Our vision at the CEC is to break the cycle of poverty and family violence
Changing lives by restoring hope and sharing God’s love
For 30 years, the CEC has been a partner in change for our Northeast Tarrant low-income neighbors. The CEC has continued to grow and expand our services to assist and empower victims of family violence, homeless and low-income families and seniors across Tarrant County. Today, the CEC works directly with these families and individuals to move them out of crisis and into stability through employment readiness, high school equivalency, financial coaching, safe housing, food and basic necessities. These tools and Christ-centered resources help the CEC coaching staff to restore hope and share God’s love while guiding families toward a bright future which will end their cycle of poverty and/or family violence.
The CEC began in a closet at Richland Hills Church of Christ in 1975. It didn’t take long to figure out that more was needed to help families struggling to survive in Northeast Tarrant County.
Officially a Nonprofit
Our Food Pantry moved to the current CEC office building in 1986 and with 3000 SF, change began to happen. Community Enrichment Center, Inc. was formed as a separate 501 ( c ) (3) in 1988, about the same time as Open Arms Home, Inc which was formed across town to support families fleeing domestic Violence.
More Than a Food Pantry
In 1990, CEC began the Adopt-a-Family Program for homeless families by leasing HUD foreclosed homes for $1 a year. Three years later, HUD provided the CEC a transitional homeless family demonstration grant that allowed the program to flourish.
Construction of New Food Pantry
In 1995 a new, 8,000 SF food service center was opened fully funded by donations and grants.
Expanded Housing for Families
Over the next three years, CEC began building a portfolio of properties purchasing 16 townhomes & 64 houses from HUD. These resources allowed the CEC to house more families while building up assets to stabilize the agency. All of this property was paid off by 2002 and the CEC was debt fee owning 80 housing units.
Open Arms Merger
In 2006 Open Arms Home merged into the CEC bringing better resources and services for victims fleeing domestic violence. The property used by Open Arms prior to the merger was sold allowing the CEC to add an apartment community to their portfolio.
Sharon Washburn Center for Hope
Between 2010 and 2017, the CEC focused on providing resources, training & opportunities that help improve earning capability, teach financial strategies, and help restore hope for a future of independence and stability to participants. The Sharon Washburn Center for Hope was built to support the domestic violence program and provide a gathering place for all programing and community engagement with participants. The CEC also received a larger freezer and cooler allowing for healthier food options in the food pantry.
Doing Things Differently
In 2017, the CEC adopted The Working Family Success method of service delivery that is proven to increase success through one to one coaching. This approach is currently applied to all areas of service at the CEC including financial & employment coaching along with education services.
Over two years, the CEC strategically sold homes located outside the general area of the CEC offices and purchased 50 condominiums in Hurst to bring our families closer to services and the pantry. This also streamlined maintenance and upkeep of the properties owned by the CEC, improving efficiency.
A New Look
2019 brought a new look for the CEC with a new logo and tagline. People Empowered is our goal and we continue to work towards that goal.