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Former fire station property to be developed into residential boarding school for L.I.T.E program

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 9:45 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The City of Wilmington approved a resolution at a meeting Tuesday night to donate a former fire station to LINC, a non-profit that assists young men and women returning from prison by providing transitional living and support services.

The resolution was passed unanimously.

Leading Into New Communities (LINC) operates the L.I.T.E. program, a structured enrichment program designed for African American males, ages 16-21 that have been involved in the court system.

According to LINC’s website, “Our goal is to encourage a change in thinking that in turn influences behavior. Ultimately, through the LITE Manhood Program, LINC, Inc. is working to ‘break the cycle of crime.’”

Frankie Roberts, a representative of LINC said the program is geared toward dropouts who commit low-level offenses, noting that 16-18-year-olds are often the biggest challenge. He said the teens stay in the residential program for 14 months and leave with their GED and a light construction technical certificate.

Mayor Bill Saffo agreed there is a lot of programming for youth but not so much for older teens.

“I support the effort and think it’s a great program,” said Saffo.

Council member Kevin Spears thanked Roberts for his years of dedication and for all that he does for the community, especially this particular population.

“The solution lies within these young men and women,” said Spears.

The property, formerly Fire Station 3, located at the intersection of Barclay Hills Drive and Princess Place Drive in Wilmington, will be used to house approximately 10-12 young men between the ages of 16 and 19.

After renovation begins, Roberts hopes the facility will be up and running within one year.

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