Mission: St. Louis is Transforming a City

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One of the coolest ideas in On the Verge is being implemented by Mission: St. Louis, a non-profit that exists “to transform the city of St. Louis through education, empowerment and development by connecting churches with neighborhoods in need.”

Mission: St. Louis was launched by The Journey in the St. Louis area with a vision of “building lasting relationships with neighborhoods in need and restoring dignity to the people who live in the communities,” their strategy is to bring about such transformation by creating “a network of churches who work alongside communities in need to create a safe and nurturing environment for all people.”

Churches or groups “operating alone often struggle with duplicating the efforts of others and maintaining limitied resources.  However, many people working together with the same purpose will have a lasting impact on our city.”

Along with educational programs (like Adopt a Classroom) and empowerment programs (like  job training programs), the Community Loop program has served over 40 families this year, with over $100,000 in resources.

I recently interviewed Josh Kamer, the director of one of the most innovative solutions being pioneered by Mission: St. Louis.  Josh joined the staff 2 years ago to develop the Community Loop program “to enable homeowners in Forest Park Southeast and Hamilton Heights to remain in their homes and to ensure safe and healthy living environments for community members.”

There are several keys to the Community Loop program that ultimately lead to projects being developed that serve the people who need help maintaining their homes:

  1. The Community Loop website was developed to provide an easy to use way to connect interested volunteers with suitable projects.  You can get a look at it right here.
  2. Training is provided for churches and volunteers who want to participate in the program.  The training provided is both on-site and on-the-job.  To date, over 250 captains have been trained; prepared to go into the website, log in and set up a project.
  3. Donated warehouse space provides storage for material donations (largely overstock and damaged goods) from Home Depot and other corporations making it easier to complete projects.
  4. Community Loop is also designed to receive tax-deductible donations as well.  It’s easy to give.

What have you seen that helps groups get involved in mission?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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