Archive | Durham

Ms. Laverne

Romeo, Romeo! Ms. Laverne adores her Romeo

She showers him daily with belly rubs and bacon bits. “If you rub his belly, he’ll go to sleep,” Ms. Laverne intimates. And Romeo has stuck with Ms. Laverne through thick and thin, including the years when they were sleeping in her car, and in and out of hotels or friends’ homes. “Romeo would let me sleep, and when I woke up, he’d sleep. We would both watch out for each other.”

The day they first saw their new home, Romeo raced up and down the long hallway with barks of approval.

Ever since she moved into the new apartment this past June, Ms. Laverne has been relishing the daily things: “Opening the door is a blessing. Closing the door is a blessing. Laying in my bed is a blessing. Cooking. Decorating a house. It’s just a blessing not wondering where your next step is going to be.”

Even through homelessness, Ms. Laverne never stopped fighting for what is right for herself and others. She worked with CEF and her support networks to find her stable home! Photo collages of beloved family members adorn the walls of the living room and hallway, side-by-side with school photos of her children and grandchildren, their ribbons and certificates of achievement, baptismal certificates, Bible verses, and a poem written to her by her son. Her home is filled with the people she honors and loves, making space for memory and hope for loved ones who have passed on or are locked away.

Ms. Laverne’s favorite room is the bathroom. It’s large and luxurious-feeling, with a floral shower curtain and plush towels folded in neat stacks. “I came a long way from going around and taking bird baths.”

How Ms. Laverne Found Her Home

Ms. Laverne connected with CEF when she came to a public meeting of the Homeless Services Advisory Council in Durham to advocate for her needs as an individual experiencing homelessness — bearing witness to her own experience and the experiences of so many others, while making a prophetic call to action.

After 9 years of faithfully paying rent on time, Ms. Laverne had been evicted after a dispute with her landlord. For two whole years, Ms. Laverne and Romeo navigated homelessness together — finding food and safe places to sleep, taking “bird baths” in public restrooms, and struggling to find a healthy, non-abusive place to recover from back surgery in the midst of this experience.

“I’ve never been homeless before. This is my first time,” she shares. “I didn’t give up on myself. More people did me wrong, I kept pushing myself. More people lie on me, I kept defending myself. I’m not a bad person, I’m a good person. I live for God, and I like helping people.”

At that public meeting, CEF and Ms. Laverne connected and have stuck together ever since.  She connected with staff at the Durham Housing Authority at that same meeting, and worked through the process to secure a permanently affordable apartment with DHA. With CEF, she connected to legal services and addressed credit issues that were preventing her from securing housing. She also got a job at Harris Teeter, where her co-workers have been a wonderful community of support. She gives a special shout-out to all of these groups, and Angela Holmes (Chair of the Homeless Services Advisory Council) for helping with her transition into housing.

About CEF, Ms. Laverne shares, “[CEF] made sure I was okay, and we started working on everything.”

“[CEF] don’t do the talk, they do the walk. And since I’ve been coming here, all I see is friendly faces glad to help you. [They] ask you, ‘What do you want?’ and take everything you say to the heart. And they love my dog.”  (Indeed, Romeo charms the entire office when he comes in with Ms. Laverne.)

What’s Next for Ms. Laverne?

Ms. Laverne has new goals to share with CEF. “I’m going to take computer classes, to get a laptop, so that when I go to school I can have it… I want to get my GED.”  

She hopes to eventually use it in support and advocacy of other people who are experiencing homelessness. Even while she slept in her car and struggled with issues of discrimination, Laverne never stopped fighting for what is right and helping others. “When I was homeless, I helped homeless people. I paid for a hotel room for a family. So, though I was down and out, I still helped, and I didn’t ask for nothing back in return. I just told them, ‘Do it for the next person.’”

