About Us

Our mission is to cultivate opportunities, assets, and communities that support the alleviation of homelessness and poverty.

Ending the Racial Wealth Gap, Empowering Community

The Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) is a  non-profit organization in Durham and Orange Counties of North Carolina. CEF’s mission is to cultivate opportunities, assets, and communities that sustain transitions out of homelessness and poverty.

Founded in 2009, CEF provides person-centered support, financial education, and asset building tools to individuals experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.

Our approach combines person-centered support with financial services that pursue equity in order to reduce the racial wealth gap. CEF Members receive sustained one-on-one support from volunteer Advocates, trained in racial equity and trauma-informed care, to help achieve their chosen goals.  Working with Advocates, Members secure housing, gain employment, and build savings in order to increase assets and sustain transitions out of poverty.

CEF creates a community of support that empowers Members, offers experiential learning opportunities for Advocates to grow and learn, and advocacy and collaboration to address the systemic causes of homelessness and poverty. CEF’s work is grounded in recognition of the detrimental impacts of systemic racism on Black and Brown members of our communities. We leverage the combined resources of passion for sustaining transitions out of homelessness, dedicated volunteers, partners with shared values, and cross-spectrum collaborations to offer holistic support to each Member.



Recent Newsletters

April Newsletter: Join us for a Spring Celebration!
March Newsletter: Join the CEF Team!
February Newsletter: This Weekend! Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens
January Newsletter: Save the Date 2023 Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens
December Newsletter: CEF Needs Your Talents!
November Newsletter: Piggy Bank Bash & CEF is hiring!
October Newsletter: CEF is hiring!
September Newsletter: CEF is hiring!
March Newsletter: Marching into April!
October Newsletter: Last Chance to Register for the 2021 Piggy Bank Bash
July Newsletter: Quilts, Bagels, and Independence
June Newsletter: 10th anniversary of CEF’s Financial Independence Day!
May Newsletter: ConGraduations! and 2020 Annual Report
April Newsletter: Help CEF Celebrate Spring
March Newsletter: Meeting of the Minds, Social Media Survey
February Newsletter: CEF Art Show, Apply to be an Advocate, CEF is hiring
January Newsletter: CEF Art Show, We are Hiring, Laundry Packages Program
December Newsletter: Vigils of Remembrance, Holiday Campaign, Summer Interns
November Newsletter: CEF Appreciates Your Support!
October Newsletter: Celebrate CEF at the Piggy Bank Bash
September Newsletter: Supporting and Engaging with CEF!
August Newsletter: Ways to Connect with CEF
July Newsletter: Safe Savings Gratitude, Office Availability, Operation Get Your Stimulus, and New Advocate Training!
June Newsletter: CEF is Hiring, Offices are Open, Donate to the Safe Savings Campaign!
May Newsletter: Plans to Reopen, Graduating Advocates, Donna on WRAL
Safe Savings Campaign, COVID-19 Updates, and Staff Highlights!
Meet Kristina: Advocate Program Coordinator in Chapel Hill
Get to Know Donna, CEF’s New Executive Director!
Sharing news from Jon & Janet for the CEF family
#42— $1,000,000 Saved (and an after party)
#41— Vote and Get Your Tickets!
#40— 🤫CEF has a Secret
#39 — 4 Ways We’re Changing the Housing Conversation
#38 — Have you heard? CEF Parties, Music, and Gifts
#36 — Make a New Year’s Resolution that you can keep!
#35 — O Romeo, Romeo! A Beautiful CEF “Tail”
#34 – “I only wanted to trade trees for keys”
#33 — Cameron and Gizmo are Home!
#32 – CEF’s Recipe for Thanksgiving
#31 – Fall Events and CEF Updates
#30 – Housing. Saving. Quilting. Wobbling.
#29 – CEF’s TEDx Talk is Live!
#28 – CEF TED Talk – April 2nd! Members Join Together
#27 – Empo-Word-ment: What’s in a CEF meeting?
#26 – Unlocking Doors & Singing for Affordable Housing
#25 — Saving Makes Change
#24 — Imagining our Future
#23 — New CEF Offices. New CEF Stories!
#21 — Duke! Staff reflections! Advocate workshops!!
#20 — What is it like to spend a Summer at CEF?
#17 — 200K+ Saved, Johnney & Graduation Weekend!
#15 – Staff, Founder’s Circle, 2013 Annual Report
13— Member & Advocate Stories, Holiday Party, and New Staff!
#12 — Financial Independence and How it Works!
CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

Chapel Hill: 919-200-0233 Durham: 919-797-9233