Organizational History

/Organizational History
Organizational History 2018-05-31T16:32:28+00:00

Organizational History

Nonprofit Home Inspections is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was established by Charles Lewis in 2014. Charles was serving as a general contractor and as a nonprofit executive director for the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation. He was hired by the foundation to create an entirely new music school for underserved youth in West Linn, Oregon. As part of his responsibilities, Charles led the acquisition and renovation of a $4 million new music school called the Youth Music Project.

While completing his work, Charles received news of a family tragedy. Charles’ mother, Carol Kinney, was diagnosed with mesothelioma from exposure to asbestos, most likely from in the home. While Charles was growing up, his mother had purchased a fixer upper. As a single mom raising six kids mostly by herself, Charles’ family couldn’t afford a home inspection. To make matters worse, statutory minimum requirements for home inspectors would not have required a home inspector to identify potential asbestos containing products in the home. Within a month of being diagnosed, Charles’ mother passed away.

Having gone through a preventable tragedy like this, Charles decided to start up a new educational nonprofit organization that would train much better home inspectors while also making high quality home inspection services accessible to everyone in our community. Charles was able to leverage his significant construction experience and nonprofit management experience to create Home Empower (dba Nonprofit Home Inspections), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to improving public safety by training exceptional home inspectors through classroom instruction, field training and an apprenticeship program. Enhanced home inspection services that exceed statutory minimum requirements are offered on a sliding scale to allow everyone in the community to have their own healthy homes.

Nonprofit Home Inspections provides free or reduced priced home inspection services for other nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and government agencies. All of Nonprofit Home Inspections’ services are offered on a sliding scale so that everyone in our community has the opportunity for their own safe and healthy homes. All of our home inspection reports exceed statutory minimum requirements for the identification of hazards in the home and include additional educational components designed to empower home owners to make informed housing decisions.

Nonprofit Leadership

Nonprofit Home Inspections’ Executive Director and lead inspector is Charles Lewis. Charles earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Portland and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Harvard University. Charles has created multiple award winning and nationally recognized nonprofit organizations over the years. He has received numerous awards and accolades ranging from being highlighted as a Public Service Innovator by Harvard University to being selected as one of the top Forty Business Leaders Under 40 by the Portland Business Journal. You can find out more about Charles’ previous work in the community by visiting CharlesLewis.com.

Home Empower – Awards

Home Empower (dba Nonprofit Home Inspections) has been recognized with a Bronze Star by Guidestar for organizational transparency.

Charles Lewis’ mother, Carol Kinney, was the inspiration for the creation of Nonprofit Home Inspections. Many years ago, Carol purchased a “fixer upper.” As a single mom working as a waitress to raise 6 kids mostly by herself, she was not able to afford a proper home inspection. Years later, she was diagnosed with mesothelioma because of exposure to asbestos (likely from the dilapidated home).

She’s seen in this picture meeting with President Barack Obama at a health care summit in 2009. She didn’t even know that she already had mesothelioma at this stage, but she was fighting to make health care something that was available to everyone in our country, regardless of socio-ecomomic status. We’re doing our part to improve the home inspection industry through classroom instruction, field training and an innovative apprenticeship model that helps create some of the best home inspectors in the industry.  As an educational institution, senior inspectors may be accompanied by apprentices and trainees during inspections. This oversight allows for real life training experience while also providing inspections on a sliding scale so that everyone can afford the benefits of an outstanding home inspection.