Historical Timeline

In 1963, a group of seven local women united their volunteer efforts to address the conditions of poverty in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.  More than five decades later, IFC continues its mission to confront the causes and respond to the effects of poverty in our community.  With a network of 6,000 members, residents, volunteers, and donors, IFC is the primary non-profit provider of social safety net services in Orange County and the only provider of shelter services. 

1963

  • Inter-Faith Council (IFC) forms as Inter-Church Council to continue the work of Committee of Church Women United


1964

  • IFC clothing distribution program begins (Turned over to PTA Thrift Shop in 1978)

  • School lunch program begins (Absorbed by the federal Office of Economic Opportunity)
  • Pre-School readiness program begins (Now done by HeadStart)
  • Helps family build a house (Now done by Habitat for Humanity)

1965

  • IFC becomes a United Way Agency


1966

  • Tutorial program for Chapel Hill-Carrboro elementary schools OEO begins (Spun off to Campus Y)

  • Establishes Loan and Grant Fund
  • Furniture Collection/Distribution program begins

1967

  • Committee for low-income, integrated housing starts planning for Chase Park & Elliott Woods

  • Starts Community Program for Aging (Became a town agency in 1970 and then became a county department)

1969

  • Organizes Inter-Agency Council (Now Association of Community Agencies)


1970

  • Establishes Food Pantry at Wilson Street

1971

  • Sponsors VISTA project to develop community centers (Four family resource centers still exist)


1972

  • Advocates for local Employment Security Commission office


1973

  • Completes Chase Park and Elliott Woods apartments (Currently operated by Inter-Church Housing Corp.)


1974

  • Develops INFO, County-wide Information and Referral Service


1975

  • Coordinates community response to Vietnam refugees


1976

  • Develops Friends of Nursing Home Patients (Becomes county responsibility in 1979)


1978

  • Housing Committee forms to build housing
 for the elderly and disabled

1980

  • Weatherization project begins (suspended in 1988)

  • Coordinates statewide effort to repeal food tax
  • Gives "Children's Services News" space and support (turned over to Child Care Networks in 1984)
  • Budget counseling started for IFC clients

1981

  • Advocates for uniform housing code (adopted in 1983)


1982

  • Community Kitchen opens at Masonic Lodge; moves to Merritt Mill Rd. in 1985; moves to Community House in 1990

  • Infant Car Seat Project (spun off to County Health Dept. in 1988)

1984

  • Adelaide Walters Apartments for elderly and handicapped built and dedicated (now operated by Community Housing Alternatives)


1985

  • IFC Shelter Program begins at churches, then in old town jail

1986

  • Senior Support Service works with patients released early from hospital (ended in 1989)


1987

  • CROP Walk sponsorship begins

  • Mayor’s Task Force formed to establish permanent emergency shelter location

1988

  • IFC 25th Anniversary Celebration


1989

  • Medical Clinic opens at Community House


1990

  • New Community House (Emergency Shelter/Community Kitchen) opens at Old Municipal Building


1992

  • Initiates Social Worker Services at Community House

  • Legal Clinic opens at Community House
  • Sponsors successful grant application for AIDS Service Agency Family Care Home

1993

  • 30th Anniversary Musical Salute

  • Home visits for house-bound Family Service clients

1994

  • "Project HomeStart," transitional family home receives HUD grant

  • Smart Start provides social workers for homeless and at-risk children
  • On-site mental health and substance abuse services at Community House
  • Pediatric Clinic for shelter children begins
  • Employment Project for recovering homeless individuals (Spun off to Freedom House in 1997)

1995

  • Hires first Executive Director


1996

  • Family Connection Program for low-income families
 is created
  • Contracted with the Piedmont Consortium to administer Ryan White funds to assist people living with HIV and AIDS (Spun off to AIDS Service Agency of Orange County in 1997).

