in the news


  • Harrelson Center opens annex, new event space

    August 2021 (WECT) - The Jo Ann Carter Harrelson Center officially opened the Vicki Dull Annex and its new event venue, Plaza on Princess, with a ribbon cutting ceremony in downtown Wilmington. Renovations on the New Hanover County Law Enforcement Center’s former jail tower along with the redesign of the exterior courtyard at the corner of Market and Fourth streets began in November 2019. This doubles the capacity for the non-profit campus. See full report on WECT.  

    Read more here.

  • Harrelson Center to host NHC Equity Awards

    July 2021 - The New Hanover County Office of Diversity and Equity is accepting nominations for the first annual Equity Awards Gala, which will celebrate community members for efforts in expanding and elevating equity and diversity. Nominations are open until August 1, and the gala will be held August 20 at 6 p.m. at the Harrelson Center.  Read more.

  • The Orange Mailbox Project: A Youth Summer Initiative

    June 2021 - Orange mailboxes are popping up at various locations throughout the county, with invitations for local youth to connect through a summer letter writing program. OMP is an initiative of The Harrelson Center and the New Hanover Resiliency Task Force and is intended to inspire local youth to make diverse connections, maybe friendships, while expressing their personal resilience through creative writing. The mailboxes will be placed with organizations that are hosting summer youth programming and will remain in place with templates provided and exchanged once a month through September, 2021. Read more.

  • The Harrelson Center and Brandon “Bigg B” Hickman Host

    Fathers’ Day Gospel Brunch

    June 2021 - Radio personality Bigg B will bring his signature, but until Fathers’ Day only streamed, Gospel Brunch program to a live audience on Fathers’ Day, June 20, at The Harrelson Center in downtown Wilmington.  Without COVID restrictions, Bigg B is anticipating an audience of stalwart Gospel Brunch fans who have enjoyed his streamed performances since last spring, when inside worship services were halted due to the pandemic. Read more.

  • Just Us

    June 2021 - The program, Just Us, is a collaboration of UNCW’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of the Arts and The Harrelson Center. Local partners include the Cameron Art Museum, several New Hanover County public schools, the New Hanover County Resiliency Task Force, GLOW Academy, DREAMS Center for Arts Education, the Brigade Boys and Girls Club, the UNCW Restorative Justice Collaboration, Girls Rocking It in the South, Turning the Wheel and Working Narratives. Read more.

  • Soaring As Eagles earns NC Child Community Voices Award

    April 2021 - Soaring As Eagles, a non-profit focused on closing the achievement gap in high-poverty, Title 1 schools, is a recipient of NC Child’s 2021 Community Voices Award.  The Community Voices Award recognizes advocates in the community who have brought tremendous change for children and youth because of their voices and their efforts. Read more.

  • The Harrelson Center receives $1.8 million loan to double capacity and open 10,000 square-foot event space

    November 2020 — Local nonprofit The Jo Ann Carter Harrelson Center has accepted a $1.8 million loan from South State Bank to double its capacity from 30,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet at its downtown campus, 20 N. 4th Street.  The former New Hanover County Detention Center shuttered on 4th Street in 2004. Since The Harrelson Center moved in, it has undergone extensive renovations — the first phase began in 2015. 

    Read More in Port City Daly.

  • Unlocking hope, changing lives

    November 2020 - Lots of lives have been changed in the downtown building that was once a jail. Many who walk through the doors of the Harrelson Center are desperate fur help. And true to form, they often find it there. But it's not just the desperate and downtrodden who have had their lives bettered at the Harrelson Center. Even the life of former Executive Director Vicki Dull has been impacted by what's happened at the Harrelson Center.  Read More in Intracoastal Living.


  • The Harrelson Center's Help Hub Welcomes Susan Boyd

    September 2020 - Susan Boyd has joined The Help Hub at The Harrelson Center. Boyd is with Community Care of the Lower Cape Fear (CCLCF), and is The Help Hub's first nurse care manager, working to provide access to health resources, education and medical referrals, as necessary, stated the release. Read More in Wilmington Biz.

  • Evictions in Wilmington set to ramp up, but some help is on the way

    August 2020 - Due to what some experts call the ‘unprecedented challenge facing tenants,’ it may not be enough to help every person facing eviction . When Jo Gieschen got sick in the spring, there were times she thought she might become a statistic. “It was awful,” said Gieschen, who rents a one-bedroom garage apartment in Wilmington’s Sunset Park neighborhood. “A couple of times, I woke up and was like, ‘I’m still alive?’”  Read More in the StarNews.

