By Tim Gardner
The Avery County Board of Commissioners will likely enter into a lease of county owned property in the Linville Township, consisting of two lots, each of which is 25 foot x 180 foot. The property fronts on North Carolina Highway 194 and is known as lots 30 and 31 on a map prepared by J. A. Wilkie, civil engineer. It is recorded in the Avery Register of Deeds office and is known as the Avery Cares property.
The county intends to lease this property to Freedom Life Ministries for a term of less than three years, according to Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr. In consideration of the lease, Freedom Life Ministries will pay monthly rent in the amount of $1.00.
The Board of Commissioners is expected to authorize the lease of that property at a public meeting on July 18, 2022 in its Board Room Suite in the County Administration Building, located at 175 Linville Street in Newland. The meeting will begin at 3:30 p.m.
Freedom Life Ministries, which started in McDowell County, NC in 2013, is a faith-based organization. It serves justice involved individuals and their families with programs designed to help its clients begin a journey to a new life. The ministries will be branching into Avery County to provide the same support to current and released incarcerated individuals.
Freedom Life Ministries is expected to start helping its Avery County clients in January 2023 and the leased Linville property will serve as its Avery headquarters.
Freedom Life Ministries held a community introduction recently at the Williams of Avery County YMCA’s Hugh Chapman Center with a meal, gospel music, client stories and a panel discussion with clients and staff.
Founder and current Executive Director of Freedom Life Ministries, Danny Hampton, told those gathered that the organization has funding avenues with businesses, grants and governments. But he said that Freedom Life needs volunteers, community and county support to make the ministry successful in Avery County.
Freedom Life Ministries is as committed to the pursuit and celebration of both reentry and recovery as much as it is to helping men and women who successfully navigate from actual incarceration through the transitional needs and transformational opportunities of reentry into community life.
Nearly all clients of Freedom Life Ministries struggle with some form of life-altering addictive behavior. Additionally studies have revealed that approximately 80 percent struggle directly with various types of substance use addiction. Avery and McDowell counties, much like America as a whole, continues to be negatively impacted by the opioid crises as well as other drugs such as methamphetamine (meth). Individual lives and families are being ripped apart as a result.
Freedom Life Ministries works with many health and medical agencies, other related organizations to help lead the fight against the destructiveness of addiction and for the powerful hope that is recovery. Together, they research root causes and create new initiatives, resourcing and strategic solutions that address these causes while also providing help directly to men and women trapped in addiction.
For further information about Freedom Life Ministries, call (828) 559-2224; write via U.S. Mail: Freedom Life Ministries, 130 Logan Street, Marion, NC 28752; email: [email protected]; or log onto its Internet web site at freedomlifeministries.org.