By Brad Piland
UNC Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE
Members of the Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church gathered Oct. 17 for the 3rd annual TAPC Fall Festival, a fundraiser in which the proceeds go toward funding Habitat for Humanity, the Durham Rescue Mission and Housing for New Hope.
“We love raising the money for these three great organizations,” Beth Scoggins, the committee chair for the TAPC Fall Festival, said. “But we also love the opportunity for fellowship that the festival provides.”
The evening began with a concert in the sanctuary in which featured the TAPC Children, Heath Tuttle, the Over the Creek Band and the Durham Rescue Mission Victory Choir. Terry Allebaugh, executive director and founder of Housing for New Hope, performed last. Allebaugh —in addition to performing — served as an advocate for New Hope and their Williams Square Apartments fundraising campaign. When completed, the apartments will provide affordable housing for homeless people seeking to make the transition to independence.
“You folks remind me that love is an action, and I appreciate all that you are doing to help the homeless find a home,” Allebaugh said on stage as he addressed the sanctuary before his performance.
Allebaugh then proceeded to play what he called a love song on the harmonica, and with that, the concert portion of the Fall Festival ended.
To date, over $2.1 million of the $2.2 million development budget has been raised. According to Eric Breit, development director for Housing for New Hope, less than $100,000 is needed to reach the $2.2 million goal. However, money is still needed to completely furnish each apartment.
“We hope to be able to furnish three of four apartments with the money raised tonight,” Allebaugh said.
Complete furnishings for one apartment — which will include living, dining and bedroom furniture — will cost $2,000.
“These people who are moving into the apartments, they’re coming from the woods and the streets and they don’t have furniture,” Breit said.
Williams Square will consist of 24 apartments. The apartments will be for homeless persons who are capable of living alone yet need access to services because of disabling conditions. In addition to providing affordable housing, New Hope will offer personal development classes.
A 2,500-square-foot community center will provide the space for classes as well as other community activities. Personal development classes will cover topics such as credit counseling, money management, resume writing and computer literacy.
“The goal of our organization is to reduce the numbers of homeless in Durham,” Breit said. “There isn’t just one kind of homeless person, so our programs are designed to help a wide range of people.”
According to Scoggins, Williams Square Apartments are named in honor of Alphonso Williams, a leader, role model and advocate for the homeless in Durham before his death in January 2008.
“Alphonso was an amazing person and he meant a lot to a lot of people,” Scoggins said. “Naming these apartments in his memory is great thing and something I think he would be proud of.”
If the funding stays on track, Williams Square Apartments are set to open their doors in early 2010.