Raleigh nonprofit still going strong, changing lives

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Neighbor To Neighbor helping Raleigh families

ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help
ABC11 Together is highlighting a Wake County nonprofit that started with a desire to bring hope to a hurting Triangle community. Now, more than 20 years later, it's still going strong and growing.

Neighbor to Neighbor lives its mission of walking alongside the marginalized.

It is headquartered on south Blount Street in Raleigh's South Park neighborhood, the lowest income neighborhood in the capital city.

Royce Hathcock, Executive Director of Neighbor to Neighbor, knows the community he's trying to transform has its challenges: unemployment and under-employment being among the biggest.

"There's what I call 'misguided entrepreneurs' on the corner, and I know many of these guys and they're looking for better things to do," he said.

One of those guys was DeQuane Hinton who describes growing up in southeast Raleigh as a struggle.

"There's nothing to help you get where you're going, so you have to find people that want to help you and want to push you, and that's what Neighbor to Neighbor does," Hinton said.

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Neighbor to Neighbor has been devoted to this community for more than two decades, not meeting any one need but rather, all of them: educational mentoring for kids, college prep, faith outreach and athletic programs to name a handful.

"This place is for everybody and there's this interesting clash that happens that - it messes with all of our values, disturbs us, and then we have to get in the grit of each other's lives and we change," Hathcock said. "And I think the world needs that. The world needs civility again. The world needs people that are going to value relationships. They're going to look at people as people instead of issues."

Giving people like Hinton, who found himself unmotivated and aimless with no clear path, an opportunity to start his own business, is life-changing.

"I wouldn't be the same person right now," he said.

He now runs a catering company called Neighbor Cater.

Greg Daniels co-owns a moving company, Your Neighbors' Moving and Delivery Service.

"You get that extra push that you need," said Daniels of Neighbor to Neighbor. "I like the energy here, the people here. It's genuine."

There's also a landscaping business inside Neighbor to Neighbor, the third of the three for-profits operating inside of the nonprofit.

"We believe that we can create entrepreneurs that then can change this community and create wealth here, create ownership, and be able to put people to work," said Hathcock.

Those who once had no direction at all now have dreams for the future.

"A big goal is we're trying to get a building," Hinton said with a smile. "That building is definitely going to take hard work but I think we can do it."

It takes a lot of resources to run Neighbor To Neighbor and they're getting a big boost from a Raleigh native next Monday.

PGA pro and 2012 U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson will be in town for the third annual Neighbor to Neighbor Golf Classic at Lonnie Poole Golf Course.

Hathcock said as of Monday, there are some slots still available.

Learn more about Neighbor to Neighbor

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