Ms. Laverne dreams of managing her own shelter one day. “I wish I had money to build a place. This would be my shelter: a lot of flowers. A lot of love. Respect. Trust. And a church inside my shelter.” In a way, she has already built this sanctuary space inside her home.

P.S.     We’ll be sharing more stories of “Sticking with it” through the holidays. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!  #CEFstickstogether

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Meet Joy: CEF Staff Interview

Joy Shaver: CEF's Financial Coaching Specialist & Americorps Literacycorp Member

Why do you feel connecting with people is so important?

I agree with Dorothy Day who said, “We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes in community.” I keep learning over and over that I need connection with others. True relationships where we risk being ourselves and seeing another person or the beautiful mess they are is the only way any of us can thrive in a world that increasingly seeks to divide us.

What inspires you?

The amazing resiliency and willingness to risk that I see every day at CEF inspires me every day. Whether it is a Members risking trusting an Advocate to help them navigate complicated situations, or an Advocate risking looking silly by doing something that they have never done before to accomplish a Member’s goal. I am always amazed by the vulnerability that is embraced at every level of this organization. And if something doesn’t work the first time no one gives up they just get creative and try something new.

Tell us about your background

I was born and raised in Detroit. I spent my undergrad years in Indiana and then moved to Seattle for four years. I moved to Durham in 2013 to start my Masters of Divinity at Duke, which I finished in 2016.  I have a diverse background in terms of employment. I have done project management for a small technology company, churches, and relationship driven nonprofits.

What do you think will be your greatest challenge?

Honestly, learning the intricacies of our financial system has been a whole lot more challenging than I expected. I didn’t think I was an expert when I started but I thought I understood our financial system a lot better than I actually did. Every time I learn something new it I’m amazed at how well members are navigating a really opaque system.

What projects are you excited about right now?

I’m really excited to help make our internal system better so that our Advocates and Members have more resources at their disposal! It’s a bit of a learning curve for me but I’m really excited to work with our Resources and Financial Coaching team to make our resources more useful!!

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Meet JV: CEF Staff Interview

JV Alencar: CEF Workforce & Finances Specialist

The oppressive structures that exist here in Durham and in this country are always transforming and creating bigger barriers. I believe that long-lasting change happens through radical human connections like those at the core of CEF, and networks of support can be sources of fuel for us as we navigate through everyday challenges. We need energy, love, and encouragement, and we can gain those from positive interactions with our community.


How did you get involved with CEF?

I initially got involved with CEF my freshman semester at Duke in 2013 at the recommendation of upperclassmen who were involved with student leadership. At the time, I was looking for a way to engage with the local Durham community in which I would be living for the next four years. Over the years, I have grown to cherish this group of passionate folks who are so committed to building financial independence. When I found out about this opportunity to continue with CEF after graduation through AmeriCorps Vista, I knew I had to apply!

Why is connecting with people important?

The oppressive structures that exist here in Durham and in this country are always transforming and creating bigger barriers. I believe that long-lasting change happens through radical human connections like those at the core of CEF, and networks of support can be sources of fuel for us as we navigate through everyday challenges. We need energy, love, and encouragement, and we can gain those from positive interactions with our community.

Tell us about your background

I was born in Recife, Brazil, but I have spent the majority of my life in Columbia, South Carolina.  I graduated from Duke University in May 2017 with a degree in Economics and Global Health with a focus on sustainable community development both domestically and internationally. In college, I worked in projects focusing on topics like access to education and affirmative actions in poor neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, innovative methods to increase human resource capacity in the hospitals of rural Ghana, and the historic preservation of communities of color living in the coast of the Carolinas. I was an advocate with CEF concurrently with my studies, and my time here has definitely influenced my pursuits.

What inspires you?

I like looking to art and music when I need to be reenergized. Whenever I see a piece that I really connect with, it gives me the push to pursue my own creativity. I also love hearing people talk about their passions which is why I am subscribed to over a hundred podcasts on my phone! I think history is so important in work like CEF’s. It is important to acknowledge that we don’t work in isolation but in dialogue with people who have come before us. Revisiting and retelling those histories keeps the energy alive.

