‘We are all working on this’: County leaders address concerns with homelessness in the community

New Hanover County Commissioner Deb Hays said that city and county leaders have been working on a solution for quite some time now.
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 4:24 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2022 at 5:38 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - After a recent sexual assault involving a homeless man and homeless woman, leaders in the community are addressing concerns about what they call a growing problem of homelessness.

New Hanover County Commissioner Deb Hays said that city and county leaders have been working on a solution for quite some time now.

Hays pointed out that this is a topic brought up often and it seems like a final plan has taken a long time to put together. She said that’s because leaders have needed time to research and look at what’s been successful in other communities and how they might be able to implement similar strategies or resources in New Hanover County.

“We’ve been working on a plan and we’re very close to finalizing it and that will come out here very shortly, but I want to let [the community] know that this plan has not been a response to what just happened, that we have been aware of this and we have been working very diligently to come up with something with all of our partners with WDI and certainly with the help from MSD, and all of our community partners,” Hays said.

She went on to say “please know this is this is not something that we can just knee-jerk react to, this is something that we really have to give great thought care and consideration to but also working diligently and effectively and efficiently to address the situation because we realize it is of a growing concern.”

Without going into any specific details, Hays said the three main focus areas for their plan to help the homeless population will be providing wraparound services and ensuring public health and public safety for all citizens.

Hays added that this plan should be finalized in the coming weeks, and a spokesperson for the county also said they hope to get the plan in front of commissioners soon.

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