Author Archive | Steven Horton

Intern Applications

CEF Chapel Hill is offering both full and part time internship positions for our 10 week summer program. Interns will complete a training “boot camp” and therefore no prior experience with our organization is required to apply. A great applicant for this position would be someone who is committed to anti-racism and housing first efforts, dedicated to direct service work, and passionate about the prosperity of all folks who are part of our community.

This application will be open until March 8th, 2024 at 11:59 PM. More information regarding the internship can be found within the application via a linked job description. Any further questions or concerns can be directed to chloew@communityef.org.

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CEF Staff Highlight: Sophia Thayer

Meet Sophia! Member Services Coordinator

Sophia Thayer, Member Services Coordinator (Durham)

Your Role: In your own words, how would you describe the work you do at the CEF and why is it important?

As the Member Services Coordinator for the Durham office, I work alongside Members and external community partners and service providers, as well as Advocates and staff, to research, develop, and implement relevant resources for Members. Most of the resources center on access to housing, and other crucial elements folks need to thrive. I also help lead New Member Orientation and our food pantry.

Your Background: What experiences, strengths, and skills do you bring to this work at CEF?

My background is in case management, resource navigation, youth development, and food justice. Beyond this background, I try to be as authentic as possible and meet people where they’re coming from. I strive to always be learning and challenge myself to consistently check how my biases affect my perception of experiences and events. Overall, I believe I am an approachable and personable individual hoping to form long term relationships.

Connecting to CEF: What led you to working with CEF generally, and also to this particular role?

CEF’s commitment to justice and equity is what initially drew me to the organization. CEF’s belief that everyone is creative, resourceful, and whole resonates with me and is the basis of the Member-driven work we all do together. In my role as MSC, I attempt to provide a starting point for Members and Advocates to connect. Witnessing and taking part in human connection is a joy that CEF provides and values.

Energy: When you think about your work in this role at CEF (and/or in general at CEF) where do you find energy and renewal?

At CEF, I find energy in relationships – deep conversations about experiences and stressors, celebrations when someone reaches their goal, and connections over a shared favorite. Outside of CEF, I find energy in very similar ways by spending time with loved ones.

Challenge: When you think about your work in this role at CEF (and/or in general at CEF)  where do you find challenges and how do you seek to find the best way forward?

CEF and our Members, Advocates, and staff still live and function within systems that are set up for some people to fail and some to thrive. Systemic racism and capitalism are massive opponents. Sometimes, no matter how much work we put in, we cannot solve a problem. I think the way we move forward is first recognizing that the CEF model of long-term community is radical in itself. Secondly, we can utilize this community power to break down systemic barriers as best we can.

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April Newsletter: Join us for a Spring Celebration!

CEF Annual Report Release. Please Join us for a spring celebration of the Community Empowerment Fund! Wednesday, May 24, 2023. 5:30 pm. Gene Strowd Community Rose Garden. 130 S. Estes Drive Chapel Hill, NC. Free. Image has a dark blue background and white text. There are pink, orange, yellow, and blue flowers along the left and right borders.

CEF Annual Report Release!

A Spring Celebration

We’re excited to invite you to a spring celebration and annual report release party on Wednesday, May 24 at the Gene Strowd Rose Garden in Chapel Hill. The event will include short speeches from Donna Carrington, CEF’s Executive Director, a representative of CEF’s Board, and CEF Members. Please join us and invite anyone you know who may be interested in learning more about CEF and how they can support our work!

We're Hiring
Finance & Operations Manager
Advocacy Manager
For details and how to apply visit communityef.org/hiring
Join our Team!

Become a part of the CEF team!

CEF is hiring for two key positions

Join us in our mission to cultivate opportunities, assets, and communities that support the alleviation of homelessness and poverty!

Finance & Operations Manager:

Oversee financial management and oversight, manage CEF’s financial coaching & Safe Savings programs, and ensure compliance with all audit and legal recommendations. This role includes leading budgeting processes, financial statements and projections, financial record-keeping, payroll, and more.

Advocacy Manager:

Manage our advocacy initiatives and ensure our mission, guiding principles, and values are represented in targeted campaigns. Responsibilities include setting advocacy goals, providing guidance to frontline staff, and inspiring others to advocate for safe and affordable living conditions.

Our team is dedicated to building a joyful community focused on ending the racial wealth gap and empowering community! If you share our passion, apply now for one of our open positions.

CEF Durham is recruiting!

Summer Internships and Volunteer Advocates!