What do you think will be your greatest challenge?

Currently, a big personal challenge is switching from a student Advocate perspective to one of a Staff member and an AmeriCorps Fellow. A lot of my time with CEF has been spent focusing on Member meetings and Office Hours, as a regular advocate and as a student leader in MAC team. My position now is focused on developing the resources behind those meetings. It is definitely a different way of thinking about things, but I am excited about the challenge.

What projects are you excited about right now?

I am looking forward to further developing data methods and systems for evaluation. CEF has a lot of space to grow in the ways that it uses data to analyze and inform program decisions.  CEF prioritizes and values the very human and vulnerable side of our work. Bringing numbers and statistics to these conversations has historically been dehumanizing, so we want to be extremely careful in how we integrate data alongside the experiences and feedback of CEF Members. I am curious to explore and imagine an approach that respects and contributes to our collective values and stories.  

Fun Fact: in 2016 JV was still a DUKE student and he very bravely stepped on to UNC’s campus for the “Pie-A-Dookie” Fundraiser!

 

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Piggy Bank Bash 2017

If you walked by Chapel Hill St. in Durham last Monday night you might have heard the CEF Advocacy Choir singing out before a crowd of over 100 attendees! You might have seen CEF Member Steven handing CEF Co-director, Maggie an oversized check, a donation to CEF for $500! You could have stepped into and heard Advocates and Members sharing their stories and how they’ve become apart of a transformative community at CEF. The 2nd Annual Piggy Bank Bash hosted by GRUB Durham,  and was a night to be remembered and held in our minds-eye as we seek out love and joy in community.

Thank you so much to everyone that came out to eat and sing and celebrate CEF Members and the amazing community we are a part of! We are so thankful for the amazing support from Grub Durham to all the Members and Advocates and Board Members that came out to volunteer their time, to Erick for his amazing work on the mural, and to Local YogurtThe Cookery, and Pauli Murray Project for donating raffle prizes!

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Congratulations Donna

Congratulations to Donna Carrington, CEF’s Housing Stabilization Specialist for winning the Humanitarian Service Award from Duke Chapel!

“As a change agent and a dedicated champion, Donna has worked tirelessly with Members to navigate crises, access resources, budget, repair credit, save money and build stability. She brings her full self with authenticity and courage, often drawing from the depths of her own experiences to offer support to others as they walk their own paths!”

Read more about the award and the amazing work that Donna does here:  https://today.duke.edu/2017/10/duke-chapel-service-award-goes-2-durham-community-leaders

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Paige is a Homebuyer

CEF matched savings accounts support Members in reaching goals all along the continuum from homelessness to homeownership! We launched a new program in 2016 to support first-time homebuyers with Reinvestment Partners and the Duke Homebuyers Club.

Paige was one of the first 5 CEF Members to successfully purchase their own home! Paige worked incredibly hard and with amazing focus to reach her goal in just ten months. In addition to her full-time job at Duke, she worked extra jobs in order to stay on track with her financial goals. She participated in CEF’s Financial Coaching program and was able to pay off debts and improve her credit score, qualifying her for an affordable mortgage. Meanwhile, she successfully saved for her down payment and closing costs, receiving a dollar-for-dollar match from CEF!

Paige is proud to be a homeowner. Some of the best parts? Her mortgage payment is actually cheaper than her rent payments were, and she is building an asset for the long term!

This story about Paige was featured in CEF’s 2016 Annual Report!

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New Staff Welcome: Jess

Jess Mcdonald joined CEF’s Durham team as Advocate Program Coordinator in June of 2017, and we are so thankful for them!

What made you interested in CEF?

