Promise Zone Coordinator Sandi Curd gave an update on the Promise Zone to a group of Whitley County residents Tuesday afternoon.

More than a dozen people turned out for an annual community forum Tuesday afternoon at the old Whitley County Courthouse in Williamsburg to discuss progress of the Promise Zone, which is now in its third year of existence.

Promise Zone Coordinator Sandi Curd said that she has signed 311 letters of support for grants, and that $484,242,686 in grants have been approved for organizations, which are located in the eight counties comprising the Promise Zone in Kentucky.

The Promise Zone is made up of Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry and all but two census tracts in Whitley County.

Those in attendance Tuesday also heard from Kate Tran, Health and Wellness Coordinator for Berea College Partners in Education, who is overseeing the Young Homelessness Demonstration Program that is designed to reduce the number of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness in the Promise Zone’s eight counties.

In addition, Sarah Campbell addressed the audience about the Mapping Creative Culture program that seeks to build an interactive map and website highlighting cultural assets in the Promise Zone. The project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.