Category Archives: Staff

Blog posts from staff at TFS.

Be Careful in the Heat

Having spent the last week on a road trip to Texas and back I realized how crucial the CDC’s tips for preventing health-related illness due to the heat really are. I have never drank so much water in my life during those 103+ degree days. It was sometimes almost scary how hot it was. I urge everyone to adhere to these tips, have a great time, and be safe.

Michael Mann


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We will miss you, Perry!

We have been blessed to have Perry Dubow as a summer intern from Ravenscroft. Below is the essay she wrote on her time here at TFS. It is a wonderfully written  snapshot of her experiences and observations.

Perry, we will miss you! Good luck on your senior year and don’t forget to come back and visit!

When I first heard that I would be spending my summer interning for Triangle Family Services, I was beyond excited, but also quite a bit terrified. I knew that working in this environment would be the chance of a lifetime, but all of the workplace knowledge I possessed at the time came from reading Dilbert comics in the Sunday papers and watching Darren trek back and forth from work on old Bewitched reruns. I was confident that I would leave my intern position at the end of six weeks with intimate knowledge of the non-profit world, but I was also convinced that I was going to be spending my summer sitting, copying, and typing away silently in a cubicle.  Oh how wrong I was. Reflecting back on my summer internship, I see that I have not only gained work-place experience, but I have also forged priceless friendships, and witnessed how one office full of dedicated people really can change lives.

Early on the morning of June 6th, my GPS informed me that I had reached my destination at 700 Blue Ridge Road. As I looked out the car window at the Triangle Family Services logo, attached to a squat brick building, the entire office complex seemed to grow before my eyes until it was positively looming over me. Shaking like a leaf, I straightened my new office attire and squared my shoulders, intent on making the best first impression that was humanly possible. I smiled through all of my introductions wondering to myself how I would ever learn to fit in with such busy, hard-working people. That first week of work was a whirlwind of new experiences as I learned my way around the mental health, emergency housing, consumer credit counseling, and supervised visitation branches of the agency. I did everything from memorizing acronyms such as MPP (Mortgage Payment Program), NCHFA (North Carolina Housing Finance Agency), and DMP (Debt Management Plan) to breaking the printer for the very first time. Before I knew it I could tell clients all of the steps involved in applying for an MPP loan, and I had entered into a full blown love-hate relationship with the office’s printer and scanner. I spent my days copying, filing, answering phones, and scanning applications onto the agency’s main server. I was finally learning the ropes around the office and beginning to grow accustomed to going home each evening knowing I had accomplished something meaningful that day.

It was sometime around the second week of my internship that I began to feel comfortable enough to venture out of my office on the rare occasion and get to know the people I was working alongside.  As I came out of my shell around my colleagues, they did the same with me. I bonded with Sharon over her undying passion for chocolate, deciphered mystifying voicemail messages with Keisha, laughed at Daniel’s relentless, teasing humor, and talked about the best places to shop with Tiffany. As I grew closer to the people I worked with, I learned how their unique gifts and personalities made them each excellent at their respective jobs. I will never cease to be amazed at how Harriett, Julie, Rebecca, Jen,  Alice, Joe, Alison, Tavenia and Susan can put a smile on and help even the most negative and ornery clients through financial troubles with an unwavering dedication unlike any I have ever seen. Despite friendly jokes aimed at Chris, and the occasional groan when Nellie pointed to a mountain of emergency housing paperwork that needed to be properly filed, I loved each and every second of my job.

If I had to pick just one lesson out of the countless ones that I learned from my internship this summer, it would be that attitude changes everything. Working in a non-profit can be a demanding and thankless job, even one that frequently extends way past the boundaries of a typical forty-hour work week. However, every single person that works in this office shows up each day with a positive attitude and a passion for bettering their community that never ceases to astound me. Meaningful thank-you’s from clients are few and far-between, but when someone tells one of my colleagues how much the work they do means, I can see the difference that it makes. As I look forward to my upcoming senior year and even further ahead to a career, I can only pray that I get an opportunity to make half the difference that I see my new friends and co-workers making here at Triangle Family Services. As my summer winds to a close along with my position, I have already begun to miss everyone that I work with. However, I know that I will stay in touch and volunteer whenever possible. It’s been a true blessing to spend my summer at Triangle Family Services. The nervous anticipation I approached work with that fateful first day has transformed into immense appreciation for the opportunity of a lifetime.

