Group puts roofs over people’s heads
By NIKKI WILEY The Brunswick News
A community housing board says progress has been made in Brunswick during its seven years of existence.
It has seen people go from being homeless and sleeping on the street to living in a public housing complex and purchasing their first home.
The Community Housing Resource Assistance Board has played in a major role in that.
"It really helps to have a group focus on different housing needs," said Dick Newburn, demolition and property maintenance coordinator for the city of Brunswick.
The board combines city officials and community partners, who extend a multitude of resources to the homeless, residents in substandard housing and potential home buyers.
"We have one mind," said Millicent Harwell-Cross, founder of Totally Free, the board's flagship organization. "That something has value that you can't put money to."
Standing in front of a home on K Street Thursday that had been purchased with assistance, Harwell-Cross pointed out the importance of home ownership and appropriate housing.
"We're looking at one block at a time instead of one home at a time so we can change neighborhoods," she said.
It's not exactly an easy mission when the city is still dealing with homelessness and too many substandard houses.
"There's always going to be work to do, especially in the market we just came out of," she said. "We deal with dilapidated. We deal with foreclosures. We deal with abandonment. We deal with a lot of negativity. That's true for any city across the board."
* Reporter Nikki Wiley writes about government, business and other local topics. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 321.
The Community Housing Resources Assistance Board will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the upstairs conference room at City Hall, 601 Gloucester St.