Become An Advocate

CEF Advocates work side by side with community members who are experiencing or at-risk of homelessness and working towards goals of greater income, affordable housing, savings, and financial independence.  

Interested in becoming a CEF Advocate?

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About the CEF Advocate Program:

Who are Advocates?

Advocates can be anyone (community members, undergraduate or graduate students, working folks, retirees, CEF Members, or anyone else) looking to get connected and support their fellow community members! Advocate volunteers are trained to walk alongside community members in achieving their housing, employment, and financial goals. They are not experts but are curious, empathetic, and highly dedicated team players who are enthusiastic about joining the CEF community. Folks with lived experience with financial and housing insecurity are strongly encouraged to apply.

What's the commitment of a CEF Advocate?

Advocates commit approximately two to three volunteer hours per week during the academic year. This includes a weekly two-hour Advocate shift in the office, time to prepare for CEF Member meetings, and attendance at ongoing learning opportunities to gain new skills and build a trauma-informed, antiracist praxis among Advocates. This commitment varies slightly between the Durham and Chapel Hill offices.

How do I become a CEF Advocate?

CEF accepts applications for new Advocates 2 to 3 times per year in our Chapel Hill and Durham offices. After applying, prospective Advocates are invited to attend a brief interview. This process allows us to ensure that all Advocates share CEF’s values and are committed to building multi-year relationships with CEF Members. When selected, new Advocates commit to attending 10+ hours of training prior to the start of their Advocate hours. Updated information about Advocate applications for Chapel Hill and Durham can be found at

How does this look differently due to COVID-19?

CEF has altered our office practices to allow Members and Advocates to meet together safely in person. All Advocates are required to be vaccinated and everyone in the office is required to wear a mask. There are not any remote volunteer opportunities at this time.

Click here for the Chapel Hill Advocate Application!

We seek passionate and highly committed applicants for our 2-year Advocate program.

CEF-Chapel Hill Advocates are trained 2 times per year: during September/October and January/February. Community members and students are welcome to apply to become Advocates! Please contact our Chapel Hill Advocate Program Coordinator, Kristina Smith ( if you have questions.

Click here for updates about the Durham Advocate application!

We seek passionate and highly committed applicants for our Advocate program.

CEF-Durham Advocates are trained seasonally in early fall, spring, and summer. We are currently accepting applications for CEF’s paid Summer Internship program and volunteer Advocate program. For volunteers, a multi-year commitment is preferred. Folks with lived experience with housing and financial insecurity are encouraged to apply.  Please contact our if you have questions.

To receive announcements about future Advocate applications, please fill out the New Advocate Interest form and we’ll make sure to keep you in the loop!

CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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