1997

  • Relocation Committee formed for Wilson Street programs and staff

  • Transitional housing facility construction begins
  • First Kitchen Coordinator hired

1998

  • Opening of Project HomeStart for homeless families

  • IFC begins Hispanic Outreach Initiative

1999

  • Chapel Hill Mayor organizes IFC Relocation Taskforce

  • IFC moves its Wilson Street office to Douglas Building in Carrboro

2000

  • IFC Board of Directors conducts an agency-wide strategic planning process

  • IFC establishes a Continuum of Care Committee to end homelessness

2001

  • IFC Board of Directors approves new 3-year strategic plan

  • Hillel Foundation implements Project Rush Hour, a student-led initiative to combat poverty and hunger

2002

  • A Stewards Fund grant pays for renovations to the IFC Food Pantry and Community Services operations in Carrboro

2003

  • IFC purchases the Douglas Building in Carrboro for Community Services operations

  • HUD funding for Project HomeStart ends
  • Reorganized HomeStart plans announced by IFC for homeless women and children
  • 40th anniversary celebration

2004

  • IFC congregations host men’s shelter and kitchen services during Town renovations
 of Old Municipal Building
  • IFC and Chapel Hill Mayor convene planning group to address homelessness and new facilities

2005

  • Dedication and installation of Community House tile mosaic

  • HomeStart's Building C reopens in December after a March fire
  • Douglas Building holds first multi-agency open house

2006

  • Chapel Hill Church of Christ establishes Carol Smith and Ruth Monk Emergency Assistance Fund for the Food Pantry


2007

  • Food Pantry kicks off new membership program

  • Local business persons organized to explore best practices for Food Operations and Comprehensive Service Center
  • IFC's Robert Nixon Free Clinic for the Homeless becomes Federal TORT Claims Act certified
  • New liaison structure formed to strengthen partnerships with congregations

2008

  • UNC Chancellor, Chapel Hill Mayor and IFC Executive Director announce new partnership and property location for Men's Residential Facility near the United Church of Chapel Hill 

  • Community House open 24/7 again
  • Volunteers health professionals establish new mental health services at Community House
  • Joe Herzenberg, former Chapel Hill Town Council member, leaves estate gift for Community House
  • Board approves recommendations from local business group to combine Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in one location to be known as FoodFirst

2009

  • UNC Hospitals jump starts mental health services at HomeStart

  • HomeStart Family Assistance Fund established by donors
  • Town of Chapel Hill and UNC begin Special Use Permit (SUP) process for relocating Community House on UNC land
  • Farmer Foodshare is formed and begins distributing fresh, locally grown produce to IFC clients

2010

  • Awarded United Way of the Greater Triangle "Agency of Excellence" status for the first time

2011

  • Chapel Hill Town Council approved a Special Use Permit (SUP) for the IFC’s new Community House Men’s Transitional Housing Facility
  • Good Neighbor Plan Advisory Committee formed
  • The Dispute Settlement Center hired to faciliate Good Neighbor Plan meetings

2012

  • The Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously approves the IFC’s Good Neighbor Plan (GNP)
  • 25th Annual Chapel Hill-Carrboro CROP Hunger Walk held

2013

  • IFC 50th anniversary 
  • 25th annual RSVVP (Restaurants Sharing Ten Percent)
  • IFC launches capital campaign for the new Community House
  • IFC hires its first Medical Coordinator

2014

  • Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Community House
  • IFC receives a $1,000,000 gift from the State Employees Credit Union for the IFC @ SECU Community House
  • IFC announces the successful conclusion of the Campaign for a New Community House
2015
  • Community House, shelter for men, opens at 1315 MLK Jr Boulevard.

2017

  • IFC launches capital campaign for new Carrboro building
  • IFC adds Permanent Supportive Housing program
2018
  • Awarded GSK Impact Award and Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce Non-profit of the Year Award.
  • 30th annual RSVVP for IFC; Founder Irene Briggaman retires.
  • IFC is awarded federal funds to expand Permanent Supportive Housing Program

2019

  • Food Pantry and administrative offices move to 100 W. Rosemary Street during construction of new building.
  • IFC provides case management for new Master-Lease program, a public-private collaboration to increase affordable housing for people making less than 30% AMI.