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!
The idea of empowering neighborhoods and the people in them is a radical idea. Robert Woodson said, that, "..because it’s not something that’s understood on either the left or the right of the political center. I think Bill Bennet, the former secretary of education, summarized it beautifully. He said 'When liberals look at poor people they see a sea of victims and when conservatives look at poor people they see a sea of aliens.' " I believe that's why these guys are so awesome!
Our hope and dream is to work side by side with every church denomination, organization and every walk of life. Our vision is to break the cycles of exploitation by building collaborative leadership skills from childhood to adulthood, block by block, championing the human dignity of the many races, cultures and classes represented in our communities. Because building relationships is the best way to build a stronger community; hope, love and a communal rhythm are great emancipators and essential because people will come from everywhere for the experience.