Before a crowd of supporters in Winston-Salem on Tuesday, May 12, SECU Foundation Board Chair McKinley Wooten, Jr. and the Director of Operations of The SECU Commons Brian Hahne unveiled the new signage for The SECU Commons, celebrating the efforts of State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) members to help address the issue of homelessness. Representatives from the North Carolina Housing Foundation (NCHF) and the City of Winston-Salem were on hand for the special event, along with numerous SECU Foundation officials, Credit Union staff and Advisory Board volunteers. SECU Foundation presented The SECU Commons with a $1 million challenge grant in November 2014 to help NCHF complete the development of campus facilities for the program aimed at assisting three populations at risk of chronic homelessness – homeless families, youth aging out of foster care and autism spectrum young adults.
“As we learned about the challenges these populations face and the potential of The SECU Commons program to help them, we felt this initiative was an ideal fit and one that would symbolize SECU and the Foundation’s guiding philosophy of ‘People Helping People,’” said Cindy Zimmerman, SECU Clemmons branch Advisory Board Chair. “SECU members care about helping others and share NCHF’s vision and goal to transition these at risk men and women into self-sufficient contributors within their community.”
“Our organization has been incredibly fortunate to gain the support of State Employees’ Credit Union and its members. I believe we’ve gained that support because organizations like the SECU Foundation know addressing the issues of our residents will take commitment, a foundation of housing, services and support, and training to rebuild their futures,” explained Brian Hahne. “SECU members understand the process of restoring lives will take time, but in the end the investment is worthwhile – to the men, women and children it helps and to our community.”
The SECU Commons campus, which is served by existing bus routes, is housed on a 16-acre site with living, training and office facilities located just five minutes from downtown Winston-Salem. Highlights of the campus, which currently utilizes 4 of the 16 acres, include: 15 condominiums, a 20-bed multipurpose building with a commercial kitchen, 2 stand-alone houses, a 4,800 sq. ft. conference center with training rooms, a medical office and a 10-office administrative facility.
“The campus will give residents the opportunity to build a supportive community with eating, training and additional services available without the time, expense and coordination of traveling. And with just a fraction of our property developed, we have room to grow,” said Hahne.
The SECU Commons will complete development of the campus and expects to begin receiving referrals from their agency partners and housing participants in the program before the end of the year.
About The SECU Commons
The SECU Commons is owned and managed by the North Carolina Housing Foundation, Inc. (NCHF). NCHF was founded in 1967 and draws on its long-term experience developing, managing and coordinating services for over 2,000 units of quality housing for elderly, handicapped, disabled and low-income families throughout the state. NCHF provides property management and services coordination for their properties. Currently, NCHF has over 26 staff members coordinating services. They operate with a high productivity infrastructure and efficient operating processes resulting in safe, secure residents and successful programs. www.thecommonsnc.org
About SECU and the SECU Foundation
A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for almost 78 years. The Credit Union also offers a diversified line of financial advisory services including retirement and education planning, tax preparation, insurance, trusts, estate planning and investments through its partners and affiliated entities. SECU serves nearly 2 million members through 254 branch offices, over 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Contact Centers and a website, www.ncsecu.org. The SECU Foundation, a 501c (3) charitable organization funded solely by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and human services.