has received a $50,000 grant from Bank of America to support a wide range of community revitalization efforts coordinated through the organization's HOPE Village Initiative.
HOPE Village is a community change initiative with the goal of having 100 percent of the residents educated, economically self-sufficient, and living in a safe and supportive environment by the year 2031.
Right now there are over 5,000 people living in the neighborhood where Focus: HOPE's campus is on Oakman Boulevard. Almost half are considered poor, two-thirds of the children are impoverished, and about half of the adults are not working.
"There's a lot of need," says Kathy Moran, communication manager for Focus: HOPE. "There are a lot of opportunities for helping people get a good education, get a good job and help rebuild the neighborhood."
The grant will support a number of programs Focus: HOPE has for planning in that direction, including the Job Seeker's Boot Camp, an employment and entrepreneurial training program, other on-campus employment training opportunities, training supporting pregnancy and childbirth, initiatives to combat blight and focus on safety, placemaking strategies, housing revitalization strategies, community connectedness and engagement, and more.
The neighborhood has recently shown some signs of life. The Neighborhood Service Organization
took over the Bell Building (which they will officially celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 23), Lutheran Child and Family Services has an apartment for homeless families and youth aging out of foster care, and the Presbyterian Church has housing for very low income senior citizens. Focus: HOPE is working with community organizations, churches, and neighborhood residents to best address the needs of the neighborhood. They have also received support from United Way.
Source: Kathy Moran, communication manager for Focus: HOPE
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg
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