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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,

919-489-6541website

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

 

  • Adult CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Monday, May 23, 9–10:15am, classroom, $42

  • Adult CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Monday, May 23, 9–10:15am, online + classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Monday, May 23, 9–10:30am, classroom, $62

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Monday, May 23, 9–10:30am, online + classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Monday, May 23, 9–11:15am, classroom, $82

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Monday, May 23, 9–11:15am, online + classroom, $126

  • Adult CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Monday, May 23, noon–1:15am, classroom, $42

  • Adult CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Monday, May 23, noon–1:15pm, online + classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Monday, May 23, noon–1:30pm, classroom, $62

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Monday, May 23, noon–1:30pm, online + classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Skills Session-R.21—Monday, May 23, noon–2:15pm, classroom, $82

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-BL-R.21—Monday, May 23, noon–2:15pm, online + classroom, $126

  • Adult CPR/AED-R.21—Tuesday, May 31, 9–11:15am, classroom, $84

  • Adult First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Tuesday, May 31, 9am–12:30pm, classroom, $105

  • Adult + Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED-R.21—Tuesday, May 31, 9am–2pm, classroom, $126.

Durham Parks and Recreation (and others) are always looking to hire lifeguards during the summer season. Here are some 4-day Lifeguarding classes, which will be held at Duke University’s Recreation Department (117 Wilson Center). Each series of four classes costs $250; minimum age is 15. Click here for more info and to sign up:

  • Thursday, April 28, 5–10:30pm; Friday, April 29, 5–10:30pm; Saturday, April 30, 9am–6pm; and Sunday, May 1, 9am–6pm 

  • Thursday, May 5, 5–10:30pm; Friday, May 6, 5–10:30pm; Saturday, May 21, 9am–6pm; and Sunday, May 8, 9am–6pm

  • Thursday, May 19, 5–10:30pm; Friday, May 20, 5–10:30pm; Saturday, May 21, 9am–6pm; and Sunday, May 22, 9am–6pm

  • Thursday, June 2, 5–10:30pm; Friday, June 3, 5–10:30pm; Saturday, June 4, 9am–6pm; and Sunday, June 5, 9am–6pm.

Here are some online-only classes being offered right now; take them at your convenience:

  • Cat and Dog First Aid—$25

  • Anaphylaxis and Epinephrine Auto-Injector—$35

  • First Aid for Severe Trauma—$30

  • First Aid for Severe Bleeding—$30

  • Bloodborne Pathogens Training for Tattoo Artists—$35.

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 May.

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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 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.

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).

CITY OF DURHAM and DURHAM COUNTY

The City of Durham and Durham County want to hear from us to help guide the Durham Comprehensive Plan, which will be dealing with housing, development, and transit. You can choose to attend one of four workshops to give your feedback and suggestions. You’ll receive a $30 stipend if you attend and actively participate. (Even if you attend more than one workshop, you can only get one stipend.) Spanish interpretation will be available. Here are the four workshops:

  • Wednesday, June 1, 5:30–7pm—Housing and Neighborhoods

  • Saturday, June 11, 10:30am–noon—Education and Jobs/Training

  • Thursday, June 23, 5:30–7pm—Transportation and Community Relationships

  • Sunday, June 26, 2–3:30pm—Environment/Public Spaces and Growth Management/Infrastructure.

 

Click here to sign up.

ALERT! THE RETURN OF AN IMPORTANT PROGRAMDurham residents who fell behind in their rents and are facing evictions because of COVID-19 can again apply for the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)—it had been halted in October.  (This is the combination City of Durham/Durham County program that got $9.6 million in federal funding to help Durham residents who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.) ERAP is managed by the Durham County Department of Social Services, and you can get more info (in both English and Spanish) and put in your application by clicking here.

If you’re accepted into the program, you’ll get assistance for up to 12 months, which includes both arrears and forward rent and utilities. If you need even more help, you might be able to get assistance for an additional 3 months. Public housing residents and those who get housing subsidies can get rental assistance to cover any portion of rent and utilities that they pay themselves. (Utilities include electricity, gas, water, sewer, wastewater, trash removal, fuel oil, and sometimes internet.)

​To be eligible for ERAP, someone in the household must be unemployed, have had their pay cut, and/or in danger of becoming homeless; the household incomes at or below 80% of the AMI (area median income, which in Durham is a bit more than $80,000/year for a household of three).