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Don’t Forget about our Great Workshops!

Our next Mortgage Zone Workshop is coming up Wednesday, June 22nd. Be sure to contact Joe Paradise at or 919-821-0790 x109 if you would like to learn more about some key mortgage issues and how to submit a loan modification application that has a good chance of being successful. Classes are held on alternate Wednesday evenings at 6 pm. Each session lasts 2 hours. Class location: 700 Blue Ridge Rd, Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27606.


Also, be sure to check out our website’s calendar here for more information and dates regarding our workshops!


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Good News for TFS and Other Raleigh Agencies!

Approval Given to Community Enhancement Grants


“The Raleigh City Council on June 7 approved grant funding for six community enhancement projects. The projects total $160,845.

The purpose of community enhancement projects is to provide programs for residents with low or moderate incomes or aid in the prevention in blighted conditions. Funding is allocated to organizations or agencies to provide the projects.

Council members agreed to fund the following community enhancement grant projects for Fiscal Year 2011-12, which begins on July 1.”


Project   Host Organization/Agency   Funding
Swooping Saturday Volunteer Work Days   Strong Women Organizing Outrageous Projects (SWOOP)   $8,564
Juvenile Literacy Center   Literacy Council of Wake County   $25,000
Family Safety Initiative   Triangle Family Services   $40,000
“A Roof Over Our Heads” Roof Replacement Project   Interact   $50,000
SummerCamp   The Encouraging Place   $16,988
Housing Program   Step Up Ministry   $20,293


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National AmeriCorps Week Celebrating Impact of Service in Cities.

Last week was National AmeriCorps Week Celebrating Impact of Service in Cities. Checkout the article  from the National League of Cities Organization’s website.

To celebrate last week this week we have featured in today’s blog post, Triangle Family Services’ very own Chelsea Overton, an AmeriCorps member who holds the occupation of DOSE Administration, Volunteer Coordinator & Public Ally. Chelsea is from Camden, NC and went to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington majoring in Spanish. Chelsea has been with TFS for 7 months now. Throughout her time here she has found her most rewarding experience to be sitting in groups with DOSE clients.

“It is so great to see the progession within each client each week. The greatest feeling is hearing someone talk about how the DOSE program has changed their lives and helped their relationships” says Overton.

Chelsea has been a great asset to TFS and we are forever grateful for her work and continuuing efforts. She concludes by adding her favorite philanthropy quote:

“You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Zig Ziglar 

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A Word From CEO Alice Lutz

A Word From Alice:

Mary* is a single mother of 2 children. She came to Triangle Family Services in September, 2010 and requested Emergency Housing Assistance to avoid eviction. She had fallen behind in her rent during the summer months due to the high cost of daycare, which was $800.00 per month. Mary was employed part-time as a medical billing representative. Mary had two goals with Triangle Family Services: to focus on housing and to develop and maintain a budget. With the assistance of her Case Manager, she was successful in finding affordable housing and managing her expenses. Mary attended the case management sessions which focused on budgeting and money management. She was also successful in gaining full-time employment and reducing her daycare costs. Mary effectively completed the 1st phase of the Wake County supported NOTCH program in December, 2010 and since then has attended the 3 month follow-up session and currently remains in permanent housing. This is but one such success story of the thousands that happen yearly at Triangle Family Services.

*Client’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.

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National Hug a Friend Day

Today is National Hug a Friend Day! Hold on tight to that someone who has helped make an impact in your life and shaped the person you are today! Make sure to thank and hug that friend, volunteer, intern, staffmember!


Filed under Interns, Staff, Volunteers