Fueled with a desire to make a difference, Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church reached out to the community with a plan to alleviate some of the problems they saw prevalent in society by attacking it at its core: economic instability. There was a missing link that neither welfare nor welfare reform had found but the STRIVE model could provide. After several town meetings where approximately 65 community leaders of a small city came together, the vote was unanimous that STRIVE was a move in the right direction.
In March of 1999, the communities of faith, government, commerce, and public service came together to create L.I.F.E. of North Carolina, Inc. (Lifestyle Innovations For Empowerment, a non-profit corporation) in an effort to revitalize the economic and community base of the eastern Carolina region. In response to new federal legislation promoting welfare to work initiatives, the region needed an avenue to help its indigent become self-sufficient and empowered with skills to brave the storm after years of artificial shelter.
L.I.F.E. opened its doors in response to the increasing poverty and welfare rate of rural eastern North Carolina. According to key status indicators, the Eastern Region Partnership had poverty and unemployment rates above state averages. With the realignment of service over industry, the region was in desperate need of a job readiness and training program whose unique approach addressed the “soft” skills necessary for job placement and retention.
Located in Third Street Community Center on West Third Street in Greenville, NC