Are you looking for a meaningful paid internship or volunteer opportunity this summer in Durham?

CEF offers paid full and part-time Summer Internships for community members interested in deepening their skills, expanding their knowledge of community resources, and working directly with CEF Members on their goals.

CEF’s Durham office is also seeking additional volunteer Advocates this summer! Advocates volunteer at-least 2 hours/week, working directly with Members as they move forward with their goals.

Both Interns and Advocates will receive in-person training and have staff available to support them throughout their time at CEF.

Learn more and find the applications at the link below. Apply by this Sunday at midnight!

Meet the Team
Durham Office & Community Organizer - Sydney Pender
Staff Support - Hannah Lyles

CEF Staff Highlights

Meet Sydney & Hannah

Sydney is the Durham Office & Community Organizer. She started at CEF as an Advocate in fall 2021. Hannah is new to CEF, and the Triangle, and provides Staff Support for both the Durham and Chapel Hill Offices.

Learn more about their backgrounds, how they connected with CEF, and challenges they face in their roles at the links below!

CEF Durham Housing Debt Assistance Fund
To support Durham residents in settling housing debts related to COVID-19.
-Past-due utilities
-Past-due rent
-Mortgage delinquency
-Eviction costs

Durham Housing Debt Assistance

The Community Empowerment Fund received funding to support Durham residents in settling housing related debts related to COVID-19. This includes past-due utilities, past-due rent, mortgage delinquency, and eviction costs. There is no limit to the requested amount; however, all debts must have been accumulated AFTER February 2020 and the Housing Debt Assistance Fund can only be accessed once. Currently, funds are only available to people who did not receive assistance from the Durham Emergency Rental Assistance Program or another rent relief program. In July, funds will be open to anyone who qualifies, even if they have received previous assistance from other funding sources.

Resource Alert

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month

This month, Imanie would like to highlight the Fair Housing Project of Legal Aid NC. The Fair Housing Project works to eliminate housing discrimination and to ensure equal housing opportunity for all people through education, outreach, public policy initiatives, advocacy and enforcement. Informational materials are available on their website.

If you believe you are a victim of discrimination in housing, contact the Fair Housing Project for assistance at (855)-797-3247 or by email at info@fairhousingnc.org. They can assist you in filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or other appropriate administrative or judicial bodies. They can provide free and confidential legal consultation about specific situations.

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, the Durham office would like to highlight StepUp Durham. StepUp Durham offers a variety of employment readiness workshops that teach the skills needed to find and sustain employment. The classes are designed specifically for individuals facing barriers to finding employment, such as a criminal background or gaps in employment history. StepUp connects job seekers with StepUp partner employers while participants execute the skills they have learned to further their own job search.

If you are interested in their next job skills workshop register here or call their office at 919-973-0890.

May Office Hours

Office Availability Updates

CEF Durham’s Office Hours:

May 1-19:

Tuesday & Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm & 5:00-7:00 pm

CLOSED May 22-30

Summer office hours begin May 31.

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CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

CLOSED May 22-31

Can I still make a virtual appointment?

Yes! CEF Members with the capacity to meet through online video chat software (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet) or over the phone will be encouraged to continue with this option. You can specify this option when you call the office to make an appointment.

Twitter

We recognize that we work and CEF’s offices are located on the unceded territories of the Eno, Lumbee, Occaneechi, Saponi, Shakori, and Skaruhreh/Tuscarora tribes. We acknowledge and respect the ancestral & present land stewardship and place-based knowledge of the peoples of these territories. Please support them directly.

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CEF Staff Highlight: Sydney Pender

Meet Sydney! Durham Office & Community Organizer

Sydney Pender, Durham Office & Community Organizer

Your Role: In your own words, how would you describe the work you do at CEF and why is it important? 

As Office & Community Organizer in Durham, my role is largely providing stability to the office to
ensure everything runs smoothly on a day-to-day basis. Another large responsibility is
the community advocacy portion, which provides CEF Members with opportunities to lead
initiatives surrounding the issues most important to them such as affordable housing, fair
consideration for employment, and building multigenerational wealth.

Your Background: What experiences, strengths, and skills do you bring to work at CEF?

I am a young, Black woman trying to make it in this world and I have a testimony in some ways
very similar to the Members we serve at CEF. Being in my position, serving folks that look like me
and have some of my same struggles, is a very humbling experience that brings both joy and
sorrow. There is power in representation and relatability, that strengthens my ability to reach
more than a person’s individual mind, but more importantly their hearts. The work I strive to do is
done very personally and with great intention.

