That’s how we describe 1MISSION’s work. It’s right there in our mission statement. But what do those words mean exactly? What do you think of when you hear that term?
For some people, it may bring to mind a multi-million dollar real estate project. Others may think of a master-planned community, complete with a rec center and a pool. Churchgoers may think of small group ministries.
While each of those things may involve some kind of community and some form of development, they’re not exactly what we mean when we say community development.
For us, community development is a process. More specifically, it’s a process in which neighbors link arms with neighbors to find solutions to local problems. Community development is collective action that results in a positive change for everyone involved.
Community development is about entire neighborhoods being raised out of poverty. Forever.
Yes, community development involves money. But even more important, it involves people’s skills and abilities and passions. It sees each man, woman, and child as a whole person—body, soul, and mind—and invites them to participate holistically.
You may have been under the impression that 1MISSION is in the housing business. That’s understandable: we do build houses, and housing is crucial in the fight against poverty.
Kids who grow up in houses with solid, concrete floors are actually more likely to finish school. A house with a door that locks and a roof that keeps out the rain means families stay safer and healthier.
Families in safe, secure housing are able to focus on better job opportunities, prioritizing their family’s future rather than merely trying to survive each difficult day.
Housing matters. But housing isn’t everything. For us, the house is actually a catalyst and a byproduct of the process of community development.
Because community development has been such an important part of our work, for years we designated a portion of what we budgeted for every house project to cover community development costs.
As the community development programs have grown—and community members who are not house applicants have started participating more and more (a good thing!)—our budget for community development has increased beyond the funds available within the house projects.
Recent increases in the cost of construction materials for houses have also eaten away at the funds available for these important community development programs.
As new families apply for houses, we want to be able to provide them with access to the projects where they can not only serve the community in order to earn their house, but they can learn important skills that will help them to earn additional income.
That’s why this month we are asking for your help. Our goal is to raise $200,000 to fund community development programs for the next 12 months.
This will ensure that projects like community gardening, sewing classes, our literacy program, and carpentry classes will continue running efficiently and effectively.
Your partnership makes possible everything we do. Together, we are lifting entire communities out of poverty. One house, one garden, one sewing class at a time.
Will you support our community development work with a gift of $60, $125, or $300?