I heard about the Advocate Program Coordinator position opening at CEF, and it seemed like the organization’s values, analysis, and visions of change aligned with my own. I’m really interested in doing social justice work that addresses both the day-to-day experiences of individuals and the larger systems that perpetuate inequalities. I’m passionate about doing this work in the South and in my home state of North Carolina in particular. Durham is where I want to plant my roots, and it’s where I’ve found a really strong community of people who are engaged in social justice work. The city has a really rich history, and so many of the struggles today around affordable housing and other issues are deeply connected to this history. I also have a background in social justice education with college students, and I’m really interested in bridging the town and gown divide between Durham and Duke in intentional ways. CEF really brings together several of my passions, and I’m so excited to be joining the team.

Why do you feel connecting with people is so important?

I feel like life, at its essence, is about connecting with people. Especially within social justice work, it’s all about the relationships we form within communities. So often the systems of power, privilege, and oppression are set up to prevent us connecting on a deep level and building that solidarity across difference. Transforming the world starts with transforming ourselves and our relationships with each other. Changing communities starts with one-on-one connections

My relationships with other people are what keeps me grounded and what reminds me why I do this work. We aren’t doing this work in a bubble, and it has real impacts on real people. In that way, connecting with people is also about accountability. Getting feedback about where we’re falling short, where we can grow, and what we need to be thinking more intentionally about is critical to doing meaningful work. Building that trust and communication is all based on relationships.

Tell us about your background

I’m from the coast of North Carolina, Morehead City. It’s a pretty small town. I went to Elon University, which is about 40 minutes from Durham, and I got involved in social justice work as a student there. When I was in college, I would come to Durham occasionally, and I also had friends from Durham. I studied history and sociology, and I did an undergraduate thesis about the history of LGBTQ life at Duke and UNC, so I spent a summer living in Durham and working in the archives in the Center of Gender and Sexual Diversity at Duke. After school, I worked at an LGBTQ non-profit that served college students across the country. After a year or so of working there, I went to grad school at UMass Amherst and got a degree in Social Justice Education, with a focus on intergroup dialogue. I came back to Durham for a little over a year, taught at NC Governor’s School for a couple of summers, and then spent the past year in a fellowship in Asheville. I worked at Our VOICE, a rape crisis center, assessing their services and making suggestions for how they could better serve the LGBTQ community. That was a year-long position that just ended, and I really wanted to come back to Durham, so I’m glad I found CEF.

What inspires you?

It may sound corny, and I feel like I keep talking about social justice, but seeing people coming together for a common cause in hard times like the ones we’re in is very inspiring to me. Whether that’s in response to things like HB2, police violence, gentrification, etc., seeing people come together and fight back against these systems is really inspiring. If you think about it, we are really resilient and powerful people, and getting together with folks to remind ourselves of that is really important for sustaining this work. I also look to history for inspiration, especially social movement ancestors like Leslie Feinberg or Audre Lorde or Marsha P. Johnson. To see yourself as part of that arc of history and understand that the generations that come after us will continue this work is really humbling.

What do you think will be your greatest challenge?

There’s just so much work to do in Durham in general, and at CEF, too. The city is changing so quickly, and we need to be one step ahead in making that growth sustainable for everyone, especially when it comes to affordable housing. Managing all of the Advocates and working to be as efficient as we can with our time, while also centering the importance of building meaningful relationships throughout the organization, is going to be a challenge, but I’m excited to take it on.

What projects are you excited about right now?

I’m really excited to co-teach the house course at Duke this fall. It’s been a year or so since I’ve been in a classroom, and I miss it. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to pedagogy and facilitation. I love creating spaces for people to explore new topics and have critical conversations that they may not get to have in other parts of their lives. I guess it goes back to the idea of consciousness raising and transforming ourselves in order to transform the world. It’s a lofty goal, but we’ve got to start somewhere. The house course seems like a really amazing opportunity to combine social justice education, community-based work, and structured time for continued reflection to inform that work.

