that is increasingly online/digital. 

 

Click here for more info and to see where to sign up.

 

Dress for Success is best known for the clothing that they provide to unemployed and underemployed women looking toward a better future. If you would like to make a clothing donation, please make sure whatever you donate is in like-new condition, clean, and not more than 5 years old. Click here for more info and to learn where to donate clothing for men. The next clothing donation day will be Saturday, March 16, 10am–3pm, at 701 Vickers Ave.

DUKE CLINICAL & TRANSLATIONAL SCIENCE INSTITUTE

The institute is going to host a virtual Community Conversation on Tuesday, March 5, 5:30–7pm. They’re looking to hear from caregivers who have helped people who suffered a broken bone and had to spend time in a rehabilitation/nursing facility before returning home. Talk about ways to prevent injuries from falls, share your personal perspectives, and give tips on communicating with nursing-home patients. If you’d like to attend, contact Daphne Lancaster at 919-668-1564 or daphne.lancaster@duke.edu. All registered participants will receive a $50 gift card.

DUKE HEALTH—PACT STUDY

919-668-3154, PACTStudy@duke.edu, website

 

Researchers at Duke Health are conducting a study to see if Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented with cognitive training. The PACT* Study is looking for people age 65+ who would like to volunteer to participate in the study and undergo computerized training exercises that are designed to reduce that risk.

 

To qualify, participants should be age 65 and older, with no neurological disorders or cognitive impairments and no history of stroke or brain injury. The potential benefits of taking the computerized training exercises can include enhanced mental quickness, improved gait and balance, and protection against depression. The length of the study will be approximately 3 years, with three study visits of up to 2 hours each. The 45 1-hour computer training sessions will be done in your own home.

 

* PACT = Preventing Alzheimer’s with Cognitive Training

DURHAM COUNTY

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

March 2024 calendar.jpg
DURHAM COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS

Voting for the 2024 Primary will be held on Tuesday, March 5. People who want to register and then vote can stop by any of the Early Voting locations listed below on weekdays 8am–7:30pm; Saturdays, February 17 and 24, 8am–5pm; Sundays, February 18 and 25, 2–6pm; and Saturday, March 2, 8am–3pm. We’ll be casting our votes for President of the USA, NC Governor, NC Lieutenant Governor, NC Attorney General, NC Commissioner of Insurance, NC Superintendent of Public Instruction, NC Treasurer, NC Supreme Court Associate Justice, Durham County Board of Commissioners, and Durham County Board of Education:

 

  • Durham County Main Library (300 N Roxboro St)

  • North Regional Library (221 Milton Rd)

  • East Regional Library (211 Lick Creek Ln)

  • South Regional Library (4505 S Alston Ave)

  • Duke University’s Karsh Alumni Center (2080 Duke University Rd)

  • North Carolina Central University’s Turner Law Building (640 Nelson St)

  • Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (4907 Garrett Rd).

Call 919-560-0700 or click here for detailed information on Absentee/Voting by Mail for those who are disabled, visually impaired, or who simply don’t want to wait in line to vote.

The polling places will be open from 6:30am to 7:30pm on Election Day, Tuesday, March 5.

DURHAM COUNTY—DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

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

The Office of Minority Health funds the Bull City Strong program, which seeks to improve health literacy in underserved, historically marginalized neighborhoods. They’re looking to train people who want to work in African-American communities as community health promoters. If you’re interested, sign up for the 5-week training program, which will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, noon–1:30pm, on Zoom from January 30 to February 29. You’ll be paid $500 after completing the training, and then you’ll have the opportunity to attend Durham Tech’s Community Health Worker Certification Course for free. Contact Kiara Tompkins at kitompkins@dconc.gov or Edeia Lynch at elynch@dconc.gov for more info, and click here to sign up.

The folks at the Durham County Department of Public Health want to make sure that gun owners are keeping their families safe by locking them and putting them away when not in use. They also suggest asking the parents of your kids’ friends if they have firearms in their homes; doing so can serve as a reminder to safely secure them and put them up. (Please keep in mind that 82% of youth suicides and unintentional shootings are carried out with guns belonging to relatives.) Gun owners are invited to call 919-560-7765 and pick up a free gun lock.

DURHAM COUNTY—DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

414 E Main St, 919-560-8000website

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 Tuesday, January 2 to apply (through Sunday, 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, give them a quick call, or stop by the office.

DSS has 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 2021 and September 2022, 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.

