Durham County unveils brand new youth home: 'Clean, safe environment'

Cindy Bae Image
Thursday, April 4, 2024
Durham County leaders unveil brand new Youth Home
"Clean and safe environment."

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been a long time coming for Durham County Youth Home director Angela Nunn, who sees the brand new detention facility on 2432 Broad Street as a beacon of hope.

"We're showing them that, hey, yes, you may have made a bad choice, but because of that bad choice doesn't mean you're throw-away," Nunn said. "You deserve to be in a clean, safe environment and get care."

Nunn gave a tour of the 41,055 square foot, 36-bed facility Thursday, a project that finally came to fruition after nearly a decade in the making.

"I am proud of every aspect of this new facility," Nunn said.

Durham County leaders said young people detained previously were living in "unacceptable conditions," at a nearly 40-year-old building that Nunn said was really dilapidated.

"There's a vast difference," Nunn said after talking about the bigger, brighter and cleaner spaces.

She added that there's also medical staff on board that they didn't have before.

"We're able to provide a better level of care for medical needs as well as mental health needs," Nunn said.

A basketball court and an assessment center for at-risk Durham County youth can be found at the new facility. These are some of the things Nunn hopes stands out as teen violence soars across Durham County.

She said last month, there were almost two dozen teenagers being held at the facility.

"It's not looking good, and that's very unfortunate," Nunn said.

Although the number of teenagers being held has decreased since March, according to Nunn, the inmates are getting younger. She said it takes a village to address the larger trend of youth violence.

"If we can help figure out what's going on while we have them as a captive audience, then perhaps when they go back out into the community, they have learned how to cope better and understand that structure is good," Nunn said. "And they feel that they've been loved and cared for and they have hope. And when they go back out, they will not come back in."

The project is still not completed. The site where the old facility used to be will soon be transformed into an outdoor recreation yard that Nunn said will be completed in May.