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Merica’s CEF Story

Merica St. John is an artist in both word and deed. In her home, at every turn, there is a handcrafted statement piece with its own backstory—ways her identity and history find vibrant expression. In a conversation, at every turn, Merica weaves stories, bringing her own experiences, feelings, and communities to rich life. 

Merica first met with CEF Advocates in 2014 as she was just getting settled in Durham in a new home. Recently, she purchased that home, and invited her Advocate Valeria, and CEF Co-Director Janet to her housewarming party. Thank you, Merica for sharing your story with us and the CEF community! 

Merica and her Advocate, Valeria, at a housewarming party to celebrate Merica’s home purchase! 

June 27, 2017

Making New Roots

It was a hot day in July when I stopped in at the VA Hospital in Durham to see about help for homeless veterans.  I wasn’t exactly homeless, but I was staying in a hotel while I looked for a place to live in my newly adopted hometown and state. I’d moved to North Carolina from Minnesota that summer of 2014 without knowing anyone.  I arrived with two suitcases and a lot of hope and faith.  It wasn’t the first time I’d moved somewhere new without all the puzzle pieces in place.

My husband and I left Minnesota for Alaska in much the same way eleven years before that.  I had no idea then that I would be a widow a year afterward.  Six years later, I went to Ghana, West Africa in a similar way, knowing only one person on the entire continent of Africa.To many, such moves seem risky and foolish, but I’ve walked with God for thirty-eight years, so it doesn’t seem strange to me when He directs me in this way.  Never yet has He failed to provide for me.

And so, on that July day three years ago, I met with a social worker who told me about CEF.  “I know you’re not really homeless and soon you’ll have housing of your own, but you’ll still need to know about community services and ways to make Durham feel like home to you,” she said as she handed me CEF’s number.

I called, and the rest, as they say, is history.  On a Saturday soon after that, I met with Valeria, a lovely young woman attending Duke.  Although far apart in age, we soon found common ground as she was new to the area as well and far from her former home in the West.  She understood my needs, which were primarily for furniture and other basics to set up housekeeping.  By the time we met, I’d found a house to rent.

A Home Meant for Merica

She and others found it a little hard to understand why I needed a 1200 sq. ft. house just for myself, but I knew the place was perfect.  Although I had no one else living with me, I always thought in terms of hospitality.  I needed a room for writing and one for crafting, as well as my bedroom.  I needed a guest bathroom as well as my own.  I considered how many people I could have for dinner, or to come for afternoon tea.  I thought about parties, and even overnight guests I knew the house was just right for me.

What no one knew except me and those who had known me long before was that living in a house was a miracle.  I had suffered for years with clinical depression and severe anxiety, both conditions crippling me in many ways.  I also had PTSD following sexual traumas beginning very early in life.  For nearly a decade in my midpoint of life, I couldn’t live on my own at all.  I spent close to a year in a wheelchair, and almost four years in a nursing home due to debilitating mental and physical issues.  Little by little, with a lot of therapy, I got better and more able to manage life.  When I was at last able to live on my own, I chose apartments so I would never feel alone and vulnerable.

By the time I moved to North Carolina, I had been living on my own for fourteen years.  I was feeling healthier in body and mind than I ever had.  I was ready to try a townhouse in Durham.  I used Rent.com to find a place.  It’s free and a great service that helped me weed out places by looking at them on the Internet.  Even after putting in such criteria as needing central air and a convenient location, there were many that just weren’t right for me.

Coming from the Midwest, one thing I wanted was a porch.  I went to see a townhouse with a porch and a white picket fence.  It looked so charming on the website, but when I saw the interior layout I knew it wasn’t right for me. I went to see another townhome that seemed nice.  It had a fenced-in yard with lots of trees behind it, and I liked that.  Still, I knew it wasn’t “the one.”