DSS LIHWAP 2021.png
DURHAM COUNTY—EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

website

 

This department makes sure that residents of Durham County who register for AlertDurham get notifications about severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons, and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods. When you register, you can choose your mobile phone, home phone, email, or text; you can even choose the order you receive notifications (for example, text first, mobile phone second, etc). For the weather alerts, you can set quiet times so the calls won’t wake you up. If you subscribe to a call-blocking system (by AT&T, Verizon, Nomorobo, CenturyLink, etc), be sure to add 919-560-0660 to your approved caller list. Visit the website to register for AlertDurham emergency notifications.

DURHAM COUNTY—EMS (EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES)

201 E Main St, Suite 660, 919-560-8285

Durham County EMS (Emergency Medical Services) offers free Vials of LIFE (Lifesaving Information for Emergencies) to anyone who wants to make sure that vital information can easily be found during emergencies. It’s a great way to help ensure that you and your loved ones are protected in times of medical emergencies.

Each Vial of LIFE kit is made up of one labeled bottle (approximately 3 inches tall with a screw-on cap—it looks like an oversized prescription bottle), an instruction sheet, a special business-card-sized magnet and a form to fill out with the following information: Name, address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number, hospital preference, medical history (there’s a list of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, plus a blank space), other medical history/assistive devices, allergies (to medications or otherwise), doctor’s name and phone, advanced directives (like DNR (Do Not Resuscitate), etc), space for listing medications and dosages, health insurance policy info, emergency contacts (names and phone numbers), and a space for additional information.

After filling out the form, you should fold or roll it up, put it in the bottle, and screw the cap on. Then place the bottle somewhere on the top or condiment shelf of your refrigerator so it can be found easily and stick the magnet on the refrigerator door.  If EMS is called to your home, they’ll know to check your refrigerator for a Vial of LIFE magnet, which will then lead them to the Vial of LIFE bottle inside. Emotions can run high, people can get confused, and it’s so important to have one place where vital information can be accessed quickly.

You can get a set for yourself and even get an extra set so you can place a bottle in your vehicle‘s glove compartment. And if you have a family or live with someone, consider getting a Vial of LIFE set for each person (especially for elderly members of your family).

You can pick up your free Vials of LIFE at the Durham County EMS office; call first to make sure they have them in stock. If you can’t stop by, you can order kits by calling Durham One Call (919-560-1200) or via the Durham One Call app, and your order will be mailed to you.

DURHAM COUNTY—SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Project Lifesaver, website:

 

Every now and then, we hear about people with special needs who wander off and become lost, which is pretty scary for all involved. Our local Sheriff’s Office is participating in Project Lifesaver, a rapid-response program for finding Durham County residents who have wandered away from home. Here’s how it works: You register your loved-one (with Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome, dementia, or other related condition) and then have them wear a small transmitter (either a bracelet or anklet). If they go missing, you then contact the Sheriff’s Department and they’ll send out officers to find your loved-one. This service is free, thanks to donations from caring individuals (call 919-560-0871 if you’d like to make one). To download the application, click on the website above and then click on “Project Lifesaver User Agreement.”

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 have your face mask ready. 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 2023)

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

Here are the current walk-in hours: 

  • Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays 9:30am–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 sometime in 2024.

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 PARKS AND RECREATION

400 Cleveland St, 919-560-4355, website:

 

Your child can help celebrate Durham Parks and Recreation’s 100th birthday with their artwork. DPR is running a Cover Art Contest where the winners will have their art featured on the cover of the Play More Guide in 2024.

Three artists will be selected based on their creativity and how their art represents DPR’s five favorite themes:

  1. History and vision of the future

  2. Play and happiness

  3. Health and wellness

  4. Nature and outdoors, and

  5. Social equity.

Everyone competing in this art contest has to be between age 5 and 18 and must be a resident of Durham County. The artwork submitted can be a drawing, painting, or photo, and should be 9.25 inches across (horizontal) by 6.25 inches tall (vertical).

 

Click here for more info, and then send your child’s artwork to DPR’s creative content specialist at Kyesha.Jennings@durhamnc.gov by the Friday, March 1 deadline.

DURHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT

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

A rash of vehicle thefts—mostly Hyundais—has made the news lately, thanks to instructions being shared on social media (and the fact that the manufacturer decided to save money by skipping a couple of steps). Hyundai Motor America recently donated 120 steering wheel locks to the Durham Police Department to donate to local Hyundai owners to help deter future thefts (model years 2011 to 2022). Call first to make sure they haven’t all been given away already.

