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Resident Well-Being

Focus Area

Our residents are safe, healthy, and engaged in their community.

Goal: Expand and maintain cultural and recreational assets

Rationale: As the region grows, Buncombe County must develop a well-balanced system of infrastructure that serves residents and supports communities. Buncombe County seeks to improve the quality of life within our community by providing high quality recreational and cultural facilities, opportunities for social interaction, as well as programming and resources that encourage health and wellness.


  • Increase safe, easy access and proximity for residents to a recreation space and/or public library within their own neighborhood.
  • Expand, diversify and champion vibrant, creative activities and programming guided by practices of cultural equity.
  • Increase availability of library resources through community outreach and electronic offerings.

Most Recently Reported Results

Goal: Increase access to public transportation, including public transit and paratransit services

Rationale: Public transportation is a critical component of thriving communities, and provides connectivity in both rural and urban areas for residents, commuters, and visitors. An accessible and efficient public transit network offers convenient and affordable service for people to travel to home, work, school, recreational opportunities, and more. Public transportation reduces annual vehicle miles traveled, which helps lower air pollution and energy consumption.


  • Increase ridership through community outreach campaigns.
  • Include a public transportation analysis as part of the comprehensive plan.

Most Recently Reported Results

Goal: Reduce jail population and enhance public safety

Rationale: Buncombe County’s jail houses inmates for local, state and federal criminal justice agencies. There are 604 beds in 13 housing units. Of the 604 beds, 96 are designated as female beds.Between 2015 and 2018, the number of people awaiting case disposition in the detention facility has increased by 13%, from 309 to 352. A primary driver of this increase is the growing length of stay experienced by pre-trial defendants. Approximately 70% of the jail population is state pre-trial defendants. Additionally, staff projections suggest the female population will regularly exceed capacity by November 2020.


  • Reduce average length of stay for pretrial population.
  • Reduce annual bookings for failure to appear and technical violations.
  • Increase the number of successful graduates from diversion programs and treatment courts.
  • Reduce crime rate, including violent and property crimes, within the County’s jurisdiction.

Most Recently Reported Results

Goal: Eliminate deaths as a result of substance abuse

Rationale: North Carolina has been significantly impacted by the opioid epidemic. In 2017, the state had a rate of 19.8 opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 persons. This is 5.2 deaths per 100,000 persons higher than the national average. Buncombe County is no exception with an opioid overdose death rate almost twice that of North Carolina. Between 2015 and 2017, the number of opiate-related deaths in Buncombe County tripled – growing from 32 to 113. Beyond fatal overdoses, substance use disorders take a community toll in other ways. For example, communicable diseases associated with injection drug use have been on the rise.


  • Increase prevention and treatment programs.
  • Equip County professionals and partners with appropriate and adequate tools and training.
  • Reduce the total number of children coming into foster care related to parental substance use disorders.

Most Recently Reported Results

Locate & Contact

Strategic Plan Dashboards


Rafael Baptista

Strategy & Innovation Department
200 College Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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