EmPOWERment Inc. focuses on community organizing, grassroots economic development, and affordable housing in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro community. Their three primary initiatives include affordable housing rentals for low-income families, community building and outreach, and affordable office space in their Midway Business Center.
Ms. Sarita Nwachukwu began working at EmPOWERment four years ago for what she thought would be a 2-week long commitment, but once she became engaged in the organization she didn’t want to leave. She loves working there because she feels that she can truly make a difference in moving people’s lives from one place to another. For example, she has been able to help transition a person experiencing homelessness to their first home in 30 years. She also works with EmPOWERment to provide office positions for women recovering from drug addiction and court-ordered community service opportunities.
The Bonner Leaders have been able to take on significant projects at EmPOWERment such as founding an Emergency Fund for individuals to pay off rent and utility bills of up to $200. Bonners also discovered that there was a lack of data on homeless veterans in our areas, so they developed a survey and conducted interviews with community members concerning that issue. The students gain a new perspective on the community by interacting with a variety of people who may be experiencing traumatic situations and are able to utilize EmPOWERment’s resources to help those individuals.
In the future, EmPOWERment is hoping to solicit more money for the Emergency Fund Program, increase their social media presence, and develop an online database of their approximately 115 properties sold since 2000.
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