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. The gatherings are a critical tool that we use to help people identify, discuss, and find solutions to problems and we facilitate processes that help people visualize a healthy existence. Topics include: financial management, health, parenting, employment, cultural events, relationships, education, re-entry 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
The Village of Hope recognizes that the wisdom of elders and the enthusiasm and brilliance of our children and youth anchor a strong Black community and we work to strengthen those ties. In preparation for a recent Village Gathering that honored a father and son with a long history of commitment, children between the ages of 5 and 14 participated in a series of sessions that included peer interviews, presentations to a group of Black men in a career class and finally interviews with the honorees. In addition to gaining experience with event planning, our children gained a strong sense of our history and a strong appreciation for Black men of all ages and walks of life in our community. Likewise, the honorees as well as all fathers and sons in attendance at the Village Gathering were affirmed. In the words of the daughter of the honoree, “We know how strong our past is because we’ve been taught; now it’s time to build a strong future.”
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.