Achieving a Vision

We are very excited to be a part of a vision to expand community-based services to residents in the western part of Greensboro. The Phillips Management Group (PMG), a Greensboro based, multifamily residential property development and management company desired to give back in such a way that would foster relationships, provide value, and enrich the lives of those they encounter.

Phillips Management Group approached the CNNC and Cone Health Congregational Nurse program almost a year ago about partnering on opening a community center in their 800+ residential community. The opening of the Community Enrichment Center (CEC) in September brings their vision to life!

Just a block off West Market Street, the CEC is a stand-alone house situated near PMG’s properties of Autumn Trace, Colonial, Empire Crossings, and Willow Run apartments making it easy for residents to access services. Residents in the area are representative of different cultures and backgrounds. Many of the families are not native to the U.S. and face particular barriers when navigating through agency systems. Providing services in the neighborhood where individuals live reduces stressors and barriers to accessing those supports. A lack of English language skills, lack of knowledge on how best to navigate U.S. systems, the challenge of transportation, and discrimination create huge barriers for many individuals in need of employment, educational, social and health services to name a few.

The CEC will provide a variety of services onsite. A Congregational Nurse from Cone Health will be available on Monday and Tuesday of each week to provide basic health screenings, educational resources, and referrals.  CNNC’s newest employee, Lauren Uwimana will be onsite 20-hours providing case management services and coordinating programs.  Thomasina Prater, Master of Social Science Administration student intern through Case Western Reserve University, is also onsite twice a week providing case management services and technical support to the center. AmeriCorps ACCESS Member Andrea Byrns will be at the center each Friday assisting residents with job searches, job readiness computer literacy, and more. In addition, CNNC staff member Raouf Ousmane will assist with interpretation and support low-income adult residents access and navigate the complex healthcare system.

As CEC staff get to know the residents and the community, and the community gets to know the CEC, additional services and programs will be offered. We have partnered with Reading Connections, to provide Family Literacy classes – English classes. Participants will receive free childcare services for children 5 years and younger while they attend the classes.  Individuals needing one-on-one English sessions will also be served. We are hoping to start after-school tutoring services for school-age children in the spring of 2020, and later citizenship classes for those preparing to take the U.S. Citizenship exam. Adults residents can receive case management, referrals, and interpretation services. We have also partnered with Morehead Elementary School, the neighborhood school serving a large English language learning student population.  Their staff have committed to volunteering for a reading story hour.

Within the community, there is a high percentage of Arabic speaking families. We had the honor of meeting the president and vice-president of a local non-profit, The Sudan House who have both visited the Center. They have been diligent in referring families to us to learn of the services we are providing including over 20 prospective students for the Family Literacy classes! We know how much these services will make a difference in the lives of families.  CNNC’s mission of providing support services to address the unmet needs of the immigrant and refugee populations aligns well with the vision of PMG. The CEC and unique partnership of the Phillips Management Group, Cone Congregational Nurse program, and the Center for New North Carolinians makes it possible for all residents to receive free social, health and enrichment services in their own community, in order to promote successful integration for newcomers and self-sufficiency for all residents. The CNNC staff are honored to be a part of this vision and making it become a reality. We are looking forward to making new connections and sharing success stories from the families in the community.

Lauren Uwimana
CEC Program Coordinator

Thomasina Prater
CNNC Graduate Student Intern
Case Western Reserve University – Ohio

Interested in connecting about the new center?  I’d love to hear from you!  Email me at u_lauren@uncg.edu.

See the Fox 8 News coverage of the grand opening on Tue. Oct. 29th.

 

Ribbon cutting event for community health center: Center for New North Carolinians, Cone Health, Phillips Management
The CEC open house on Saturday, Nov. 9th.

 

 

From left to right: Lauren Uwimana, Raouf Ousmane, and Thomasina Prater