Belva Dorsey lives and breathes for making a dent in poverty.
A member of the NeighborWorks Columbus Board of Directors, CEO of Enrichment Services, a community-action agency charged with addressing causes and conditions of poverty, and an active member of several local organizations working with low-income individuals, there's no mistaking where Belva's passions lie.
Her desire to help people is something that's been a part of Belva's family her whole life.
"The profession that has been in my family is education so I was trying to get away from education and do something different that would allow me to do something that still helps people," she said.
She started her career working for Girls, Inc., worked for other nonprofits and for the last 16 years has served in different roles at Enrichment Services, CEO for the last six years.
It was through her work at Enrichment Services Belva first encountered NeighborWorks.
"After interacting with Cathy (NeighborWorks President/CEO) in a couple of different committees, she asked me if I'd be interested in representing the low-income population on the board, and once I had a chance to think about their mission and how it aligns with Enrichment Services, I was glad to do it," she said.
The mission of Enrichment Services is to eliminate poverty through education services and partnership, ultimately leading to economic self-sufficiency. The way they work to do this is through programs like Head Start and Early Head Start; training and scholarship programs; assisting with energy bills; home delivered meals for seniors and the homebound; distribute commodities in partnership with Feeding the Valley and family strengthening services.
"The only way we can (accomplish that mission) is by working with partners. That's why being on the NeighborWorks Board and having them as a partner is great," she said.
"One of the challenges that I see many people who have low income face is safe and affordable housing, so what interests me in being involved with NeighborWorks is one, the homeownership preparation services offered because there are several people who want to become home owners but don't know what's required. Also being able to connect them to resources in the community because sometimes people just don't know what's available to help them."
Belva is also a member of the Workforce Investment Board, the Mayor's Commission on Unity, Diversity and Prosperity, Circles of Columbus, Right from the Start and a member of the Downtown Rotary Club.
She was originally born in Columbus at Fort Benning and after living in different places with her father, who was in the military, she came back here with him when he retired. She attended what was then, Columbus College and Troy State University and has truly made Columbus a home for herself ever since.
She has one son, Michael, who attends Columbus Technical College.
About NeighborWorks Columbus
NeighborWorks® Columbus is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization whose vision is to improve the quality of life through the elimination of substandard housing and the revitalization of target neighborhoods. Their mission is to promote and provide access to fit and affordable housing for all citizens of low to moderate income.