Meeting addresses community concerns

Wendi Sutherlin, Executive Director of Rubicon, gave a presentation about drug addiction, intervention and treatment during the Darlington County Crime Watch and Neighborhood Partners Monthly Meeting on Thursday, August 24, 2023. PHOTO BY STEPHAN DREW

By Stephan Drew, Editor

On Thursday, August 24, 2023, the Darlington County Crime Watch and Neighborhood Partners gathered at the Matthews & King Education Center, located at 115-B Exchange Street in Darlington. Presiding over the meeting was President Diedre Odom, who led a comprehensive discussion on several pressing community issues.

Carol Dixon, a representative from the Darlington County Long Term Recovery Group, kicked off the meeting with a sobering reminder of the challenges facing the community. She highlighted the increasing threat of hurricane season, emphasizing the importance of preparedness. She discussed grants which are available to help upgrade and/or repair your home before and after such a disaster. Dixon also drew attention to the resurging Covid-19 numbers, urging residents to remain vigilant in following safety guidelines. With flu season on the horizon, she stressed the importance of getting vaccinated to protect both individual and community health.

Ava Dean, from the organization “Hold Out the Lifeline,” then addressed the crowd to discuss “Safe For Now,” a mental health support and suicide prevention program. She emphasized the importance of recognizing and addressing mental health issues in the community, offering resources and support for those in need. Additionally, Dean raised concern about the rising trend of vaping among local youth and the dangers it poses to their well-being. It is estimated that, within 30 days of starting to vape, many youths have already developed Bronchitis. 

Wendi Sutherlin, the Executive Director of Rubicon, shed light on the growing problem of addiction in Darlington County. She shared troubling statistics about the increase in addiction cases in recent years and highlighted the need for accessible treatment and support services. Sutherlin emphasized the importance of community involvement in combating addiction and helping individuals on the path to recovery.

The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss the state of crime in Darlington County. Darlington County Sheriff James Hudson Jr., along with law enforcement officers and members of the Neighborhood Crime Watch group, presented updates on crime statistics. These reports allowed community members to stay informed about local crime trends and collaborate on strategies to enhance safety and security.

the meeting served as a vital platform for addressing pressing concerns within the community. From weather-related disasters to public health issues, mental health, and addiction, the meeting covered a wide range of topics that impact the well-being of residents. Through collective effort and community engagement, those in attendance are committed to working together to make Darlington County a safer and more resilient place for all its residents.

Author: Stephan Drew

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