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Letter to the Editor: Gratitude for citizens like George Carver

To the Editor,

Racial inequality has been thrust to the forefront of our minds this year, and the Covid crisis has magnified racial inequality more than usual, but even before the virus hit, one man decided to give everything he’s got to make life better for minorities who live in the Outer Banks. His name is George Carver, Executive Director of the Dare Minority Coalition, a 501(c)(3) organization located in Manteo. Mr. Carver gave up a high paying job for a non-paying job, trading regular working hours for working around the clock, “Because,” he said at a Zoom meeting with the Dare County League of Women Voters, “that’s what you do when you are motivated by drive and compassion for your fellow human beings.”

Mr. Carver has lofty goals fueled by the Coalition’s values: integrity, compassion, education, teamwork, and unity. He’s betting on the OBX to help him help others for a win-win outcome that benefits individuals, businesses, and the community at large.

He was off to a running start before Covid hit. He’d assembled a team of like-minded professionals and partnered with businesses and educators, county employees, banks, and contractors to begin work on his primary objectives.

Working with formerly incarcerated individuals is particularly important to Mr. Carver because helping former inmates upon release creates a foundation for success and reduces the likelihood of someone ending up back in jail. The Coalition offers support upon re-entry into the community by providing stress management techniques or drug rehab referrals, if needed. Resources for continuing education, transportation, and job searches are delivered via a smartphone app filled with vital connections customized to each person’s needs.

But Mr. Carver’s most challenging project involves building accessible, affordable housing for long-term renters, “because everyone deserves a clean, safe home to return to after a long day at work.” In addition, he’s starting a two-year transitional housing program focused on teaching budgeting and home maintenance with the goal of seeing more minorities achieve long lasting home ownership.

As Mr. Carver says, “Dare is the fourth wealthiest county in North Carolina, but we have a severe shortage of affordable housing, and people are losing their homes due to the pandemic.” He hopes to remedy that situation by building new housing units for small and large families in Manteo and is currently trying to raise $16,000 for the initial phase.

“In five years, I hope to have created a healthier community with 84 of 1200 units completed in multi-family developments. I hope to have played a part in facilitating a community that is more respectful and supportive of each other,” he said. Lofty goals, indeed, but it doesn’t seem daunting to this local visionary.

Want to help?

Visit the Dare Minority Coalition website at https://dareminoritycoalition.com and make a donation or volunteer.

Rosemary Rawlins

Nags Head

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