Organizational History

/Organizational History
Organizational History 2018-04-07T18:51:09+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 that could have identified some of the hazards 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 nonprofit that would make 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 helping families make safe, financially sound and environmentally friendly housing decisions.

Nonprofit Home Inspections provides free home inspection services for other nonprofits such as safe houses for victims of domestic violence, weatherization programs for seniors, and housing programs for low income families. In addition, 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.

Within a few years of being established, Nonprofit Home Inspections has become one of the highest rated home inspection companies in the region. Originally started to give home inspections in Portland, Oregon, Nonprofit Home Inspections has expanded into providing home inspections in Vancouver, Washington and home inspections in Eugene, Oregon. Wanting to magnify their impact by helping to train others to become outstanding home inspectors in their own right, Nonprofit Home Inspections teamed up with InterNACHI to create a Washington Home Inspector Training program and an Oregon Home Inspector Training program.

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 – The Future

Nonprofit Home Inspections’ umbrella organization is called Home Empower, a licensed nonprofit general construction organization that has been organized like Habitat for Humanity.  In addition to running its flagship program Nonprofit Home Inspections, Home Empower is gearing up for helping low income families make environmentally friendly upgrades to their homes including the installation of ultra efficient mini split heat pumps and solar panel systems. In preparation for the launching of these programs, Home Empower has installed 6 solar panel arrays and 4 mini split heat pumps. Home Empower is looking forward to officially launching this program in the near future in order to help low income families make environmentally friendly housing improvements at little or no cost.

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 about a year before she passed away 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.

Nonprofit Home Inspections is doing our part to help residents in Oregon and Washington make informed decisions so that everyone can have healthy homes in which to raise their families. All of our services are offered on a sliding scale so that everyone can afford the benefits of an outstanding home inspection. Formed as a public nonprofit organization, Nonprofit Home Inspections is not in it for the money. Nonprofit Home Inspections’ only goal is to help individuals and their families make safe, financially sound and environmentally friendly housing decisions. With that being said, another goal would be to make all of our mothers proud.