This month, I accepted an invitation to serve on the board of Housing for New Hope.  I’m proud to have the opportunity to do so. Given a strong tenet of the Chamber is community engagement, staff are strongly encouraged to pursue active roles in the community. 

If you are not familiar with Housing for New Hope, it has been in operation in Durham since 1992, serving the homeless and those at risk in Durham and Orange Counties.  As part of my introduction to the organization and its work, I recently went on a guided tour of several of their properties to include transitional and permanent housing.  I not only experienced a strongly passionate staff and well-run operation, it was evident that a solid partnership and structure of collaboration is firmly in place among HFNH and several local non-profits serving this population.  Okay, this may not be professional,  but I have to give HFNH a…Woot Woot!  One thing is clear from living and working in Durham – we have many good non-profit organizations doing great work.  However, as I understand it, often a duplication of services exist, which can shrink the pool of funding available on the corporate level. 

This was echoed for me at Thursday night’s Chamber Business Excellence Awards.  I spoke with someone whose organization serves the needs of non-profits.  She agreed that there has to be greater collaboration, less siloing, and greater work toward reducing the duplication of services and initiatives which ultimately undermines missions.  Doing so will endeavor to keep our non-profits viable, maintain the continuation of services – making for a better and stronger Durham.  And I bet you can’t find a soul in the Bull City who doesn’t want our non-profits to be even better.

- Adrian Brown
Chamber Connection Broker, Durham Enthusiast, Downtown Resident