Self-Help Shares

Self-Help Opposes HB2

By David B.
  | Mar 29, 2016

Like most North Carolina employers, Self-Help is disappointed by HB2's enactment and has released the following statement: "Self-Help is strongly opposed to HB2. We strongly support equal protection for all people, regardless of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. We believe the legislature should quickly repeal this unnecessarily divisive and unjustified law."

Self-Help has a long history of supporting equal rights and has partnered with many North Carolina organizations in opposing Amendment One, which banned gay marriage in the state (and was subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court). 

Bringing Healthy Foods to a Food Desert

By Mary M.
  | Mar 23, 2016

Today if residents of northeast Greensboro want fresh food, they must walk several miles or take a cab—but that’s about to change. On March 16, Self-Help and Renaissance Community Co-op signed a 10-year lease for a 10,530-square-foot grocery store in the Renaissance Shops at Phillips Avenue.  

Self-Help has partnered with the City of Greensboro to revitalize a nearly-abandoned shopping center that is now becoming Renaissance Shops. The first new tenant will be a cooperative store that brings fresh, healthy food to a neighborhood that has spent nearly 20 years working to get a local grocery store.

Lease signed on Renaissance Shops.


John M. Jones, Renaissance Community Co-op board president, holds up the 10-year lease with Kim Cameron, director of real estate for Self-Help Ventures. Photo credit: Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC).
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Self-Help Credit Union Offers 2016 Community Scholarships

By Connie C.
  | Mar 11, 2016


When people are making their communities a better place while pursuing more education, we want to help. Each of the 18 Self-Help branches in North Carolina will award a $500 scholarship to a local student enrolled in an accredited post-secondary educational institution.  Eligible institutions include colleges, universities, technical, trade and vocational schools. (view additional guidelines and requirements)

Applications and a 300 word essay must be returned by May 6, 2016 to a local branch or returned to the address shown on the application. (For 2016 Community Scholarship Application click here).

See many of last year's scholarship winners here.


Loans to Build Savings and Good Credit

By Mary M.
  | Mar 09, 2016

Building good credit is a process that takes time and patience. To give people an extra boost, both Self Help Credit Union and our affiliate, Self-Help Federal Credit Union (SHFCU), offer loans specifically designed to help members build or establish a good credit history.

The Self Help Credit Union loan is called Credit Builder. In California, Chicago and Florida, Self-Help Federal CU calls it the “Fresh Start” loan.  Both of these loans work the same way:

  • Customers take out a loan they can afford.
  • The loan funds go into a limited-access savings account.
  • As customers pay off the loan, Self-Help reports the repayments to credit agencies.
  • When the loan is paid off, customers receive the full amount of the loan, plus dividends.

Recently, with funding from MetLife Foundation, Self-Help conducted a study to assess the effectiveness of the Fresh Start loan. We found that the Fresh Start loan has boosted credit score for 70% of borrowers. Find out more about the study here, as well as general information about the components of a credit score. 

Fresh Start cover

Get an Internship with Self-Help

By David B.
  | Feb 19, 2016

It's internship application time at Self-Help - something we take very seriously. We believe that providing opportunity for students to experience work in the community development field is good for them and good for us! Our Durham office is especially fortunate to be close so many wonderful universities. 

Maggie West and member, Community Empowerment Fund Former intern and Community Empowerment Fund founder Maggie West with a CEF member
Many of our interns go on to become full-time staff at Self-Help, work for other community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or do other great things. Former intern Maggie West is a great example. She went on to found the Community Empowerment Fund, a student-powered nonprofit organization focused on enabling and sustaining transitions out of homelessness and poverty. 


We also believe it's important to pay interns. After all, they do valuable work for us! The deadline to apply for this summer's internships is February 26. You can find more information on our careers page


Celebrating Black History Month in North Carolina

By Anthony S.
  | Feb 18, 2016

Self-Help’s mission is to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for all, especially people of color, women, rural residents and low-wealth families and communities. With that in mind, we are recognizing February as Black History Month by featuring a small bit of North Carolina’s African-American history in connection with some of the cities where we have branches.


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Praying for a Partner: Self-Help Federal Merges with Florida Credit Union

By Mary Moore
  | Feb 08, 2016

More than three decades ago, Sister Ann Kendrick and several other nuns began working in Apopka, Florida to serve farmworkers and other low-income families. One of their many accomplishments was starting the Community Trust Federal Credit Union to provide fair, affordable financial services in the community.

Last fall when the nuns needed a partner to expand services to their members, they thought of Self-Help. After many talks with Sister Ann and her colleagues as well as friends at the Florida Community Loan Fund, our CEO Martin Eakes knew we had to make room for another partner at our table. After all, it’s pretty hard to resist the call of four amazing community activist nuns who are praying for your support.

The result, we’re pleased to announce, is that Self-Help has merged with Community Trust Federal Credit Union in Apopka, Florida. Effective January 1, the Florida credit union is now part of Self-Help Federal Credit Union, which also operates in California and Chicago. To understand how the Apopka CU is a great fit with Self-Help’s mission, please watch this wonderful interview with Sister Ann as she recalls her history as a change agent in Apopka.

The video was funded by ArtReach Orlando and produced in collaboration with the Hope CommUnity Center.
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New Financing Options from the SBA

By Suzanne J.
  | Feb 02, 2016

Proud small business owner who got an SBA 504 loan
If you've ever dreamed of owning a small business, or even if you've already started one, you know that lack of capital can stop a dream dead in its tracks. The good news is that there may be more options for getting that capital than you realize! The even better news is that this year, the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) is expanding those options. 
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Dr. King’s Dream, Our Work

By Anthony S. and Mary M.
  | Jan 15, 2016

Self-Help exists to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for all, especially people of color, women, rural residents and low-wealth families and communities—a mission that seems particularly relevant as we mark the 87th birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our founding in 1980 was greatly influenced by Dr. King and the unfinished business of the civil rights movement of the 1960s. In essence, the work of Self-Help is our sincere effort to fulfill the dream of Dr. King.

Toward the end of his remarkable life, Dr. King became increasingly more vocal in addressing economic injustice in America. Unfortunately, more than 50 years after the pivotal 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, our nation continues to grapple with many of the same concerns, including these:

  • Homelessness and hunger. In North Carolina alone, more than 55,000 children are homeless, and more than one in four don’t get enough to eat.
  • Mass incarceration. More than 2.2 million people now crowd America’s prisons; 60% of them are African-American or Hispanic.
  • Wealth disparities. Before the housing crisis of 2008, the wealth and homeownership gap between whites and people of color was gradually getting smaller. But in recent years the share of black homeowners has dropped by nearly 20% and, overall, people of color have lost all the economic ground previously gained, plus more.
  • Poverty and low wages. According to the U.S. Census, 46.7 million Americans live in poverty, many of them working for a minimum wage that has not kept up with today’s cost of living.
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Helping Kids Save for College Now

By Mary M.
  | Jan 13, 2016

Kids Save event


Most parents would love to see their children go to college, but starting savings can be a struggle for many families. To help local families get a jump start, Self-Help Credit Union is pleased to be part of a Durham partnership to launch a special savings program at Y.E. Smith Elementary Museum School.

Here’s how it works: The “Durham Kids Save” program deposits $100 into a savings account for every eligible kindergartner at the school. When families add funds to the accounts, their contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100 each year through the child’s fifth grade year.

These savings accounts represent more than money; they also represent hope. In a recent article in The Triangle Tribune, City Councilman Steve Schewel points out that these accounts help children develop a vision of themselves as future college students.

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