If you’re the victim of a crime and you filed a report with the Durham Police Department, make sure you get a Crime Case Report Number. Also, get the name of the offender and write down the date of the crime. You have the right to ask for an update on the case, and to ask about the status of the offender (whether he or she has been arrested, etc), plus an update on the upcoming trial (and any trial results). You can also ask when any recovered stolen property will be returned to you. Call Durham Police Department Victim Services at 919-560-4951 for more info. Call the NC Victim’s Compensation Department at 919-733-7974 or visit their website if you’re been hurt and would like to be compensated. Call the Durham District Attorney’s Victim Legal Assistant at 919-808-3010 for help with prosecuting your case.

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—in person only; 3rd Saturday (March 16), 10am; Holton Career & Resource Center (401 N Driver St, in the 2nd-floor auditorium)

  • PAC 2—in person and online; 2nd Monday (March 11), 6pm; Edison Johnson Recreation Center (500 Murray Ave); click here to attend via Zoom 

  • PAC 3—in person and online; 2nd Saturday (March 9), 10am; Lyon Park Recreation Center (1309 Halley St); click here to attend via Zoom

  • PAC 4—in person and online; 2nd Saturday (March 9), 10am; IR Holmes Sr/Campus Hills Recreation Center (2000 S Alston Ave); click here to attend via Zoom

  • PAC 5—in person and online; 2nd Saturday (March 9), 10am; IR Holmes Sr/Campus Hills Recreation Center (2000 S Alston Ave); click here to attend via Zoom.

 

You can send a request via email to subscribe to your local PAC’s listserv; write for more info and to have your questions answered:

DURHAM TECHNICAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE’s SMALL BUSINESS CENTER

Chesterfield Building, 701 W Main St, Suite 203, 919-536-7241 x4505, website


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 some of the free, in-person seminars:

  • SUMA 2024: Hispanic Women’s Celebration—Friday, March 8, 10am–2pm; click here for more info and to register.

And here are free online webinars from small-business centers across the state that you can attend virtually; click here to see even more:

  • The Business of Self-Publishing—Tuesday, March 5, 2–4pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Selling on Shopify: The eCommerce Platform Made for You—Tuesday, March 5, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Selling at Festival/Farmers Market: How to Increase Sales—Tuesday, March 5, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • How to Recruit and Retain Nonprofit Board Members—Tuesday, March 5, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • How Can the Small Business Administration Help Your Small Business?—Tuesday, March 5, 7–8:30pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Email Marketing Quick-Start Tutorial for the Small-Business Owner—Wednesday, March 6, 1–2pm; click here for more info and to register

  • 30 Ways to Grow Your Email List—Wednesday, March 6, 5–6:30pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Black Business Accelerator Series, wk 3: Legal and Financial Foundations—Wednesday, March 6, 6:30–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Dynamite Marketing on a Firecracker Budget for Small Businesses—Thursday, March 7, 2–3pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Do I Need an Online eCommerce Presence?—Thursday, March 7, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register.

E3 DURHAM

411 W Chapel Hill St, marketing@forwardcities.org, website

 

E3* Durham helps aspiring entrepreneurs start, grow, and scale their businesses. Once you’ve come up with an idea that you believe can work as a business, you’re invited to meet with a navigator who can offer ongoing support. Once you’re referred to one of E3 Durham’s partners, you’ll get guidance in obtaining the funds that can help you get started and set up your business for future success. Monthly meetings are held at their office for entrepreneurs whether they sign up to work with E3 Durham or not. Partners include the City of Durham, Durham Tech’s Small Business Center, Echo, Helius, Infinity Bridges, Knox St Studios, North Carolina Central University’s School of Business, and Provident 1898.