  • Love Your Neighbors. 

    Removing Barriers. Rebuilding Lives.

    Walls at 4th & Market Streets Coming Down

    February 2020 –When the Jo Ann Carter Harrelson Center was incorporated as a nonprofit for centralized ministry and humanitarian outreach, leadership knew their home for nonprofits in the old New Hanover Law Enforcement Center would fully transform from a place of incarceration to a place for hope and freedom. The Harrelson Center was incorporated in 2008 to support nonprofit partners with reduced office rent and shared meeting space and has continued to grow to meet the needs and issues in our region. Five nonprofits have been working together in the Harrelson Center for over 10 years and a dozen more local organizations have joined the campus, operating collectively at full capacity. Read more.  See Photos from the Day!

  • Kairos Center - Partner of the Year 2019

    November 2019 - Kairos Center was recognized as nonprofit Partner of the Year at the 8th Annual Thankful Hearts Luncheon on November 21, 2019. Each year the Jo Ann Carter Harrelson Center nonprofit campus recognizes one of their sixteen partners that has effectively engaged people in their community and changed lives.

    Kairos Center’s mission is to help people discover their passion, purpose and power and to guide them on their journey to experience their true destiny. Kairos Center achieves a unique balance of faith and fortitude. Director Glenda Tate founded Kairos on the belief that God uniquely created each individual for a distinct and divine purpose. She leads coursework, coaching and mentoring opportunities, covering curriculum such as education planning and certifications; financial literacy and stability; business planning and entrepreneurship; and life purpose and challenges. Glenda explains why working side by side with entrepreneurs is rewarding, “when someone starts a new business, they can change the trajectory of poverty for themselves and their family.” Kairos community engagement is extensive, providing resources for individuals to overcome obstacles and pursue lifelong goals and healthy, productive lives.  Read more.


  • South State Bank Supports Harrelson Center Expansion

    Unlock Hope Campaign Funds Nonprofit Annex

    May 2019 - South State Bank executives presented support to the Unlock Hope Capital Campaign for the expansion of the Jo Ann Carter Harrelson Center. Located downtown in the building that once served as New Hanover County’s Detention Center, the Harrelson Center’s nonprofit campus provides centralized humanitarian services that bring hope, opportunity, and empowerment to the Cape Fear Region. The Center has 13 nonprofit Partner organizations actively serving neighbors in half of the building, but much of the original jail structure from the Detention Center awaits transformation. The Harrelson Center and South State Bank relationship developed and strengthened with the Center securing and completing a loan with SSB for the first phase of renovation. South State Bank has been committed for several years as the presenting sponsor of the Center’s largest annual fundraising event, the Thankful Hearts luncheon held in November, and to other outdoor and golf fundraising events.  Read more...

  • NHRMC Pilot Program with Help Hub

    February 2019 - The Help Hub at the Harrelson Center has partnered with New Hanover Regional Medical Center in a pilot program to gain deeper understanding of health and wellness concerns in highly populated area of New Hanover County, downtown and metropolitan Wilmington. The program began in 2018 and will continue to assist in overcoming obstacles to accessing resources for preventative and primary care and provide opportunity to improve health outcomes. Read more...

  • The 5th Annual Parade Mile – Racing to Benefit the

    Jo Ann Carter Harrelson Center

    February 2019 - For the past four years, men, women, and children have gathered for a charity race ahead of the Azalea Festival’s annual parade. The race, the Parade Mile, run by a local law firm, McAngus Goudelock & Courie, PLLC, aims to raise awareness of local philanthropic organizations that take care of those in need in the Greater Wilmington community. Walt Rapp, member in the firm’s litigation group, founded the race in 2015, hoping to make a positive impact in the local community and to educate his two children on the importance of giving to others while having fun. Read more.

  • Catholic Charities –  Partner of the Year 2018

    January 2019 - On the third floor of the Harrelson Center, people from all walks of life are waiting to meet with Emilie Hart and her staff at the Catholic Charities Wilmington Office. This Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh regional offices supports 6 counties of people in southeastern NC – all of which were impacted by Hurricane Florence. Catholic Charities will case manage thousands of our neighbors with unmet basic needs such as housing, furniture, food and supplies, and assist them through the long term recovery process, which could take years.  Read more.

  • Help Hub volunteers reach out to those in need

    In a rapidly moving world, it is important to remember that one of the bravest things a person can do is ask for help. Even when one is mentally and physically healthy in a stable living condition, understanding that not every problem can be fixed individually is difficult. When basic necessities are slim, it takes even more courage and humility. Read more.