On October 18, 2017, Dr. Narendra P. Sharma, Founder and Chair of NOC, spoke to the Women’s Guild of Holy Family Catholic Church in Hilton Head. Dr. Sharma explained NOC’s mission and development approach to eradicating poverty in Beaufort County. The participants were eager to learn about NOC’s Learning Centers in underserved neighborhoods where poverty is significant. They were also interested in learning more about NOC’s outreach programs related to education (after school and summer learning), health screening, and adult education and workshops. Dr. Sharma used NOC’s experience in the Oaks neighborhood in Hilton Head as an example of what NOC has accomplished in community development and transformation.
Follow the link below to view Dr. Sharma’s presentation:
Dr. Narendra P. Sharma, Founder and Chair of Neighborhood Outreach Connection (NOC), made a presentation to the Parks and Recreation Commission of the Town of Hilton Head Island on October 12, 2017, relating to the Town’s conceptual plan for development of 1.45 acres of land owned by the Town, wedged between Cordillo Courts and Hedges Apartments. This piece of property currently has four tennis courts that are in decline. Representing NOC, Dr. Sharma supported the Town’s conceptual framework for a project that would include a community building, tennis courts for adults and youth, and pickle ball courts that would benefit all people in the south end of the Island. NOC hopes to use the community building to offer outreach programs in education, health screening, and workforce development, since NOC, which has operated at Cordillo Courts for three and half years, will cease its services at Cordillo Courts effective May 2018, in keeping with a settlement agreement with the Cordillo Courts Board. The Cordillo Board does not want NOC to continue with its operations at Cordillo Courts.
Follow the link below to view Dr. Sharma’s presentation.
NOC Chair, Dr. Narendra P Sharma made a presentation about the situation at the Cordillo Program Center where NOC serves children and families living in poverty. The Cordillo Courts Board wants NOC to terminate its afterschool program immediately. Dr. Doug Fletcher, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Hilton Head, organized a meeting on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at First Presbyterian Church. He extended to other community churches the following invitation to participate in the meeting:
“Dear colleague in ministry, I am writing to alert you to the fact that Neighborhood Outreach Connection (NOC) has been told by the Board at Cordillo Courts that they are no longer welcome to serve the 50 neighborhood children in the after school learning program there. They are being fined daily for operating in conflict with the board’s decision despite the fact that the Board had originally invited them in. … I would like to invite you and interested members of your congregation to a meeting of the religious community to hear Dr. Sharma share what is taking place. You undoubtedly know of the work of NOC on the Island and in Beaufort County. With six after school learning centers touching over 450 children of low income families, NOC has demonstrated measurable results in student test scores. NOC has received numerous recognitions, including grants from the Community Foundation and Beaufort County schools. It has been lifted up for its work as one of the President George H.W. Bush “Thousand Points of Light.” Dr. Narendra Sharma was recently recognized with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Community Service. God bless you.”
Dr. Sharma’s presentation can be viewed at the following link: First Presbyterian Church Presentation
NOC Chair, Dr. Narendra P. Sharma’s statement on issues relating to affordable housing in Hilton Head Island and Beaufort was read at a stakeholders meeting organized by the NBSC (National Bank of South Carolina) on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Dr. Sharma’s statement emphasized the seriousness of this issue affecting low-wage workers and families locally. He pointed out that lack of affordable housing, especially for low-wage workers, will, over time, increase wage costs, add to labor scarcity locally, and undermine investments. He said that there is a role for the Town and local businesses to play in finding innovative solutions to tackle this important issue.
Thomas Henz made the following remark: “Please thank Dr. Sharma on behalf of the entire board and staff and our guests Wednesday for his statement on affordable housing. Highlighting the extent and consequences of our severe local affordable housing shortage was quite thought-provoking. Perhaps we had a sufficient mix of key stakeholders at our meeting to help move this issue forward toward developing solutions.”