Carolina Homelessness Prevention Initiative began in the fall of 2017, then called Focus on Franklin. The concept at the time was simple: a website with stories from Chapel Hill's homeless residents, in the style of Humans of New York with an opportunity for direct donation to the people profiled on the site. As we worked, we developed relationships with the experts at the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, Community Empowerment Fund, and Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness. We soon realized that there was more important work for our team to do. Diversion funding was one of the 8 gaps in the county homelessness system. We decided this was where we could make the most impact. Today, we are a registered 501(c)3 and proud to be an integrated part of Chapel Hill's network of organizations working to end homelessness.
Today CPHI is able to step in and prevent homelessness in 23% of cases through small, one-time financial assistance. Almost one in four people facing homelessness in Orange County is diverted by CHPI. We are a registered 501c3 with a team of almost 20 fundraisers who have been meeting Orange County's diversion needs successfully for the last year. In March of 2019, Orange County declared the diversion gap sufficiently filled.