A few days later, as I sat at the hotel’s computer, I saw a house I wanted to go see it right away.  The owners wanted to sell it, but they ran out of time before their move, so they put it up for rent.  I knew this was the house for me.  There was a porch across the entire front of it, and there was a fenced-in back yard with trees behind it.  But the way I knew it was my new home was that it had a writing room with built-in desk space.  The layout and location were ideal for me.

Homemaking and Community

Soon, I met my neighbors and found them to be kind and helpful as I settled in.  I rented furniture from a very dear man named Terry at Victory Rentals.  Through CEF, I learned about the Furniture Project, and soon had two nice kitchen chairs, a love seat, a queen size bed, a nightstand, a table, dishes, etc.  Within a short time, I was able to end the rental of furniture, keeping only the washer and dryer.  Eventually, I paid them off and still use them three years later.

Valeria and I focused on other things such as a budget and connecting with other services in the community.  It wasn’t long before I felt like I belonged in Durham and was networking.

It is June three years later, and anyone seeing my home would find it hard to believe I arrived with nothing.  My home is filled with pretty things that make it look like I’ve acquired treasured items over the years.  In reality, most of them came from local thrift stores, but they have happy memories for me as I chose them with care.

I’ve been asked when I became so “crafty,” doing fiber arts and décor items.  I usually just smile and say I’ve been doing it for years.  There is a story to it, though.  I was graduating from high school, and each of us in the Class of 68 carried a long-stemmed yellow rose in the procession.  I was to read the class poem I’d written.  Being a bit nervous, I finished at the podium and returned to my seat afterward and sat on my rose I’d left on my chair.  I sometimes tell people my crafting interests began in high school with pressed flowers!

May 2017 was quite a month.  I bought the house I’ve lived in since moving here, I had a house party and got to see Valeria again along with Janet and many other friends old and new that I’ve made since I came here.

Exactly two months after starting the process to buy the house, I began a relationship with a male companion. His name is Harry, and he is a 16-pound Maine Coon cat.  He is over two feet long and still growing.  He not only moved into my home but into my heart as well.  I adopted him from a local animal shelter.  I know what it’s like to need a forever home.

And so, my story goes on.  As each piece fits into place, I feel more settled, and I make more friends.  I treasure all those I’ve made.  Valeria has moved away now, but we keep in touch.  She will always be part of my life, as will others at CEF and elsewhere who helped me get a foothold in Durham.

I am also finding new writing opportunities and hope to see more of my books in print this year besides the two currently in publication.

The only moving I plan to do now is to move my dear Harry off my keyboard so I can keep writing.

Harry, Merica’s new companion. 

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Unlocking Doors for Affordable Housing

 “I’m sorry, we don’t accept vouchers”—this is what CEF Members and Advocates often hear when they call landlords searching for an affordable place to live.

 

Over the past two years, in Durham’s rapidly-changing housing market, CEF has been working strategically to find ways to bring together the voices of voucher-holders and landlords to listen, understand, and work towards systemic change. In 2016, in partnership with Durham Mayor Bill Bell, we began organizing a series of Landlord Roundtables. This created the Unlocking Doors Initiative, a coordinated system of support for both landlords and tenants that includes crisis intervention, assistance with inspections, a dedicated phone line, as well as a risk mitigation fund.

We are proud to share just a few of the things that came out of the 2017 Mayor’s Landlord Roundtable, which was attended by over 165 people (over 50 landlords and 90 community organizations):

