The Village of Hope Programs
The Village promotes excellence for all people. Every person has purpose and a role in making our community strong and healthy. The Village is a place to work to build community. We provide individual support for the purpose of building leadership, collective learning through our Village Gathering Model and community organizing and leadership development opportunities.
Individuals are supported to assess their strengths, resources and challenges and develop personal goals to improve in areas such as finances, housing, education, parenting, health, relationships and spirituality. We support all people, with an emphasis on people currently or previously incarcerated.
Village Gatherings bring us together to learn and grow. Topics include: financial management, health, parenting, employment, cultural events, relationships, education etc. Gatherings are held at many locations including homes, schools, community centers and prison facilities. We see gatherings as a leadership development tool and offer opportunities for Village participants to use and develop their skills to help plan and coordinate gatherings.
Community Organizing and Leadership Development
Village of Hope organizing work helps people understand the systemic issues that impact our families and community. The work leads to community and institutional transformation while developing leaders among youth, families and elders.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In March 2012, the Village partnered with Pearl Legacy to host a gathering on social media, More than 200 people (85% youth) attended. Youth leaders, Attorneys, NAACP, Microsoft staff and law enforcement laid out a clear picture of the pitfalls of social media and the impact on future education and employment opportunities as well as criminal justice implications.
The highlight was a testimonial from a young person currently involved in legal proceedings resulting from social media. Youth talent was showcased through performances throughout the day. The topic was selected by youth at a previous gathering and they worked with adult mentors to organize the gathering.
This gathering was hosted in cooperation with Marguerite Casey’s Equal Voice for Families Campaign. The Village has been involved with more than 30,000 families and 250 community organizations to lay out a platform to address the needs of families. The Village organized the national kick-off event hosted by the Black Prisoners Caucus in Monroe Correctional facility in 2008. Village participants have traveled to Olympia, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles to give voice to the platform in the areas of education, criminal justice and youth.
Funding is a challenge. Nearly 80% of our core team volunteers without compensation because they believe in the work. While this base of support is strength, given the economic reality in our community more capacity is needed to employ people to do this work.