Results: Clean Socks Hope, is a faith-based 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt, publicly supported nonprofit that helps under-served communities with programming that includes a low income food cooperative called the Midtown Neighborhood Network. Without viable transportation, many families face a 1 to 2 hour round trip trying to find healthy food options. This phenomenon is referred to as a food desert. Meaning, the Midtown community of New Albany, Indiana has no local grocery or department store and its lack of transportation issues causes our neighbors to walk or ride their bike past acres of alcohol, lottery tickets and processed food options. This is an open invitation to crime, drugs and sex trafficking.
We partner with the under-served neighborhoods beginning with its residents, then its churches, nonprofits and businesses and finally local government to provide innovative and holistic development that produces flourishing communities where God's peace is present. We refer to this as Spiritual Gentrification. Our goal is to designate a 10-year master plan and when that community is up and thriving, move to the adjacent or to the next neighborhood in need and replicate the process. We’ve been offering our Christmas Store and Food Cooperative to the Midtown community for over 3 years with one caveat. The families must have skin in the game equal to the benefits they receive.
Target demographics: Our passion, purpose and focus as a group has evolved and since 2010 has focused on impoverished children (the average age for the homeless in America is 9 years old) and their parents (almost always a single mother with an average of 2 children to care for). We work in partnership with Northside Christian Church on Oak St. and Hope Southern Indiana (formerly Interfaith Community Council) and area "like thinking" missions and organizations, churches and grass root organizations.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 720
Geographic areas served: Louisville (KY) Metro, (New Albany) Southern Indiana
Programs: OUR JOURNEY STARTS HERE:
The Christmas Store—Hope for Parents Program positions potential candidates to the store itself and to the Midtown Neighborhood Network.
The Christmas Store: December 2012—58 Families Impacted—213 of that number (143) are children. 94% of parents were women. Hope Bucks Spent—$3,366.24 (269 Work Hours) each family worked an approximate 7.5 hours toward Christmas benefits. Total Retail Inventory Value—$19,526.97 Hard Work = Hope.
And Then – Midtown Neighborhood Network: To date, nine families that total 26 family members in partnership with Dare to Care and Hope Southern Indiana offers between $75 to $125 of groceries every other week offering dignity and hope! 66% of the participating families came from the Christmas Store the others from Midtown Commons! 100% of the relationships came from Midtown Commons!
I have the honor to lead this incredible legions of volunteers toward a better place for our community! We learned that we need to listen to the needs of those we serve and not what we think they want. A fellow missionary who said that the Romanian mission that he visits twice a year had torn down almost all of their ‘westernized’ out houses and used the wood on their own homes and used parts for kindling during the winter. The team never thought to ask them what they needed, but assumed they knew what they wanted. The 1st step of repentance of pride is, “I’m broken.”
“Poverty is the result of relationships that do not work, that are not just, that are not for life, that are not harmonious or enjoyable. Poverty is the absence of shalom in all its meanings.” ~Bryant Myers, Walking with the Poor
“We are a community that radiates hope for all residents through empowering relationships.”
“If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” Isaiah 58:10
Charity has its place in emergency situations. A life that is lived on as a recipient of charity is a miserable life. I think, in our DNA, the way God made us, we are made as co-creators. God wants us to perfect and to really finish His creation. And if you’re simply a recipient of charity, you’re not doing that. That's why I love these guys!!
Had the pleasure to be a part of Serve Day as musical entertainment. The life that this event bought to this neighborhood was evident in people's expressions of curiosity as they lingered around the park grounds throughout the day. It's very rare to find a group of people willing to serve with pure intentions and unselfish motives. Clean Socks Hope is love at its best.
CSH does a great job helping those who need it in the community. Currently, they want to make sure everyone can enjoy Christmas by opening up a Christmas Store for the season. I'm sure that will bring smiles to many faces, for people who otherwise would have limited opportunity to celebrate. I'm looking forward to assisting in this project.
Clean Socks is working to change the local attitudes about charity work - from being a simple handout (give a man a fish) into being a hand up out of poverty (teach a man to fish). Charity can become non-redemptive when it's done in a Debt-Debtor relationship. I respect that concept and much more enjoy donating my time and money when I can see an overall improvment in a life.