Connecting to CEF: What led you to work with CEF generally, and also in this particular role?

More generally, I began volunteering with CEF in search of a community. I moved to Chapel Hill
mid-pandemic at the beginning of adulthood as a college student and knew absolutely nobody. I
wanted to be in community with other changemakers like myself and CEF allowed me to build a
home away from home. In the last two years, I have held the positions of Advocate, full-time
summer intern, part-time staff support, and now full-time office & community organizer. The
various positions I have held at CEF give me the ability to view our functions and operations from
many viewpoints, and deepen my understanding of who we are and what we do.

Energy: Where do you find energy and renewal?

I find energy and renewal by having meaningful conversations with other people about the work I
do. I like to talk to people and have heart-to-heart conversations about larger systematic issues
that show up every day in the world around us. I find joy in “stirring the pot” and talking about the
things that matter but are sometimes considered taboo. I would probably describe my personality
as an armchair philosopher.

Challenge: What are the biggest challenges in your work and how do you seek to find the best way forward?

One of the biggest challenges I face in the work I do is seeing the influx of people in need and the
lack of resources in the community to support them. There is an overwhelming amount of folks
that are not having their basic needs met. It is not easy to ignore or justify because it exists right
in front of us, every day. My commitment to the work I do is to at least make a dent in the pool of
injustice and continue to advocate for change that will impact those who need it most. Housing is
a human right.

Anything Else You Would Like To Add:

Never give up on yourself and pay close attention to the world around you. People may have
their doubts and opinions, but the truth can not be silenced… YOU MATTER!

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CEF Staff Highlight: Hannah Lyles

Meet Hannah! Staff Support

Hannah Lyles, Staff Support

Your Role: In your own words, how would you describe the work you do at CEF and why is it important? 

As full time Staff Support at CEF, I work with Members, Advocates, and other CEF staff to respond to Member’s needs in real time. During Member meetings, I am in the office and available to answer any questions or provide additional support that may be needed. Being a flexible member of staff who works in both the Durham and Chapel Hill offices is important in order to ensure that Members and Advocates are getting the support they need in order to achieve the goals that Members have identified for themselves.

Your Background: What experiences, strengths, and skills do you bring to work at CEF?

I have been a part of and worked in the substance use and recovery community for over five years. My background working with individuals experiencing situations that are complex and mutli-faceted has given me skills that allow me to engage with CEF in similar ways. My passion for this work stems from my personal life experiences as well as my background working with communities who are systematically denied access to knowledge and resources that can help them achieve their goals.

Connecting to CEF: What led you to work with CEF generally, and also in this particular role?

I have a passion for people. One of my greatest joys in life is connecting with others. I believe that, at the core of each of us, we are seeking connection with ourselves, others, and the world around us. CEF is a place where folks can find connection in many different ways. What I love seeing is so many individuals from different backgrounds, each with their own unique lived experiences, finding ways to connect and support each other. While a lot of the work CEF does is challenging and can be heavy to carry, witnessing true human connection on a consistent basis is, I think, what makes CEF so successful in their work.

Energy: Where do you find energy and renewal?

Within CEF, I find energy and renewal by witnessing the connections that are made between Members, Advocates, and staff. CEF’s work is based on relationships and seeing those relationships develop and grow brings me a lot of joy. Witnessing injustice and oppression in such an intimate way on a daily basis can be trying, but knowing that folks who engage with CEF have a place where they can feel heard and their experiences are validated helps to renew my passion for this work.

Challenge: What are the biggest challenges in your work and how do you seek to find the best way forward?

I think one of the biggest challenges for me at CEF is witnessing the injustice and oppression that Members are experiencing. At CEF, we trust that Members are fully capable of making their own decisions about what is best for themselves and their own lives. When thinking about the situations that Members face, I believe that the best way forward is to listen to Members, hear what their needs are, and work alongside them to find solutions that feel like the right way for them.

Anything Else You Would Like To Add:

I am very grateful for the opportunity to work at CEF and to be a part of an organization that is intentional about the services they provide and the relationships they build in the community. I am looking forward to my journey with CEF and seeing how my skills and my personal experiences can inform that.

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March Newsletter: Join the CEF Team!

Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens in our Community

Thank you for helping us celebrate!

Last month, CEF hosted the 2023 Share the Love Art Show & Celebration of Black Queens in our Community. Congratulations to Lorie Clark, Betty Curry, Dorothy Hardin, Dawna Jones, Carolyn Suit, and Katina Welsh! We are so inspired by your work in our community.

