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September 5, 2017​


BOCCCSS, Park and Rec Program Helps Homeless Find Work in Parks

Parks are great places to enjoy the outdoors, participate in fitness activities or just relax. Now, thanks to a partnership between Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, Community Support Services – Homeless Services Division and Mecklenburg County Human Resources, they’re a place for a fresh start in the workforce for many of the area’s homeless population.

The three County departments recently launched the Workforce Development Opportunity Pipeline program allowing homeless and recently housed chronically homeless individuals seeking employment the chance to fill part-time park maintenance and operations positions. The program helps participants develop hard skills that may help them land full-time employment with Park and Rec.

To help with the recruitment process, the County is working with the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, the Salvation Army Center of Hope, Shelter Plus Care, and Moore Place. So far, 12 people have gone through the application process, which includes interviews and background checks. Two of those individuals have been hired, and have started working in various parks throughout the County.

The County is currently recruiting for two additional positions, and hopes to add more positions in the coming years. 

For more information, contact Park and Recreation Director Jim Garges at 980-314-1012, or Community Support Services Director Stacy M. Lowry at 980-314-8903,
Mecklenburg County Joins the ConnectHome Nation Initiative

I am proud to announce that Mecklenburg County has been selected as one of the first communities to join the ConnectHome Nation cohort, a public-private national collaborative committed to ending the digital divide in public housing. The County partnered with the City of Charlotte and the Charlotte Housing Authority in the application process.

This innovative program is designed to provide greater options for accessible at-home Internet access, along with the training needed to participate in our increasingly digital world.

The ConnectHome Nation group now includes 30 communities across the country, with a goal of expanding to 100 communities by 2020.

To learn more, visit

For more information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Christine Edwards at
Park and Rec Aquatics Wraps Up Successful Summer

Yesterday, we wrapped up the summer swimming season at our outdoor pools and Ramsey Creek Beach at Lake Norman.

I am proud to say that things went swimmingly at all three facilities.

At our outdoor pools – Cordelia and the brand new Double Oaks Family Aquatic Center – we saw strong attendance numbers, totaling 54,330. The two pools also hosted weekly swim lessons, including the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson at Double Oaks. Lessons were provided to 3,014 children this summer.

Ramsey Creek Beach, now in its second year of operation, underwent several changes in the offseason to help meet the summer demand. To help minimize congestion and enhance operational support, Park and Recreation:

  • Added additional onsite parking (56 spaces)
  • Hired and trained staff earlier in the year
  • Scheduled a soft opening
  • Worked with CATS to begin the shuttle service on week 1
  • Oversaw the installation of a traffic light at the intersection of Nance and Catawba roads


Overall, the beach had steady attendance all summer long. Park and Rec did not have to close the beach at all due to capacity issues. This is an improvement over last year, during which the beach was closed three times due to capacity issues.

You can view 2017 beach attendance numbers here.

For more information, contact Park and Recreation Director Jim Garges at 980-314-1012 or
Criminal Justice Community Engagement Begins Tonight in Hidden Valley

As an awareness item, during tonight’s Board meeting, the County will be engaging in the first Safety and Justice Challenge Forum with residents of the Hidden Valley community. It will take place at MLK Jr. Middle School beginning at 6:30.

Members of Mecklenburg County’s Criminal Justice System will be seeking feedback to help identify more effective alternatives to justice system involvement. Our goal is to listen to community member’s concerns, issues, and ideas, and pinpoint potential policy changes.

Community engagement is a critical part of our reform effort.

For more information about this forum, contact Criminal Justice Services Director Sonya Harper at 980-314-1701 or