Pee Wee Homes to receive a $40,000 grant from SECU

 COMMUNITY NEWS

by Michelle Cassell
Managing Editor 

Pee Wee Homes, a local nonprofit dedicated to building affordable housing in Orange County, will receive $40,000 from the State Employees Credit Union (SECU) over the next two years. This comes as part of Mission Development grants approved by the SECU Foundation Board of Directors for 16 nonprofits and its two-year program awards totaling $640,000, which were announced this week.

The SECU Foundation’s Mission Development Grant Program supports nonprofit organizations’ unmet financial needs “to strengthen their growth and stability.”

“Knowing that the SECU Foundation has made this type of investment in our community makes me hopeful we can build relationships and partner with the Foundation,” Quinton Harper, Executive Director of Pee Wee Homes, told TLR on Tuesday.

SECU will present the check for the Mission Development grant on Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the second-floor community room of the Inter-Faith Council in Chapel Hill.

Harper said Pee Wee Homes already has general priorities for spending the money. “Part of the money will be used to hire consultants to help us figure out how to expand our capacity as an organization.”

Photo of a Pee Wee home, courtesy of Pee Wee Homes.

Pee Wee Homes began as a volunteer-led organization six years ago and has grown enough to hire an executive director and one full-time and one part-time staff member. “Growing includes building more staff who can serve our residents and keep the organization going in a sustainable way. The grant will allow us to bring on key staff and add additional hours to existing staff,” Harper said.

Pee Wee Homes’ newest project is to build three new Pee Wee Homes on Hill Street in Carrboro. The Town of Carrboro donated the land with financial support from individual donors, grants and local government. “Part of our needs for the project will be to bring on a property or construction manager, and these funds will help pay for that,” he explained.

Harper says they will be able to offer stipends to their board members. “Over half our board is comprised of people with “lived experience,” and we felt it is important to honor their lived experience and be a model of community equity. Pee Wee Homes’ mission is “to create dignified, affordable tiny homes in a caring community for people transitioning out of homelessness.” The lived experience refers to the fact that many who serve on the board had once experienced homelessness.

According to the SECU press release: “While the grant program’s goal is to assist nonprofits with increasing organizational capacity, SECU Foundation has achieved several measurable goals in the process, including the ability to respond to identified needs in areas of the state with fewer resources and the opportunity to expand its grantmaking strategy and reach. Since 2017, over $3 million has been awarded to 89 nonprofit organizations to help further their mission of serving others.”

“We are thrilled with the program’s success and strong interest from nonprofits throughout the state,” said SECU Foundation Executive Director Jama Campbell. “We are seeing positive, tangible outcomes for grant recipients working to boost their capacity and impact for programs and services that are vital to those in need. The cooperative efforts of many amazing people are coming together to uplift our communities and the lives of those served by these nonprofits.”


Michelle Cassell is a seasoned reporter who has covered everything from crime to hurricanes and local politics to human interest over the course of 35 years. As managing editor, she hopes to encourage writers of a wide range of backgrounds and interests in TLR’s coverage of Southern Orange County news. 

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