And, a big thank you to Julius Alston, Cameron George, David Lyle, Heather Nash, Isabella Ochoa, Sandra Heard, Tonya Whitfield, and Bruce Westbrook for sharing your amazing art and talents with us.

This month you can follow along on CEF’s social media as we celebrate Women’s History Month by hearing from the Queens about the women in their lives who inspire them. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @communityef or on Linked In.

Join our team

CEF is Hiring!

Four Full-Time Positions!

Are you passionate about building relationships and making a positive impact in your community? CEF is seeking kind, collaborative individuals with the curiosity to drive their professional growth. We are currently hiring for four full-time positions!

The Development & Communications Manager will lead development and communication efforts as CEF continues to grow its reach in the community.

The Finance & Operations Manager will oversee financial management and oversight, manage CEF’s financial coaching & Safe Savings programs, and ensure the organization is complying with all audit and legal recommendations.

The Advocacy Manager will manage CEF’s advocacy efforts, in alignment with CEF’s Strategic Plan, to ensure that the organization is working towards systemic change, increasing access to affordable housing in our communities.

The Member Services Coordinator stewards all services provided to CEF Members in the Durham office and works collaboratively with the leadership of CEF’s Chapel Hill office to ensure consistent and equitable services across our two geographies.

To learn more and apply to these positions visit our website. Please share with your networks!

Band Together & United Way present the 2023 Mighty Giveback

2023 Mighty Giveback

CEF has been selected as an Impact Partner!

Band Together and United Way of the Greater Triangle have once again teamed up to present the Mighty Giveback on October 7, 2023 at the Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh. CEF is proud to be amongst the 20 local nonprofit organizations selected as an Impact Partner. These 20 nonprofits are providing housing solutions and ensuring Triangle residents and families have a safe place to live and thrive. This year’s headliner is four-time Grammy Award Winner Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit! You can purchase presale tickets with the presale code: Weathervanes

Jessica Cannady – Member Services & Programs Manager

Meet Jess

CEF Member Services & Programs Manager

In your own words, how would you describe the work you do at CEF and why is it important?

I am the Member Services and Programs Manager for both the Chapel Hill and Durham Offices. In my role, I support program staff, guide program strategy, and manage reporting for Member services and Advocate programs. I support and work collaboratively with staff, Advocates, and Members to promote learning and growth.

What led you to work with CEF generally, and also in this particular role?

CEF’s leadership, commitment to community, racial equity, and economic justice foci were all driving forces that led me to work with CEF. CEF’s focus on relationship building and providing services no matter where Members are on their financial or life journey was also appealing. While crisis services are important, we also have to work collaboratively as a community to think about services that foster long-term sustainability.

Deconstructed Podcast

Tema Okun on Her Mythical Paper on White Supremacy

Last month, on the Deconstructed podcast, Tema Okun revisited her 1999 paper on White Supremacy Culture. Tema discusses the impact of the original article, its misuse, and her 2021 website that works to bring clarity on her intentions for the article and provide tools for each of us working to dismantle white supremacy.

We encourage you to have a listen and explore the tools on Okun’s website.

Resource Alert

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month

This month, Imanie would like to highlight the NC Diaper Bank. The NC Diaper Bank distributes hygiene products through established agencies that work directly with families. Partner agencies in Orange County include the Compass Center, El Centro Hispano, Orange County Health Department, and Orange County DSS. Diapers, feminine hygiene products, and/or adult incontinence supplies are available to clients enrolled in programs at these agencies. At the Compass Center, families may pick up diapers Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 12:00 PM until 2:00 PM.

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, the Durham office would like to highlight the Holistic Empathetic Assistance Response Team (HEART). Durham has four new crisis response pilots operating under the name “HEART.” The intention of these pilots is to “connect people experiencing non-violent mental health crises or quality of life concerns with the right care by sending new responses that better match residents’ needs.” The program consists of the following teams:

  • Crisis Call Diversion: embeds mental health clinicians in Durham’s 911 call center
  • Community Response Team: dispatches unarmed 3-person teams as first responders to non-violent behavioral health and quality of life calls for service
  • Care Navigation: follow-up after initial contact with first responders to connect folks with community-based care
  • Co-Response: pairs clinicians with Durham police officers to respond to certain calls that pose a greater potential safety risk
April Office Hours

Office Availability Updates

CEF Durham’s Office Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Tuesday-Thursday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm & 5:00-7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

CLOSED April 28

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CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

CLOSED April 28

Can I still make a virtual appointment?

