Vision & History
Chapel Hill is a vibrant community that is ever changing and developing. As cultures of a university population and histories of local residents intersect, there is great potential for a rich diversity. However, in 1996, two UNC Social Work students, Myles Presler and Termain Kyles, observed a gap in communication and community service.
Focusing in the Northside, Pine Knolls, Carr Court, and Lloyd Street communities, these students heard directly from residents about some of the challenges they were facing, to include: high housing costs for those less able to pay, inferior housing quality, political and economic disempowerment, and low household incomes. These systemic problems were local manifestations of the many issues facing our entire nation.
EmPOWERment, Inc. was established not only to build homes, but also to build lives. In order to raise community awareness and dialogue, a multi-pronged and ambitious mission was created for the growing organization.
Over the years and through changes in community, leadership, and staff, EmPOWERment has remained vigilant in honoring the integrity of that mission and continues to focus on several key areas:
- Affordable living through quality rental units
- Increased education surrounding pre- and post- home purchase
- 1-on-1 counseling for ownership preservation and foreclosure management
- Community building and organizing
- Grassroots economic development
Aside from facts, figures, and accomplishments, EmPOWERment, Inc. has become a listening ear, a helping hand, and a trusted friend to many people in our communities. Some successes cannot be measured by statistics, rubrics, or graphs, but instead lie in the social capital of connecting people with the tools to construct their dreams into reality.
- EmPOWERment, Inc. acquired a new apartment unit at University Gardens through CASA
- EmPOWERment, Inc. was able to provide 40 families with a turkey or a ham with all the side dishes
- EmPOWERment, Inc. awarded the first Power Award to Midlred "Mama Dip" Council at EmPOWERment, Inc.'s 20th Anniversary Gala
- EmPOWERment, Inc was able to accommodate 15 youth at 9 local businesses in Orange County for their Career Explorer program
- Community Outreach meeting has increased to an average of 22 attendants
- Family Success Alliance has hired a third Zone 6 navigator to address the growing needs of children and families in the neighborhoods
- The joint effort between EmPOWERment, Inc. and Family Success Alliance has allowed both organizations to provide immediate access to resources such as after school programs, summer camps and language interpretation