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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development

Mission: Create partnerships to improve lives, build relationships and revitalize neighborhoods within Ivanhoe and surrounding communities. In simple terms, the mission of the Front Porch Alliance is to partner with the residents of an urban neighborhood that has long been forgotten and give them the hope and determination to take back their community from the crime and blight and drugs that have consumed it over the past 35 years and made it a less than acceptable place to live and to raise a family. The first step in accomplishing this mission was to sit down with the residents and have them identify their priorities - we were willing to do whatever we could to help them create a more livable neighborhood but quite honestly we could not begin to understand what it felt like to walk in their shoes so it was evident we needed to listen first. After the priorities were identified - education, beautification, economic development and health - we were able to move forward, working alongside them to develop programs that addressed these concerns. As for our ultimate goals, we would like to see the crime rate measure at zero, to see each child receive an excellent education, to see each able resident have a job, to see each home be well-maintained, and to see each family thrive in a wholesome, nurturing environment. We''ve made great strides but there is still much to be done.

Results: We offer a multitude of programs to assist the residents in taking back their community - life skills classes, tutoring, family support, computer classes, health initiatives, minor home repair - but the greatest accomplishment is that we have given them hope, combined with the knowledge that they deserve a better life than they have been living and the tools to make that happen.

Target demographics: The people we serve are the residents of an urban Kansas City neighborhood. The majority of these residents are senior citizens, many of whom are raising their grandchildren, and the rest are mostly single moms with a number of children. Nearly 45% of these children live below the poverty level.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500

Geographic areas served: Urban neighborhoods in urban Kansas City, Missouri

Programs: 6-week summer program for youth ages 14-16 in which they learn economic education skills that help them develop their own businesses. They write a business plan, conduct market research, determine what product they wish to produce, develop a budget, buy their supplies, and then create and sell their products at different venues in the neighborhood. After repaying the loan they took from the Front Porch Alliance to purchase production supplies, the members of the companies divide the profits from their sales. This year, two of the five companies provided a service rather than a product. One did tuck pointing and landscaping for the residents of this urban neighborhood (at an affordable price) and the other painted houses under the direction of a qualified adult coach. In 2009, 56 youth participated in the program, a 27% increase from the previous summer.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this organization and love what it is about. The people in Front Porch that I have the pleasure of knowing have a quality about them that lets a person know that they are truly in their lines of work to help out in the community. They aren't like any other group who helps out the less fortunate just to look good in the public's eye; they honestly care about each individual they assist. Front Porch is the type of organization that does the best job in their field and won't ask for recognition of their endevours. Front Porch has taught me lessons about the importance of giving back to my community, and these lessons will stay with me in my personality and the positive actions I take for the rest of my life. I owe much of my current success in my young life to Front Porch, for I have only accomplished those acheivements with Front Porch

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FPA is the standard bearer for cooperative efforts with innercity neighborhoods to improve living conditions and develop a concerned community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Overall, this is an excellent organization committed to helping people develop life-skills enabling them to become self sufficient citizens. I have had the previlige of serving as a mentor in the Career Builder's Resource Center since its inception last year. This group was established by the Front Porch Alliance to help men of all ages find meaningful employment. The level of appreciation expressed by these men for the help they have received in learning basic job search skills has been outstanding. We have helped them develop their skills in resume writing, locating job opportunities, applying for jobs, and interviewing. In addition, a course in basic computer skills was recently taught by the mentors and five mentees "graduated". I urge the men of the community to participate as a mentor. It is truly needed and a rewarding experience.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Front Porch Alliance works "alongside" the residents in the Ivanhoe neighborhood making the physical conditions of their homes better and providing programming for the adults and youth in the neighborhood. FPA did not come once or twice but has stayed and for that the residents are grateful. FPA has built alot of "trust" with their neighbors. I love the summer programming for the youth and the monthly "Learn 'n Grow" programming for all residents.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As one of the early Board members of Front Porch Alliance, we learned from experts in community development that the only way to succeed in helping revitalize the Ivanhoe community was to work alongside the residents and help them to meet their own goals. We've worked hard to involve the residents in planning and implementation. I feel that after 9 years, we've formed lifelong friendships, broken down stereotypes on both sides, built trust - and best of all, improved life in the neighborhoods.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an organization that gets their hands dirty helping residents of the urban core improve their day to day living. I learned about them while volunteering with my son's class to to a cleanup in the neighborhood and build a pocket park for the residents. Front Porch knows the residents and can instantly respond to their special needs in a crisis. Residents who have grown to trust the organization and "pay it forward".