Yes! CEF Members with the capacity to meet through online video chat software (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet) or over the phone will be encouraged to continue with this option. You can specify this option when you call the office to make an appointment.

Twitter

We recognize that we work and CEF’s offices are located on the unceded territories of the Eno, Lumbee, Occaneechi, Saponi, Shakori, and Skaruhreh/Tuscarora tribes. We acknowledge and respect the ancestral & present land stewardship and place-based knowledge of the peoples of these territories. Please support them directly.

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CEF Staff Highlight: Jessica Cannady

Meet Jessica! Member Services & Programs Manager

Jessica Cannady, Member Services & Programs Manager

Your Role: In your own words, how would you describe the work you do at CEF and why is it important? 

I am the Members Services and Programs Manager for both the Chapel Hill and Durham Offices. In my role, I support program staff, guide program strategy, and manage reporting for Member services and Advocate programs. Overall, I support and work collaboratively with staff, Advocates, and Members to promote learning and growth.

Your Background: What experiences, strengths, and skills do you bring to work at CEF?

Prior to joining CEF, I was a coordinator and advocate with a domestic violence agency. In that role, I worked in crisis and self-sufficiency services, outreach and to increase awareness and advocacy for healthy relationships. I also focused on developing and promoting culturally affirming best practices when working with Black and Brown survivors of domestic violence. In addition to advocacy and crisis services experience, I also have experience in community-based participatory research specifically focusing on access to healthy food, affordable housing, mental health care, and quality education. One of my strengths is my ability to build and maintain relationships and work collaboratively with diverse community stakeholders. I am interested in co-creating thriving communities so that we aren’t just surviving or putting a bandaid on the issues we face.

Connecting to CEF: What led you to work with CEF generally, and also in this particular role?

CEF’s leadership,  commitment to community, racial equity, and economic justice focus were driving forces that led me to work with CEF. CEF’s focus on relationship building and providing services no matter where Members are on their financial or life journey was also appealing.  While crisis services are important, we also have to work collaboratively as a community to think about services that foster long-term sustainability.

Energy: Where do you find energy and renewal?

I find energy in knowing that we are working together to build and maintain thriving communities. I also find energy and renewal by growing and maintaining authentic and genuine relationships with community members.

Challenge: What are the biggest challenges in your work and how do you seek to find the best way forward?

One major challenge that we face as a community is all of the isms. Racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, colorism, classism, and other forms of discrimination are still very much alive and well. We can’t ignore discrimination and oppression and the sinister ways that it shows up in everyday life. The legacy of white supremacy in nonprofit organizations is also a challenge that we actively work to dissolve. Another challenge is the rising costs of living and the impact on folks’ everyday lives and experiences. 

The best way forward is to acknowledge these challenges and how they show up in systems and our lives. Once we acknowledge these challenges we must also work to take action each and every day.

Anything Else You Would Like To Add:

I’m really excited and grateful to be a part of the CEF team. I look forward to our collaboration and radical work.

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February Newsletter: This Weekend! Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens

Thank You!

Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens in our Community

This Saturday! February 25, 1:00-3:00PMend-of-year campaign!

The planning committee has put all of the final touches on the 2023 Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens in our Community! Please join us at the Carrboro Century Center from 1:00-3:00PM this Saturday, February 25. CEF strongly encourages all attendees to be fully vaccinated and boosted or have a negative COVID-19 test the day of the event. Masks are required and will be provided at the event for anyone that needs one. Registration is encouraged.

We will be honoring the leadership of six amazing Black Queens from our community and enjoying the artistic talents of CEF Members including paintings, pottery, woodworking, mixed media, textiles, and more! The event is free, but capacity is limited.

Join our team

CEF is Hiring!

Four Full-Time Positions!

Are you passionate about building relationships and making a positive impact in your community? CEF is seeking kind, collaborative individuals with the curiosity to drive their professional growth. We are currently hiring for four full-time positions!

The Development & Communications Manager will lead development and communication efforts as CEF continually grows its reach in the community. They will be responsible for sustaining CEF’s development strategy through grants and contracts management, funder relationships, communications stewardship, and donor campaigns and events; creating and posting content to CEF’s social media platforms; creating a monthly newsletter; producing CEF’s Annual Report, and managing all communications and grant processes and documentation. Although most responsibilities may be carried out remotely, some on-site work should be expected, especially for events. The Development & Communications Manager will report to the Executive Director and may supervise volunteer Advocates and Summer Interns. They are a key member of the Senior Leadership Team.

