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The original item was published from 3/31/2022 8:38:32 AM to 7/1/2022 12:00:00 AM.

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Marketing & Communications

Posted on: March 31, 2022

[ARCHIVED] City Receives “Spirit of North Carolina” Award

The city was presented a Spirit of North Carolina Award from the United Way of North Carolina on Wednesday in recognition of the eviction diversion collaboration between the Human Relations/Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department and the Winston-Salem office of Legal Aid of North Carolina. The award honors the city for “leading with a DEI lens.”

The eviction diversion program provides legal services and right to counsel advice to those facing eviction, and was funded with $100,000 the City Council approved last September to match a grant that Legal Aid received to hire an attorney and a paralegal to provide free legal counsel to those facing eviction due to the pandemic. The program is intended to help at least 150 households, said Wanda Allen-Abraha, the city’s director of human relations/diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We are honored that the United Way of North Carolina selected the city of Winston-Salem for a Spirit of North Carolina Award,” Allen-Abraha said. “The Human Relations/DEI staff is committed to working with Legal Aid on addressing the very serious issue of evictions in our community, particularly since our marginalized residents are disproportionately impacted by the threat of eviction. 

“We realize that many tenants have low-to-moderate incomes, so we hope that the free legal advice and mediation will help those who qualify remain in their homes and avoid eviction. Our common goal is to prevent evictions and foreclosures so that people are not forced onto the streets or into shelters.”

The award was announced during the United Way’s statewide virtual awards ceremony earlier this month. A Local United Way representative came to City Hall to present the award.

The city is one of seven organizations in Forsyth County that received Spirit of North Carolina awards. Statewide, 75 organizations received awards.

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