Former fire station is to be expanded into a boarding school for the LITE program


WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The City of Wilmington, in a session Tuesday evening, passed a resolution to donate a former fire station to LINC, a nonprofit that helps young men and women return from prison by providing transitional housing and support services offers.

The resolution was passed unanimously.

Leading Into New Communities (LINC) operates the LITE program, a structured enrichment program for African American men ages 16-21 who have been involved in the court system.

On the LINC website it says: “Our aim is to encourage a rethink, which in turn influences behavior. Ultimately, LINC, Inc. is working through the LITE Manhood Program to break the cycle of crime. “

Frankie Roberts, a representative for LINC, said the program is aimed at early school leavers who commit light offenses, noting that 16-18 year olds are often the most challenging. He said the teens are staying in the residential program for 14 months and leaving with their GED and a lightweight engineering certificate.

Mayor Bill Saffo agreed that there is a lot of programming for teenagers, but not so much for older teenagers.

“I support the effort and I think it’s a great program,” said Saffo.

Councilor Kevin Spears thanked Roberts for years of service and for all that he does for the community, especially for this particular population.

“The solution lies in these young men and women,” said Spears.

The property, formerly Fire Station 3, at the intersection of Barclay Hills Drive and Princess Place Drive in Wilmington, will house approximately 10-12 young men between the ages of 16 and 19.

After the renovation begins, Roberts hopes the facility will be operational within a year.

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