The Finance & Operations Manager will oversee financial management and oversight, manage CEF’s financial coaching & Safe Savings programs, and ensure the organization is complying with all audit and legal recommendations. The Finance & Operations Manager will be responsible for leading organizational budgeting processes, the preparation of financial statements and projections, supervising financial record-keeping and accounting, oversight of CEF’s operating budget, check-writing, and payroll. The Finance & Operations Manager will have a combination of on- and off-site work; some tasks and duties will be performed in both CEF’s Chapel Hill and Durham offices, and other tasks can be completed remotely. The Finance & Operations Manager will report to the Executive Director, lead the Finance Committee, be an active member of the Resources & Financial Coaching team, and is a key member of the Senior Leadership Team.

The Advocacy Manager position is a cross geography position that is tasked with managing CEF’s advocacy initiatives, in alignment with CEF’s Strategic Plan. They will work with the Executive Director and frontline staff to determine overall advocacy goals and will provide guidance to ensure CEF’s mission, guiding principles, and values are represented in targeted campaigns and that campaigns and initiatives center on those with lived experience, especially CEF Members. An ideal candidate will not only be passionate about equitable and affordable housing but have demonstrated experience in inspiring others to get involved and advocate for safe and affordable living conditions. The Advocacy Manager is a key member of the Senior Leadership Team.

The Member Services Coordinator (MSC) position is a part of the core program staff and co-leads CEF’s Durham office. The MSC stewards all services provided to CEF Members in the Durham office and works collaboratively with the leadership of CEF’s Chapel Hill office to ensure consistent and equitable services across our two geographies. The MSC also maintains CEF Durham’s relationships with a wide variety of local service providers, represents CEF in collaborative spaces within Durham County’s human services systems, and will manage special projects specific to needs of Durham Members. This position works closely with the Durham staff team to support office operations, including providing in-person support in the office several days a week, facilitating and supporting teams of volunteers, supervising staff and interns, and participating in and co-facilitating regular team meetings.

To learn more and apply to these positions visit our website here. Please share with your networks!

CEF has been selected to join the Common Future Accelerator 2023 cohort!

Common Future Accelerator

CEF has been selected for the 2023 cohort!

We are so proud to announce that the Community Empowerment Fund has been selected to join the Common Future Accelerator 2023 cohort. We join 9 other BIPOC and woman-led organizations working to solve the racial wealth gap. To learn more about the cohort, visit the link below.

CEF Homebuyers Program: Financial Coaching, HUD-Certified Homebuyer Education, Homeownership Matched Savings, Register Your Interest Here: https://bit.ly/CEFHomebuyers

CEF Homebuyers Program

Working towards homeownership

The CEF Homebuyers Program has been developed to assist Orange and Durham County residents in overcoming barriers to homeownership and transitioning into safe, permanent housing. By supporting Savers in achieving financial stability and building equity, the program is intended to serve as a tool for lessening the racial-wealth gap in our community.

The Homebuyers Program has three components:

    - Financial Coaching

    - HUD-Certified Homebuyer Education

    - Homeownership Matched Savings

To be eligible for participation, community members must meet the following criteria:

    - Live in Durham or Orange County

    - Fall at or below 80% of the Area Median Income as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    - For the duration of the program, remain listed as a tenant on a rental lease agreement.

Who is encouraged to apply? This program is best suited to community members who see themselves living in the are for five or more years and have been stably employed for over one year. Those receiving Housing Choice Vouchers in Orange County are encouraged to apply, as the Orange County Housing Authority has recently established a Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership option. Apply at the link below!

Durham Housing Debt Assistance- To support Durham residents in settling housing debts related to COVID-19. Past-due utilities, Past-due rent, Mortgage delinquency, Eviction costs

CEF Durham Housing Debt Assistance

Housing Debt Assistance

CEF has received funding to support Durham residents in settling housing debts related to COVID-19. This includes past-due utilities, past-due rent, mortgage delinquency, and eviction costs. There is no limit to the request amount; however, all debts must have been accumulated AFTER February 2020 and the Housing Debt Assistance Fund can only be accessed once.

To be eligible for the Durham Housing Debt Assistance Fund, community members must meet the following criteria:

    - Complete CEF New Member Orientation and be a Member for at least 30 days.

