Author Archive | Steven Horton

April Newsletter: Help CEF Celebrate Spring

Spring Appeal 2021!

Running Through June 30

Spring is here and it is time to kick off our 2021 Spring Appeal! We are so appreciative of the love we received during the uncertainty of last year. The generosity and affirmation from our community gave us the strength we needed to support folks on the path to financial independence.

This year, as we move towards a new normal, the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact CEF Members. As the housing and labor markets continue to lag behind the needs of our community, we remain hopeful that everyone will find a stable home and meaningful employment.

Donations support CEF’s ongoing work to end the racial wealth gap. Any amount will help ensure CEF remains strong and vibrant as we continue to evolve. Epworth United Methodist Church in Durham and an anonymous donor will be matching donations from new and returning donors for up to $5,000.

CEF Durham Spring Celebration!

CEF Members and Advocates are invited to attend!

Sat, May 1st from 1:00-3:00 PM at Lyon Park Picnic Shelter -1200 W Lakewood Ave

A celebration of Advocates moving on to their next adventure, Members who have reached milestones in their journeys, and all of us who have made it through this roller coaster of a year!

Families welcome. Covered dish optional. Masks required. Music, hot dogs, and beloved community provided! RSVP by calling or texting CEF Durham at 919-797-9233.

We hope to see you there!

Pedestrian Safety Initiative in Chapel Hill – Get Involved!

Town of Chapel Hill relaunches Road to Zero Task Force

Did you know the Town of Chapel Hill has a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan? With this plan, the Town aims to make active transportation (walking, biking, using a wheelchair, rollerblading, etc.) safe, accessible, and enjoyable for everyone in Chapel Hill. This is part of our “Road To Zero”- zero pedestrian traffic fatalities.

 In order to deliver on this goal, the Town has launched a Road to Zero Task Force. This group will focus on equity, public engagement, and safe routes to school, providing advice and recommendations to Town staff. We want this task force to be collaborative and inclusive of all Chapel Hill residents and visitors.

We need strong, inclusive community engagement to ensure the success of this initiative. Volunteer opportunities include serving on the task force, helping with community outreach, providing input on your walking experience, and more.

Are you interested in these topics? Do you want to help ensure Chapel Hill is a safe, walk-able community? Contact Jordan Powell, Complete Streets Specialist, at jpowell2@townofchapelhill.org with your interest!

A Note from the Board

One-year anniversary of Donna Carrington as Executive Director!

In March, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of Donna Carrington’s leadership as Executive Director! We are so grateful for the gifts and love that Donna brings to her work, which inspires everyone daily. During a year of immense change and challenge, in the midst of the pandemic and a new organizational structure, Donna led CEF with care and perseverance. We appreciate Donna’s willingness to ask critical questions, acknowledge systems that are not working for CEF Members, and work toward a shared, more equitable vision of the future for our community. Donna is recognized as a wonderful collaborator with our external partners and is trusted and respected. These are just a few of the reasons why Donna is the perfect person to be leading CEF. Thank you, Donna, for your leadership!

-Brian Smith and Karen Eldridge, CEF Board Co-Chairs

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

This month, Diiv would like to highlight transportation to and from Orange County courts. The Orange County Bail Bond Justice Project is generously providing funds for folks with court hearings. The Uber funding and Orange-Chapel Hill Connector bus vouchers are being maintained by the Criminal Justice Resource Department.

Requests for transportation assistance can be made by emailing or calling Ted, Cait, or Allison at the CJRD or coming to the CJRD Courthouse office.

Ted Dorsi: tdorsi@orangecountync.gov, 919-245-2970

Cait Fenhagen: cfenhagen@orangecountync.gov, 919-245-2303

Allison Zirkel: azirkel@orangecountync.gov, 919-245-2304

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie would like to highlight End Hunger Durham’s directory of local food pantries. End Hunger Durham envisions a unified and just food system where healthy food is available to everyone. Their directory contains locations, hours of operation, contact info, prerequisites, and more!

You can find the directory here.

Office Availability Updates

When are the offices open?

Durham has no changes to hours this month. The Chapel Hill office has several changes to be aware of listed by date below and will be closed the last week in May. Any new updates regarding hours will be shared via email and social media.

CEF Durham’s Office Hours:

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

Thursday: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Friday: 1:00pm – 3:00pm

CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours:

May 3-7:

Monday-Thursday: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Thurs: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

May 10-21:

Tues-Thurs: 10:00am-3:00pm

May 24 through June 2: CLOSED

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.

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March Newsletter: Meeting of the Minds, Social Media Survey

Meeting of the Minds

Finding Your Voice

Meeting of the Minds, established in 2016, is one of CEF’s Member-led advocacy groups. The group focuses on the lived experiences of those at 30% AMI and below. Members of the group engage with local government to address the need for housing. Meetings happen on the second Monday of every month at IFC. Changes to the schedule are sent out over the email list. This year, the group is working to amplify the voices of members who feel unheard. Everyone in the Chapel Hill community is invited to attend, especially politicians and leaders who want change for people who feel they don’t have a voice. If you would like to sign up for the Meeting of the Minds email list please contact Yvette directly at 919-200-0233 or email Val at Valerie@communityempowermentfund.org

Social Media Engagement Survey

In less than 5 minutes you can be a huge help!

Throughout spring, the Community Empowerment Fund is working with Consult Your Community, a student-led consulting group at UNC which aims to support local non-profits and socially minded organizations which serve marginalized and minority populations. This survey, intended to gain information about your social media tendencies, will help inform the types of content that CEF shares.

CEF Member surveys are due April 4 and Donor surveys are due April 8. Click the buttons below to start your survey.

Resources of the Month

Orange County Resource of the Month:

For April, Diiv would like to highlight the Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development’s updates on Emergency Housing Assistance (EHA). Now anyone (under 60% AMI) needing help with rent (arrears or upcoming) or utilities can get it! Folks who have gotten EHA help in the past can still get it now! There is no longer a $6500 limit. Folks who are behind on mortgage payments can once again seek assistance.

Click here to learn more about EHA and what the program offers!

Durham County Resource of the Month:

This month, Debbie would like to highlight City of Durham’s Water Hardship Fund. The Fund, part of a program administered by the Durham County Department of Social Services, helps residents pay their past-due water bills. It cannot be used for penalties and fees. Through a simple online process, you can apply for up to $240 in assistance per year if you are having a documented hardship, have past-due bills, and are in danger of having your water cut off. If you think you might qualify, please complete the Water Hardship Fund application form. If contacted, you may be asked to provide identification, proof of income, a copy of your water bill, and other information.

Click here to access the Water Hardship Fund application.

Office Hours

When are the offices open?

There are no changes to CEF’s office hours in April and no upcoming scheduled office closures. Any new updates regarding hours will be shared on CEF’s website and social media.

CEF Durham’s Office Hours: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Monday – Thursday; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Thursday; 1:00 pm – 3:00pm Friday

CEF Chapel Hill’s Office Hours: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday – Thursday; 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm Thursday

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.

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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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

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