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.