Archive | Chapel Hill

Matt Kauffmann

“CEF helped me find my place in the world. I’ve had the good fortune to leave CEF twice, first when I graduated from UNC and now as I leave the professional staff. Both times I’ve left with a truer understanding of the world, a deeper sense of my own passions and abilities, and a clearer vision for making the biggest impact I possibly can. CEF has exposed, challenged, and stretched me in ways that I cannot imagine happening anywhere else, so I give CEF a lot of credit. I’ll add that I would not have gotten into grad school were it not for CEF Opportunity Class!” — Matt Kauffmann

Matt started working with CEF as an Advocate while he was a student at UNC! After graduating he took on an AmeriCorps VISTA position at CEF as Advocate Program Coordinator from 2014-2016. During his time at CEF, he completely transformed the way the Advocate Program in Chapel Hill worked, formalizing and developing structures that deeply empowered students to take ownership of the program and consistently aspire towards excellence. He also laid the groundwork for our data-informed approach and creative fundraising efforts, and we will be forever thankful to him for seeking out and finding our new office space in Chapel Hill!

0

Wisdom Overheard: SOWO 490

Quotes from Advocates and Members at the final SOWO 490 – Tools for Financial Coaching class at UNC.

untitled-jby16-33

“There is this sort of magic and common-ground found when people start to talk about the people they love.”

“I had a stumble in my life, but I’m back now, I’m all the way back. I just thank God that there is a CEF as a whole, and for getting me to open up about my life because I’m normally guarded, even with the positive stuff. Basically, this is thanksgiving after Thanksgiving. I’m in a good place now.”

“I’ve been thinking a lot about how… no decision you make or thing you do is going to guarantee you any outcome.”

“This is my baby, the attributes that she has, all the suggestions… she does a lot of homework for me, but I do work with her. I look forward to our weekly meetings, she knows what I’m going to talk about next week. I like her analytical mind and frame of thought, she looks at me as an individual and I look forward to seeing her prosper!”

“I was reminded that everyone has a story and everyone has been through different experiences and learned through them.”

“No two people are alike — we all have challenges we have obstacles we have strengths — and I think all of us would agree that we would not know where we would be without CEF — true, we all fall down, but we have someone who can assist us. We are all grateful and thankful.”

“Young people have in their mind, that things can happen; but you need to have a plan B, C, D, E… go all the way to Z, because anything can happen.”

“No matter what level of what it may be, it’s how you come back from it that matters”

“We take everything for granted that it’s going to be the same way the next day, but you could have a stroke while you’re sleeping and everything will change for you. But learn to be yourself and to love yourself. I used to work hard and have 3 jobs working all the time, but then a little simple thing like riding a bus took my job away. And then I got sick and I had to juggle it, do you want the medicine, or your food, or the lights? But I’m a proud individual today because I love myself, even though I’m not able to talk 100% the way I want to, I’m able to stand in the middle in the storm because I made it!”

0

Featured OC Hub Program: Document Services

darcia Darcia is not a typical Advocate. Once a week she volunteers her time through CEF’s Orange Community Hub to help Members establish or reestablish identification and documentation. This work of obtaining photos IDs, birth certificates, and social security cards can become very complex, and requires the time of someone like Darcia who can offer her dedication and deep understanding of all different factors at play!

What is the role of documentation?

Documentation is the bedrock or the foundation of life’s needs in our society. It is fundamental to securing housing and employment. It is not a barrier to—as much as it is essential.

How has this work affected your views on poverty?

I always thought of myself as someone who thinks about others, but this work makes me feel the weight and enormity of it all, how overwhelming it must be. We as individuals often live in our own space with our own worries, and then you have people with such different—more vital concerns

What have you learned about the systems that provide and sometimes complicate the process of securing identification?

I have found that people really do want to be helpful for the most part, but there are a lot of rules. Sometimes it can be very challenging when people are not moving forward with the process or it is simply taking forever. One birth certificate was weeks overdue. I called many times and they consistently told me they were processing it, but a week later there would be no progress. The Member stopped coming as a result, so I’m not sure what happened with that case.

How did you get involved?

I was previously involved with Love Chapel Hill, an action-orientated, church-based organization whose mission is to help the homeless within our community. And then I think I met Jon or Maggie(CEF’s Co-founders) at Starbucks and they told me about CEF.

Ultimately, I saw the need. I had friends who were already coming to me asking if I could help them procure documentation for others.  I approached Maggie or Jon and said “what if I came in for a few hours a week and helped members with this sort of thing,” and that is exactly what ended up happening!

What is the hardest case you have worked on?

Often times I am asked to establish ID for individuals who need to keep their whereabouts confidential. My concern has been that an individual trying to get an ID would end up on the public record, and risk them being found. Usually, I tell the individuals that this is a risk that cannot be taken in their situation and that the best course of action is to talk to the attorney general or someone in the state department.

What has been your most inspirational case?

I once had a member that was so persistent in asking me, ‘when am I gonna get it, when am I gonna get it’  because he urgently needed it for a job application. He was so persistent that when I saw him on Columbia Street, he came up to me to tell me he still had not received his ID. At that very moment, I put my stuff down and called up vital records right then and there. He got his ID not long after.

 

0

OC HUB: Premium Offices Available!

CEF is offering community nonprofits, premium downtown offices!

Join The
oc-hub

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-8-54-17-pm

Starting at $350/month — 5 Offices Available!
Discounted rates when leasing multiple offices!

  • Includes:
    • Utilities, high-speed Wi-Fi and janitorial services
    • Furnished offices available at no extra cost
    • Shared conference room
  • Non-Profit Partners!
    • Opportunities for program collaboration
    • Shared resources and collective impact
  • Where: Ground floor of 208 N. Columbia Street, Chapel Hill
  • Contact: maggiew@communityef.org | 919-200-0233
  • More about the OC Hub atwww.communityef.org/oc-hub

 

 

 

0
CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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

cef