About Us

Mountain Projects has a Board of Directors with 18 members representing three distinct groups. First, as was envisioned from the outset, representatives of low income target area communities provide an avenue for those most affected by the conditions of poverty to have input into planning programs to address the community's needs. Secondly, representatives from other organizations that provide services to the community comprise the second third of the membership and provide their critical input into developing new, complementary programs to address community needs. Thirdly, elected officials representing Haywood and Jackson Counties including towns and municipalities, constitute the remainder of the Board membership. Their support of the work of Mountain Projects is key to its success.
Our Goals:

  • To do such things as are necessary or desirable for advancing the general welfare of the people of Haywood and Jackson Counties (and surrounding area thereof).
  •  To develop and implement comprehensive programs which will be designed to improve the social, economic, educational, health, emotional and environmental aspects of the lives of the families and individuals eligible to participate in programs in Haywood and Jackson Counties.
  •  To involve disadvantaged people in planning and carrying out all programs that deal with their problems.
  •  To develop new types of services and innovative approaches in attacking causes of poverty.
  •  Better organization of a range of services related to the needs of the community.

Did you know:

  • MPI touches more than 7000 lives per month.
  • 97% of the clients served by MPI are the working poor, disabled, elderly or handicapped.
  • MPI employs 130 staff members.
  • MPI maintains offices in Sylva and Waynesville
  • MPI operates 32 grants for its 21 programs.
  • MPI completes a community assessment every three years to survey public opinion on the needs for services in the community.
  • In 1965, MPI was chartered as a nonprofit agency. We were founded in October of that year as part of President Johnson's War on Poverty.
  • Our first grant was from the Office of Economic Opportunity in the amount of $52,021. Current revenues are over $10,000,000.
  • Operation Medicare Alert was the first program, followed by the Neighborhood Youth Corps and Head Start.
  • In 1976 two of our Head Start teachers were the first in this state to earn their CDA certificates.
  • Our Executive Directors have been: Bruce Wike, Jeffrey McArthur, George Carpenter, Sara Q. Brown, Bob Leatherwood and, currently Patsy (Dowling) Davis.

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