Social & Economic Vitality

What is Social & Economic Vitality?

In 2015, the Wake County Long-Range Planning Department conducted an analysis to determine the extent to which communities across Wake County experience various “vulnerability factors,” such as high poverty, high unemployment, low educational attainment, as well as “economic health factors” such as housing cost burden and SNAP enrollment. Through their analysis, it became clear that communities in and around Southeast Raleigh, Knightdale, Wendell, and Zebulon experience greater vulnerability and economic stress than other areas of the county. As a result, in 2016, the Wake County Board of Commissioners determined that a targeted, geographically-focused investment called Social & Economic Vitality (SEV) would be made to improve long-term outcomes in those particular communities. SEV is led in partnership by Wake County Human Services and NC Cooperative Extension - Wake County Center, with critical support provided by community members and partners.

Our Partners

Social & Economic Vitality is a collaborative effort made possible by our valuable partners, including community residents, grassroots nonprofits, small businesses, local governments and institutions, and philanthropic partners. Some of SEV’s core partners include:

  • Capital Area Workforce Development Board
  • City of Raleigh
  • Family Resource Center South Atlantic
  • Jobs for Life
  • John Rex Endowment
  • Kramden Institute
  • NC State University through the Wake Community-University Partnership (WakeCUP)
  • Raleigh Triangle Entrepreneurship
  • Southeast Raleigh Promise
  • The Kaleidoscope Project
  • Wake Technical College


If you’re interested in partnering with SEV, please contact Verna Best at [email protected] or 919-857-9243.

Our Values

Social and Economic Vitality  believes that community development is only achieved by, with and through community. As such, SEV seeks to live into and uphold the following values:

  • Authentic Community Voice: Consistent and persistent engagement with community members for the purpose of establishing a foundation of partnership, trust and empowerment that paves the way for positive community change (adapted from LISC)
  • Reciprocal Relationships: Partnerships or relationships that are beneficial for all involved, particularly the individuals or communities most affected    
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Centering human dignity and respect across difference, advancing justice and fairness by tackling root causes and engaging individuals and groups that have been historically marginalized
  • Accountability: Accepting responsibility for our actions and behaviors
  • Integrity: Honesty, transparency and consistency in all operations
  • Commitment: Dedication beyond obligation to work alongside community members and partners to foster social and economic vitality for all

SEV Focus Areas

  • Thriving Families
  • Thriving Organizations
  • Thriving Businesses
  • Thriving Communities

MINDSET Life Coaching

Social and Economic Vitality believes life coaching is a valuable tool for assisting residents with navigating the social determinants of health.

MINDSET is a 10-week, trauma-informed group life coaching experience designed to help participants achieve goals related to education, employment, finances, mental and physical wellness, housing and civic engagement as outlined in their self-developed life plan.

MINDSET participants attend 10 weekly life coaching sessions focused on building a positive attitude and mindset, develop a life plan, and are connected to resources and opportunities to help make progress toward life goals. After completing the program, participants have the opportunity to continue attending monthly group coaching sessions and educational workshops to help move closer to the fulfillment of life goals. 

Success is based on the level of commitment participants bring to the program. While some progress is expected during the initial ten weeks, the goal is for them to build a realistic life plan that they can continue to work on over the next one to five years.

What will participants gain from this experience?

Participating in MINDSET helps:

  • Build or maintain a positive mindset to overcome life’s challenges
  • Develop a life plan with actionable strategies for improving quality of life
  • Connect to information and resources to help make progress on life goals
  • Build meaningful relationships with a coach and other community members  
  • Gain access to additional group coaching sessions and educational workshops to continue growing beyond the first ten weeks

What are participants committing to?

Participants are expected to:

  • Actively participate in 10 weekly life coaching sessions
  • Develop a life plan, complete with SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-bound)
  • Complete weekly assignments, including working on life plan activities 
  • Participate in other programs or services recommended by your life coach that will help you make progress on life goals
  • Complete any program forms, surveys or assessments

What do I need?

  • MINDSET Workbook (provided)
  • Access to email, wifi and a computer or tablet (phone will work if need be)
  • There is no cost to participate in this program, you just need to be ready and willing to take control of your life!

Get Involved in Social and Economic Vitality

Crosby Advocacy Group

The Crosby Advocacy Group (CAG) was initially formed in 2014 for the purpose of providing continuous input in strategy development and marketing as well as connecting partners and resources specific to the 1.5 mile radius around the Crosby Garfield Center. Under Social and Economic Vitality, the CAG’s scope has been expanded to:

  1. Increase awareness of and participation in community based events and opportunities that address the needs and goals of community residents,
  2. Assist with establishing the Crosby-Garfield Building as a vital resource hub for community engagement and service delivery, and
  3. Sustain the historic presence and community pride of SE Raleigh residents through leadership development and advocacy efforts.

In addition, the geographic scope has changed as the neighborhoods surrounding Crosby undergo rapid gentrification.

Get Involved with the Crosby Advocacy Group Action Teams by emailing [email protected].

CAG Action Teams

  • Community Leadership Action Team
  • Racial Equity & Social Justice Action Team 
  • Training For Upward Mobility Action Team