  • Restored Access to New Vouchers: As a result of the event, Durham Housing Authority un-froze a referral pipeline prioritizing people who are ending their homelessness. We set a community goal of leasing up 30 households using Housing Choice Vouchers.
  • Prioritized Housing Issues for Mayoral Candidates: All four Mayoral Candidates attended the event and worked with us to articulate and publish platforms specific homelessness and affordable housing.
  • Public and Community Awareness: News coverage in Indy Week, WUNC, and The Durham Herald Sun has increased chatter and public understanding of housing vouchers and affordable housing issues. The video at the top of this page was produced by CEF and has been watched by over 1000 people!
  • Aligning the Durham Housing Authority with Community Needs: More than ever, the Durham Housing Authority has been engaged in community conversations, and landlords have been engaged in mission-driven affordable housing conversations.
  • Drawing Attention to a New Tenant Protection Initiative: The event was a platform for Legal Aid of NC to make a high-impact announcement of their new eviction diversion initiative.
  • Encouragement to Keep Going: The most resonant piece of feedback we heard from the 2017 Roundtable was the affirmation of continued open, honest conversation.

We are committed to continuing to bring a collaborative, relational approach to local advocacy conversations, that create real system changes to preserve and expand housing access for CEF Members.

Media Coverage

  • INDY Week, July 12, 2017 — SECTION 8 VOUCHER HOLDERS ARE HAVING A HARD TIME FINDING HOUSING IN DURHAM
    • “Since last year’s roundtable, landlords have given feedback on the issues they’ve had with the housing voucher program or reasons why they don’t participate. They said it took too long for tenants to move in after vouchers were accepted, that the waiting period for inspections was too long, and that communication was poor with the DHA.
      In response, the DHA has reduced the time it takes to conduct an inspection of a Section 8 property to one week, down from three. Additionally, the Unlocking Doors Initiative has set up a phone line for questions about the program. The program is also starting a Risk Mitigation Fund to help landlords fix damage caused by tenants that will cover up to $2,000 in damage beyond a tenant’s security deposit.”
  • WUNC 91.5,  July 17, 2017 — THE SEARCH FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN DURHAM
    • “So we had about 200-300 available vouchers we actually could lease out, and we had 6,500 people apply,” said Scott. The Durham waitlist for those 200-to-300 available vouchers was whittled down to 1,500 applicants. But landlords have to want to rent to low-income Section 8 tenants.”
  • The Durham Herald Sun, July 12th, 2017 CITY TO DURHAM LANDLORDS: HELP US HELP THE VULNERABLE
    • “‘It’s heartbreaking when I take them place to place to find a home,’ said Tucker, a peer support specialist at Carolina Community Support Services Inc., which helps families struggling with mental health and other issues. ‘Working with them and seeing the hurt on their face.’ The challenges, she said, include finding a landlord who will accept the voucher. Some charge too much. Some fear their property will be torn up.” “The [Durham Housing] authority recently started holding quarterly landlord sessions, Scott said. Later this year, the Unlocking Doors Initiatives will launch a fund that will cover up to $2,000 in property damage beyond the security deposit. The Housing Authority also created new landlord orientation and materials, and the initiative is offering support for tenants before and after the get housing. “

Special thanks to:

Mayor Bill Bell
Anthony Scott and Denita Johnson (Durham Housing Authority)
Grace Mok (Community Empowerment Fund)
Terry Allebaugh (NC Coalition to End Homelessness)
Nigel Brown (Housing for New Hope)

Sally Wilson (Project Access of Durham County)
Steve Schewel (City Councilperson, Mayoral candidate)
Ryan Fehrman (Families Moving Forward)
Self-Help Credit Union and the Center for Responsible Lending
Valaria Brown (Alliance Behavioral Health Care)
CEF Volunteers

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Unlocking Doors Video

Produced by CEF for the Unlocking Doors Initiative and the 2017 Mayor’s Landlord Roundtable.

The Unlocking Doors Initiative is a partnership between landlords, non-profits, the City and the Durham Housing Authority. With visionary new leadership at the DHA and a groundswell of community support, we are at a crucial juncture in Durham. Mayor Bill Bell has issued a challenge for us to lease up individuals and families, including veterans, to permanently end their homelessness. Landlords and non-profits, will you consider joining us as a Key Partner?

Learn more at unlockingdoorsdurham.org

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CEF: Community Empowerment Fund

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