Several of Cherokee County’s most influential nonprofits and community agencies will get a boost, thanks to this year’s 2020 Community Development Block Grant Action Plan. The plan includes about $1.2 million in additional funding, all aimed at improving services to Cherokee’s citizens. The MUST Ministries Supportive Housing Unit, Anna Crawford Children’s Center, Goshen Valley Boys Ranch and the city of Canton’s Harmon Park were among this year’s recipients. The additional funding allows programs serving vulnerable citizens to thrive, and helps ensure Cherokee continues to appear on “Best Places to Live in Georgia” rankings.
Anna Crawford Children’s Center
Executive Director Amy Economopoulous confirmed that the grant will subsidize personnel expenses related to providing services to Spanish-speaking children in Cherokee County. More than 25% of children served by the center speak Spanish, or have Spanish-speaking parents. Additionally, these funds will support the ongoing therapeutic needs of the child, whether that be individual counseling, group therapy or parent education. Some of the funding will be allocated to the center’s partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The team will conduct forensic medical exams and STD testing on-site for children who have experienced sexual abuse, which comprise about 70% of all child abuse cases reported. The Anna Crawford Children’s Center serves 450 new children in Cherokee County every year. www.cherokeechildadvocates.org.
The grant will be used to renovate a two-bedroom house for a small family that includes a mentally disabled adult. The $40,000 grant will ensure the house meets all ADA regulations, and will repair the roof, replace appliances and carpet, install new ceiling fans, and get paint. MUST Ministries is excited about the prospect of offering stable housing to a family in need. The two-month rehabilitation project should begin this month. www.mustministries.org.
Cherokee County History Center
As the new headquarters of Cherokee County Historical Society, the Cherokee County History Center will offer engaging museum exhibits, enhanced collection storage, and a comprehensive program of cultural events. With over 5,000 square feet of exhibition space, it also will serve as a dynamic education resource that will expand the collaboration with educational institutions at all levels, instilling a deeper appreciation of Cherokee County’s unique and compelling history for the next generation. The history center will be designed by Marietta-based INOX Design, the architectural firm responsible for the design of the award-winning Tellus Museum in Cartersville, Georgia. www.rockbarn.org.
The funding awarded to the Goshen Valley Boys Ranch from this most recent Community Development Block Grant will aid in the restoration of the Ranch’s James House, aka The Barn, which was built in 1981, originally the only enclosed facility on the Blend family farm. Since the ranch’s opening in 1999, The Barn has been used for a variety of activities, including tutoring, counseling and volunteer gatherings. The Barn officially was renamed the James House in 2012, and its renovation will provide dormitory space for ranch interns. A newly remodeled community room within the space will be used for tutoring and counseling. A walkway between the James House and the ranch’s Wellness Center will complete the renovation. www.goshenvalley.org.
City of Canton’s Harmon Park
Funding will be used to upgrade the playground area, lighting, and bathrooms at Harmon Park. www.cantonga.gov.
Also included in the $1.2 million action plan is about $370,000 for the Pea Ridge Community Center Initiative, which includes remodeling the existing Cherokee Fire & Emergency Services Station 9 into a community center for the Pea Ridge Community.
Details on other beneficiaries, including the Boys and Girls Club of Cherokee County, Habitat for Humanity, and the Bethesda Community Clinic, weren’t available at press time.
By Chantel Adams, contributing writer.