Last Community Dream Event of 2020 Held on Union Street
It’s about making a way forward.
That’s the message community leaders were sending at the final Community Dream Event on Tuesday. Organized by Teara Harris, the event featured guest speakers—including County Commissioner Chairman Patrick Crews and LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton—as well as representatives from various outreach organizations in an effort to pool community resources for those in need.
“The purpose of this event is to bring resources to the community,” Harris said. “Basically what we’re trying to do is to give them a chance to come out and get the resources they need because a lot of times people don’t know where to go.”
Tuesday’s gathering marked the second—and last—Community Dream Event of 2020. The first was held in the Tall Pines community earlier this year.
“We’ll start back up in the Spring,” Harris said. “We’ll bring all the community leaders together, the community non-profits together, and make it where people can go booth to booth to booth.”
The set-up was similar Tuesday, as a number of socially-distanced booths lined the walkways to provide direct resources to passing residents. Several organizations came out in support of the community Tuesday, including Yvonne Lopez and Ark Refuge Ministries, West Georgia Technical College, Get Troup Reading, Groundswell, Calumet Center for Healing and Attachment, and other community-based non-profits and organizations.
The selected booths weren’t chosen at random. The events, Harris said, work to provide fundamental resources—such as the food provided by Ark Refuge, continued education by the technical college, etc.—while also focusing on one particular theme. Tuesday’s Community Dream Event, she noted, focused on housing and featured guest speaker Zsa Zsa Heard, CEO of the LaGrange Housing Authority. Chad Cooper of the Housing Authority was also in attendance to provide valuable information regarding resources and programs offered by the LaGrange Housing Authority.
In this light, Harris took care to highlight Groundswell, a non-profit organization partnering with the City of LaGrange to help lower residents’ utility bills.
Groundswell Associate Editor Alicia Hill was on-site to explain the organization’s mission of providing energy-efficient upgrades to in-need homes in LaGrange.
“What we really want to do is to start getting these energy-efficient upgrades in before it starts getting cold,” she said. “People do not need to be in energy-inefficient homes that they can’t keep warm during the winter months. That’s not good for anybody.”
The City of LaGrange, Hill noted, has been a strong partner of the organization.
“They’ve helped in a big way in making sure that we have what we need in order to do this,” she said. “They have been so supportive … This is a way for people to save on their utility bills.”
Though the City of LaGrange ranks as one of the most-affordable among Georgia cities in utility costs, Hill noted that those living in energy-inefficient homes—such as old mill houses—lack the proper infrastructure to prevent the use of excess power. Those who may benefit from Groundswell’s resources are encouraged to contact the organization for more information.
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