Wake County investing $6 million in community projects

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Saturday, October 21, 2023
Wake County investing $6 million in community projects
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Applications are accepted through December 14.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Rae Marie Czuhai showed ABC11 around the Green Chair Project showroom on Friday.

"We have beautiful furniture that comes in from the community," said Czuhai as she pointed to a beautiful living room space.

The Raleigh nonprofit provides essential furniture for families that are transitioning from homelessness, crisis, or disaster.

"It's important our families have a choice," Czuhai said.

She explained there is dignity when families have a choice.

This year, the nonprofit has provided 1,900 beds for children in Wake County and assisted over 1,100 families.

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"We give them a sofa and a coffee table and lamps for their room, a dresser for their clothing. Pots and pans, dishes, you know, everything they need. And it's a huge savings to the family. We estimate that it's between two or three months' rent that they are saving" explained Czuhai.

It's savings the Green Chair Project provides through donations and community partnerships, including a push from Wake County that paid off big time.

A nearly $500,000 grant through the Community Capital Program allowed the nonprofit to make renovations to its new building

"During COVID, because we had this building, because we, we had the space, we were able to continue to work all through COVID," said Czuhai. "It was because we had the space in this building to curate all of those services and get those to the families."

And now Wake County wants to help other nonprofits to do the same.

"We're looking for projects that are ready, that are close to shovel ready," said Jason Horton, the Strategic Initiative Director for Wake County.

Horton said $6 million in funding is available to invest in 10 to 12 projects over the next two years.

"We're here to provide funding to help build the brick and mortar, provide durable equipment or vehicles to provide those services," he said.

In the past through the Community Capital Project, the county has helped nonprofits expand beds at hospice centers, reach more children at the child advocacy center, and funded projects addressing substance abuse and recovery.

"We want organizations that can demonstrate that there's an unmet need in the county. So, we're looking for documentation on that. We're also looking for projects that are close to ready to go. Projects that we funded during the last cycle, the majority of those projects have been implemented," Horton said.

Applications are accepted through December 14.