    - Have a budget on file with CEF that was completed or updated in the last 30 days

    - Live in Durham County, North Carolina

    - Have incurred housing-related debt while living in Durham County, North Carolina

    - Fall at 80% or below of the Area Median Income (AMI) according to the 2022 HUD Adjusted Limits

For more information contact the CEF Durham office at 919-797-9233. Interested in becoming a CEF Durham Member? Fill out this intake form.

Resource Alert

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month

This month, Imanie would like to highlight Families and Communities Rising. Families and Communities Rising offers children’s programs and family support in Orange and Durham Counties including resources to help families find and afford childcare, literacy, and therapeutic services for children.

They offer multiple programs including:

    - The Durham and Orange County Head Start and Early Head Start programs – free daycare and pre-K for children birth to Kindergarten age.

    - The ARCH National Respite Network – respite day care for caregivers who need a break.

    - FRIENDS National Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP).

    - KidSCope – Painting classes, wraparound and therapeutic services for children.

    - Orange County Family Resource Centers.

For more information give them a call at 919-490-5577.

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, the Durham office would like to highlight the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). The SCSEP works to get low income seniors into the workforce. Partnering agencies/employers train participants on-the-job, while SCSEP pays for their work at the company. While working, seniors gain job skills and some short-term income, and ideally permanent employment with the placement site.

To be eligible for the program you must be unemployed, 55 years of age or older, income at 125% of the poverty level or below, and have a valid ID and Social Security card.

Participants usually work with several host organizations (4-6 weeks at each) to learn a diverse set of skills. Participants also always have the support of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aging- SCSEP staff if counseling is needed. For North Carolina residents you can sign up here and a representative will be in contact.

March Office Hours

Office Availability Updates

CEF Durham’s Office Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Tuesday-Thursday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm & 5:00-7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

CLOSED Wed 3/15 and Fri 3/17, Reduced Capacity Tuesday & Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, & 5:00-7:00 pm

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CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday 3/16: No Prime Time!

Can I still make a virtual appointment?

Yes! CEF Members with the capacity to meet through online video chat software (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet) or over the phone will be encouraged to continue with this option. You can specify this option when you call the office to make an appointment.

Twitter

We recognize that we work and CEF’s offices are located on the unceded territories of the Eno, Lumbee, Occaneechi, Saponi, Shakori, and Skaruhreh/Tuscarora tribes. We acknowledge and respect the ancestral & present land stewardship and place-based knowledge of the peoples of these territories. Please support them directly.

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January Newsletter: Save the Date 2023 Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens

Thank You!

Thank you for your support!

We raised $138,014.65 during our end-of-year campaign!

All of the funds raised will be used to support CEF’s work to end the racial wealth gap and empower community by supporting Members in reaching their employment, housing, and finance goals. Thank you for helping us build a joyful community!

We literally couldn’t do this work without you.

Share the Love: A Celebration of Black Queens in our Community & Art Show

Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens in our Community

Save the Date February 25, 1-3PM

We are just one month away from the annual Share the Love Art Show and Celebration of Black Queens in our Community! Please save the date and join us at the Carrboro Century Center from 1-3PM on Saturday, February 25. CEF strongly encourages all attendees to be fully vaccinated and boosted or have a negative COVID-19 test the day of the event. Masks are required and will be provided at the event for anyone that needs one. Registration is encouraged.

We will be honoring the leadership of six amazing Black Queens from our community and enjoying the artistic talents of CEF Members & Advocates. The event is free, but capacity is limited.

We’re Hiring

CEF is Hiring!

Two Positions & Summer Internships

Are you passionate about building relationships and making a positive impact in your community? CEF is seeking kind, collaborative individuals with the curiosity to drive their professional growth. We are currently hiring for a full-time position Member Services Coordinator-Durham, as well as Summer Interns in Durham and Chapel Hill.

The Member Services Coordinator (MSC) position is a part of the core program staff and co-leads CEF’s Durham office. The MSC stewards all services provided to CEF Members in the Durham office and works collaboratively with the leadership of CEF’s Chapel Hill office to ensure consistent and equitable services across our two geographies. The MSC also maintains CEF Durham’s relationships with a wide variety of local service providers, represents CEF in collaborative spaces within Durham County’s human services systems, and will manage special projects specific to needs of Durham Members. This position works closely with the Durham staff team to support office operations, including providing in-person support in the office several days a week, facilitating and supporting teams of volunteers, supervising staff and interns, and participating in and co-facilitating regular team meetings.