* E3 = Equity for Every Entrepreneur

EL CENTRO HISPANO

2000 Chapel Hill Rd, Suite 26a, in the Lakewood Shopping Center, 919-687-4635, website

 

  • JÓVENES LÍDERES EN ACCIÓN (Young Leaders in Action) — This program for Hispanic/Latino youth (ages 14 to 18) involves them in activities that are designed to help them develop leadership and increase their chances to go on to further their education or to get meaningful jobs. They will also learn about social and environmental justice, gain some life skills, and get mental health and wellness support as needed. Feel free to write to community specialist Denisse Burgos at dburgos@elcentronc.org

FRIENDS OF THE DURHAM LIBRARY

Books Among Friends, in the Shoppes of Hope Valley, 3825 S Roxboro St, 919-908-6004, website:

Friends of the Durham Library used to hold occasional sales at various places like the Main Library (before it was renovated) and the old Northgate Mall. Now we’re able to browse online all year ’round, make our purchases, and then pick them up at Books Among Friends (in the Shoppes of Hope Valley, 3825 S Roxboro St) on Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9am–3pm, or on Thursdays from 9am to noon. If you’d like to help out by donating new and gently used books, CDs, audiobooks on CD, DVDs, and puzzles and games, click here friends-of-the-durham-library.square.site to schedule an appointment on a Tuesday or Saturday between noon and 3pm. Funds raised from these sales help run programming at the various Durham County libraries. (The next in-person sale will be held on March 8 and 9.)

JEWELS OUTREACH

website

Families Moving Forward (the homeless shelter at 300 N Queen St) is running a program called There Is a King in You for boys and male teens. Businessmen and male community leaders are invited to step forward as speakers/presenters to inspire and encourage setting goals toward a successful life. Contact the host, Jewels Outreach, by writing to jewelsnet2016@gmail.com.

LEGAL AID OF NORTH CAROLINA

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

Breaking news: NC Medicaid has expanded (as of last month), offering healthcare coverage to people ages 19 to 64 years with higher incomes. If you didn’t qualify before, you should try again. Click here for more info.

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.

NAR-ANON

Durhamnfg@gmail.com

 

Relatives and friends of people with addictions are invited to attend their own 12-step program to help figure out ways to understand and support their loved-ones. Get your questions answered and identify community resources while meeting others who are in similar circumstances. NAR-ANON meetings are held every Thursday, 5–6pm, at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church (2200 S Alston Ave).

NATIONAL CAUCUS AND CENTER ON BLACK AGING (NCBA)

1105 S Briggs Ave (in NCWorks Career Center), job counselor: Melverlene Suggs, 919-560-6880 x235, smelverlene@myncba.com

NCBA’s Durham office helps local seniors (age 55+) find jobs (statewide, NCBA serves 18 counties in North Carolina). Right now, paid, on-the-job community-services training is available for those who meet the income guidelines and can work 20 hours per week. They also need to participate in assisted job searches; each will receive minimum-wage stipends. Contact job counselor Melverlene Suggs to set up an appointment.

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 free and confidential emotional support, counseling referrals and community resources. 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 English or Spanish.

North Carolina has Good Samaritan laws that protect people who call 911 to save a life even if they themselves are in possession of unlawful substances. Just about seven people in North Carolina die from drug overdoses/alcohol poisoning every day, and the State wants to reduce those numbers. Through the “Safe to Call” campaign, the State wants people to know that they shouldn’t hesitate to call 911 if they’re with someone who’s in danger of ODing. Often they don’t call because they don’t want to be arrested. Anyone (even minors) shouldn’t worry about being taken into custody as long as they’re acting in good faith to save a life and cooperate with law enforcement by giving their names. Click here for more info.

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.

PROJECT BUILD

City of Durham/Durham County, 326 E Main St, 919-560-8580, website

Project BUILD (Building Uplifting and Impacting Lives Daily) is a gang intervention program that endeavors to save young people ages 14 to 21 escape the street life and turn things around. Participants in danger of falling prey to street gangs are offered one-on-one coaching in pro-social behavior, positive decision making, finding opportunities for education and employment, and more. Services are provided by a team with members who specialize in the areas of education, social services, mental health, substance abuse treatment, and criminal justice. Visit the website for more info and to refer someone to this multidisciplinary program.

REINVESTMENT PARTNERS

110 E Geer St, 919-667-1000, website

Low- to moderate-income taxpayers (less than $55,000/year) and retirees with moderate incomes can have their taxes prepared for free by skilled and trained volunteers. First, be sure to click here to review the VITA Tax Prep Checklist, and then click here to fill out the Intake Form. If you’re unable to download these forms, you can pick them up at the Reinvestment Partners office.

Then you’ll be ready to stop by one of these three VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites to get your taxes done:

  • Lyon Park Community and Family Life Center (1309 Halley St)
    Saturdays 9–noon through April 13 by appointment only; call 919-286-1822 or click here to set an appointment 

  • Centro para Familias Hispanas (2013 N Raleigh Blvd, in Raleigh)
    Saturdays noon–1pm through April 13 by appointment only; click here to set an appointment.

