A proposal to open a community resource center in Brunswick recently received State of Hope site approval from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services.

Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority led the application process this summer to apply for State of Hope Supported Site approval. Working with local partners, Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority proposed a community resource center that will bring together resources to serve families in need in the area.

“Our big idea is to create a community hub where you can have various resources,” said Zerik Samples, chief development officer for Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority. “We want to place this center somewhere in the heart of Brunswick, where there’s a lot of public housing.”

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services selects a limited number of sites statewide to create community-specific models to address issues that include the improvement of educational attainment for vulnerable young people, an increase of awareness of trauma-informed practices, the improvement of quality of caregiving and opportunities to strengthen individuals and families to become economically self-sufficient and to develop safe homes.

A first step in the commitment will include a funding award of $125,000.

The community resource center in Brunswick will include child care, after-school programs, job training, health care and mental health services, Samples said.

“We can help our community get to a better place,” he said.

Dominique Mack, community services director for Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority, said the program will serve Glynn and McIntosh counties.

“It’s about the community coming together and working in a collaboration, where everybody is served,” she said.

Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority applied for State of Hope site approval in July.

Before applying, the organization brought together community partners including Family Connection Glynn, Department of Family and Children Services, Safe Habor, the Southeast Georgia Health System, FaithWorks, the City of Brunswick, the board of education and more.

Those partners will continue to play a role in planning as the project moves forward.

Additional money will need to be raised to make the project possible.

“We’re going to need more dollars to help us out because we literally have to turn our community around,” Mack said. “It’s a lot of money. That’s part of the process.”

Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority plans to open the center before the end of 2018 or in early 2019.

“We’ve begun the planning process,” Samples said. “We’re going to have a meeting with our partners to solidify our plan on Sept. 27 … And then we’ll have to have a call to hire someone to oversee the project.”

The goal of the project is to decrease local crime, increase access to resources and create safer home environments for children and families.

“We strive to improve the quality of life for families,” Samples said. “With this program, we will do just that … We’ll be able to pull our partners under one roof.”

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