DURHAM CAMP SPREADSHEET

Durhamite Kat Barbosa put together this fabulous list of 60+ area camp and childcare opportunities (including intersession camps). This list will be updated as new information comes in. Check out this spreadsheet … and thank you, Kat!

DURHAM CAMP SPREADSHEET

DURHAM COUNTY

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

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DURHAM COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

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

 

N95 face masks have been dispensed throughout the country, and Durham County has been tasked to help win the battle locally against the COVID-19 pandemic. You can pick up two bags of five (total of 10 masks per household) at Durham County libraries’ front desks. They’re also being given away at OptumServe COVID-19 test locations (listed on the To Your Health page). If your business or organization would like to dispense face masks, click here to put in your order; haga clic aquí para hacer su pedido en español.

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.

If your organization will be putting on a special event that’s open to the public, personnel from the County can set up a Popup COVID-19 Vaccination Station. They’ll check their schedule and see if they can accommodate your request. Contact Annette Carrington at 919-323-1214 or acarrington@dconc.gov for more info.

DURHAM COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES

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

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 the end of 2022)

  • 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 (May 21, June 18), 9:30am; click here to join at meeting time

  • PAC 2—2nd Monday (May 9, June 13), 6pm; click here to register for the next meeting

  • PAC 3—2nd Saturday (May 14, June 11), 10am; click here to join at meeting time

  • PAC 4—2nd Saturday (May 14, June 11), 10am; click here to join at meeting time

  • PAC 5—2nd Thursday (May 12, June 9), 6pm; click here to join at meeting time.


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 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 a few of the free seminars. Additional free seminars from small business centers across the state are also listed here:​

  • Record Keeping for Your Art Business—Monday, May 23, 2–4pm; click here for more info and to register

  • What’s Next? Scaling Operations—Monday, May 23, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Marketing Your Small Business—Monday, May 23, 6:30–7:30pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Legal Considerations for Prospective Business Owners—Tuesday, May 24, 2–3pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Identifying Your Target Market: How to Focus on Your Best Customers and Prospects—Tuesday, May 24, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Getting Started with Google Analytics for Small Business Owners—Wednesday, May 25, 2–3pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Pricing My Product for Small Businesses—Wednesday, May 25, 2–4pm; click here for more info and to register

  • How to Build Good Bookkeeping Habits—Wednesday, May 25, 2–4pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Managing a Nonprofit—Thursday, May 26, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register.

  • How to Create a Wix Website that Shines—Thursday, May 26, 6–8pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Legal Considerations for Franchising Your Business or Buying a Franchise and Copywriting—Tuesday, May 31, 2–3pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Using Visual Content to Build a Professional Brand on LinkedIn—Tuesday, May 31, 2–3:30pm; click here for more info and to register

  • Record Keeping for Your Art Business—Tuesday, May 31, 2–4pm; click here for more info and to register.

GoDURHAM / GoTRIANGLE

GoDurham website, GoTriangle website:

GoDurham and GoTriangle are offering free shared rides to and from COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Call GoDurham at 919-560-1551 or GoTriangle at 919-485-7582 to schedule your ride at least 24 hours in advance. (I was given the hint that afternoon spots fill up quickly; try your best to get a morning appointment.)

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.

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:

  • You Created a Business Plan, Now What?—Tuesday, May 24, 1pm; click here for more info and to register

  • How to Find Grant Opportunities for Your Small Business—Tuesday, May 31, 1pm; click here for more info and to register.

USA’s DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES AND THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

You can now have COVID-19 tests sent to your home free of charge! The federal government has just launched a website that’s taking orders; you don’t have to pay for shipping or even give them your credit card number. It should take from a week to 12 days to get your tests via the US Postal Service. For now, there’s a limit of four tests per order to maximize the number of people served. Each order will consist of FDA-approved rapid-antigen tests.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that you take a test five days after you believe you might have been exposed, or whenever you start experiencing symptoms (fever or chills, persistent coughs, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea). Go to covidtests.gov to put in your order.

 

Here are a couple of phone numbers to call just in case you need a little help with your order or if you have questions: 800-232-0233  or 888-720-7489 (TTY). Free COVID-19 tests will continue to be offered at various local venues—they’re listed on the To Your Health page of the Durham Skywriter.