Elevate – Springfield
In 2013 the Elevate-Springfield Project, under Convoy of Hope, started with four pastors in one of the most at-risk neighborhoods of the city. Over the last 3 and ½ years, Elevate-Springfield has grown to over 28 churches actively involved with another 50 churches being involved at some level of serving the poor in Springfield.
Over 25 neighborhood block parties have already taken place in Springfield. Scores of neighborhood clean-ups and school partnerships have been established.
In 2016 Elevate organized 5 record breaking city-wide gatherings of churches. Elevate provided training on effective ways to engage impoverished families in low income neighborhoods.
In addition, Convoy of Hope’s Elevate Initiative along with the city of Springfield and another organization hosted a half-day city wide summit, just for pastors. Over 120 Springfield pastors and leaders attended. Practical, proven opportunities to partner with city government, schools, and poor neighborhoods were adopted by many.
2017-2018 Elevate-Springfield Projects
In 2017 Elevate Lives, has become a separate nonprofit and implementing partner of Convoy of Hope. Our plan over the next 24 months, is to expand our support of Springfield churches, working with city officials, to reduce poverty in the city’s poorest neighborhoods:
- We will work with local government (Mayor, city council, city manager and his staff) to provide on-ramps for the church to engage in key neighborhoods helping the poor. (Churches working with Government)
- At our new distribution center, we will train and resource churches in impoverished neighborhoods, so they have what they need to serve the poor around them. (Church Resourcing)
- We will link “Partner Churches” (churches located in higher economic areas of the city) with “Neighborhood Churches” so both can strategically implement Elevate principles in impoverished neighborhoods. (Churches Helping Churches)
- We will provide training and implementation of proven methods for neighborhood churches to engage in new relationships with their neighbors. (Neighbors Helping Neighbors)
- We will recruit and train neighborhood churches and volunteers to help their neighborhood K-12 schools. (Churches Helping Schools)
- As a founding partner of the first Jobs for Life program in a low-income Springfield neighborhood, our goal is to expand this sustainable program through other low-income locations throughout the North Side of Springfield. In Jobs for Life, Churches help families learn better life skills so they can acquire better paying jobs.
- We will provide citywide pastor summits with national leaders, to provide cutting edge training to help Springfield church leaders unite together around what God is doing in the city.
- We are planning citywide church gatherings that will enable Christians to worship together, partake of communion, and hear from a respected national leader about engaging their neighbors with the love of God.
- An important long-term goal is to help create a new low-income housing program where unstable families attend life-skills training in exchange for rent rebates. This stabilizes families and prepares them for home ownership.