Additionaly, applications for CEF’s Summer Internship are now open! There are part- and full-time opportunitites in both Chapel Hill and Durham. Applications close in Chapel Hill on February 12 and in Durham on February 19!

To learn more and apply to these positions visit our website here. Please share with your networks!

Donna Receives 2023 King Leader Award!

43rd Annual MLK Jr. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

CEF Executive Director, Donna Carrington, was honored at the 43rd annual MLK Jr. Interfaith Prayer Breakfast in Durham. Donna received the prestigious King Leader Award recognizing her as a leader in our community that exemplifies Dr. King’s passionate commitment to transformation and justice. At CEF, we know firsthand Donna’s commitment to this work and we are so happy to see her hard work and passion uplifted by the wider community. Read more about the celebration here.

Emily Simpson-Keyes,
Member Assistance Funds Manager

Meet Emily

Member Assistance Funds Manager at CEF

We asked Emily a few questions about her role at CEF:

In your own words, how would you describe the work you do at the CEF and why is it important?

“While providing direct financial assistance is not CEF’s primary mission, we do have a pool of resources dedicated to supporting Members as they work towards their goals. This pool is growing to include a homebuyers savings program and eviction debt assistance fund. As the Member Assistance Funds Manager, I will be responsible for developing an equitable and transparent process for distributing these funds as well as working with Members and Advocates to ensure that they know these resources are available.”

What experiences, strengths and skills do you bring to this work at CEF?

“As a social worker, I have been trained to approach my work through a lens of systems thinking, and I feel I naturally bring a level of empathy and vulnerability to this role. However, I am most grateful for my previous experience as an Advocate. The role required me to “take off my professional hat,” decenter myself, and learn from the wisdom and experience of Members. I plan to approach my Staff role in much the same way. I’m excited to continue building on the relationships that I established as an Advocate!”

Join the Advocacy Choir!

Join the Advocacy Choir!

We’re looking for new members! (Including Piano/Keyboard Players)

Ms. Yvette is getting the CEF Advocacy Choir back together! If you’re interested in using your musical talents in support of CEF’s advocacy initiatives, focused on affordable housing, please call (919-200-0233) or email (yvettem@communityef.org) Ms. Yvette. We’re especially in need of a wide range of beautiful voices and someone to play the keys. All are welcome!

Seeking Artists 2023 Share the Love Art Show

Seeking Artists for the 2023 Share the Love Art Show

Nominations close at midnight on January 15, 2023

Do you paint, draw, photograph, write poetry, or pursue some other creative outlet? Come display your work with the CEF community at the 2023 Share the Love Art Show! Just contact Steven (stevenh@communityef.org) and let him know you are interested. The art show will be displayed at the celebration of Black Queens in our Community on February 25, 2023 at the Carrboro Century Center.

First in Families NC & El Futuro

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

This month, Imanie would like to highlight First in Families NC (FIFNC). FIFNC is a grassroots family support initiative founded by families looking for new ways to provide and receive support. They support individuals and families living with disabilities to meet self-determined wellness goals, by leveraging relationships and resources, and encouraging reciprocity in their communities.

FIFNC offers a wide variety of programs to complement formal services, help when other support is not available, and serve as a bridge to the community.

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, the Durham office would like to highlight El Futuro. With offices in Durham and Siler City El Futuro provides mental health services and substance abuse treatment for Latinos. Clients will experience an environment sensitive to Latino culture and find services to address their unique needs.

El Futuro services include:

  • Mental Health Evaluations
  • Individual, Family, and Group Therapy
  • Psychiatric Treatment
  • DWI Assessment and Treatment
  • Parenting classes, social skills classes, and DBT Skill Classes
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation and Treatment
  • Trauma Treatment (all ages)

They accept Medicaid, Health Choice, and other insurances, but also serve those who do not have insurance.

February Office Hours

Office Availability Updates

CEF Durham’s Office Hours:

Tuesday & Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Tuesday-Thursday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm & 5:00-7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

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CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Thursday: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Friday: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Can I still make a virtual appointment?

Yes! CEF Members with the capacity to meet through online video chat software (like Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet) or over the phone will be encouraged to continue with this option. You can specify this option when you call the office to make an appointment.

Twitter

We recognize that we work and CEF’s offices are located on the unceded territories of the Eno, Lumbee, Occaneechi, Saponi, Shakori, and Skaruhreh/Tuscarora tribes. We acknowledge and respect the ancestral & present land stewardship and place-based knowledge of the peoples of these territories. Please support them directly.

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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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

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