  • Hillside High School (3727 Fayetteville Rd) students, faculty, and staff can have their taxes done at the school; inquire at the office.

 

If you’d like to do your own taxes online, with help available in English and Spanish, get started by clicking here

RESOURCES FOR SENIORS

1110 Navaho Dr, 4th floor, Raleigh, 919-713-1570

Resources for Seniors administers the Weatherization Assistance Program and the Heating & Air Repair & Replacement Program, which help eligible Durham and Wake County seniors access services that can lower their utility bills free of charge. Services include repairs/tune-ups to heating and cooling systems; sealing air leaks around windows and doors; insulating attics, walls, floors, ducts, and pipes; replacing existing light bulbs with energy-efficient ones; and replacing old refrigerators with energy-efficient models. Major repairs are not undertaken with this program. Homes with good weatherization can save homeowners up to $300 per year. Renters can also participate, but you’ll need your landlord’s approval.

Households with someone receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) are automatically eligible. Another way to be eligible is to have a low enough annual income; one-person households shouldn’t exceed $27,180, and two-person households shouldn’t exceed $36,620. Call for more info and to see if you can apply for one or both of these programs.

SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)

website

SCORE offers free workshops 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 and in-person seminars on offer for this month:

 

  • How to Create a Budget that Works for You—Thursday, March 7, 1pm; click here for more info and to register (live webinar)

  • Social Media Marketing Strategies for Your Small Business—Tuesday, March 12, 1pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Grant Writing 101: How to Create a Grant Proposal—Thursday, March 14, 1pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Mastering Credit Repair: A Guide to Improve Your Credit Score—Tuesday, March 19, 1pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Google My Business: How to Get Your Business on Google Search and Maps—Thursday, March 21, 1pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Grow Your Sales by Getting Higher-Paying Clients—Tuesday, March 26, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • How to Use Sales Funnels and Marketing Automation to Grow Your Business—Thursday, March 28, 1pm; click here for more info and to register.

SENIOR PHARMASSIST

406 Rigsbee Ave, 919-688-4772, website:

 

Senior PharmAssist will host a series of Medicare Basics seminars for those who are about to turn 65 and need to learn more. In-person workshops will be held at the Durham Center for Senior Life on Tuesdays, January 9, March 12, and April 23, at 6pm. A virtual session will be held on Zoom on Tuesday, February 20, 6pm. You can register to attend one of these free seminars by calling the number above or by writing to knesmith@seniorpharmassist.org.

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

The NC Homeowner Assistance Fund is set up to help homeowners who are at risk or in actual danger of facing foreclosure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Act quickly—don’t allow yourself to be put out of your own home. Call 855-696-2423 or click here for details on how to get into this program. Please note: This program has almost run its course and will be out of funds soon. Sign up now if you haven’t already.

VILLAGE OF WISDOM

website

The Village of Wonder has started Dreamship, a black parent fellowship, which has four goals, which are to explore:

  • How to rest in Blackness and heal through Black Genius

  • How to use creativity and art to protect Black Genius

  • How to use research and design to protect Black Genius, and

  • How to change the way educators teach and protect Black Genius.

 

Their approach is to encourage and uplift black students, some of whom might feel that being black is a disadvantage. Parents are invited to click here for more info and to fill out the interest form so they can attend meetings and workshops to help their children.

Feel free to explore the website to learn about additional programs and activities.

WELCOME BABY RESOURCE CENTER

721 Foster St (in the Durham Cooperative Extension building), 919-560-7150, website:

Welcome Baby has several programs that offer practical, educational, and emotional support to parents and caregivers of young children. Most services are free; visit the website or call for more info:

  • Parenting Workshops—Weekly workshops centered on child-development behaviors and infant-care questions.

  • Staff Consultations—One-on-one meetings between parents and staff parent educators

  • Car Seat Safety Program—Learn how to safely install and use car seats, and then purchase one on a sliding-fee scale

  • Cribs for Kids—Expectant families or families with children up to 6 months old can get a referral for a Pack ’n Play portable crib and playpen 

  • Giving Closet—Families can receive clothing, breastfeeding accessories, and maternity items 6 times a year.

 

Welcome Baby also provides collection bins in Durham County libraries for those who want to donate winter coats and accessories for young children in need. Call if your community organization or house of worship wants to hold their own coat drives in connection with Welcome Baby.

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