How can we help?
That is the question at the heart of our Community Impact Program. In some neighborhoods poverty is obvious — pastors and other congregational leaders can hardly see the potential past the overwhelming need, and Lutheran congregations become the last beacon of hope in communities that battle rampant crime, economic distress, and shifting demographics. Oftentimes, congregations have identified budding opportunities through a strategic planning process or because of their community involvement.
Whatever you imagine in the way of housing ministry, our question to you is the same: “How can we help?”
What they require is a partner to help them make a positive impact in their community in ways they hadn’t considered before or that require expertise that they don’t have. Consultants can be expensive and really don’t understand the priorities of ministry.
LCMS National Housing Support Corporation (NHSC) has introduced the Community Impact Program to increase access to just this kind of help. Our customized consulting and expertise can help congregations, social ministries, districts and their community partners assess project feasibility, assist with project planning, and/or assist with the project implementation in their community, overcoming whatever hurdles stand in the way.
It all starts with a simple application that’s designed to help leaders think through some of their initial ideas and identify some of the costs involved. There are no application deadlines and no “approvals.” The Community Impact Program application aims to help more folks think about the ways that NHSC can support their goals.
The Community Impact Program application is designed to help our partners think about the ways that the LCMS National Housing Support Corporation (NHSC) can help. Once an application is submitted, NHSC’s staff will review the application and will follow up to discuss the next steps. As we move forward we will prepare a Partnership Agreement that will outline mutual expectations.
For some, the application will be an obvious next step that comes at the end of a long series of strategic planning sessions and you have already identified ideas and hurdles that must be faced. For others, the application is a first step in a journey and the questions themselves will be helpful as you begin the planning process.
Together with the new donor-supported Community Impact Fund, which allows NHSC to provide a grant to applicants to cover the balance of the cost of their initiatives, the Community Impact Program helps strengthen congregations and other organizations where they are, in their community.
What kind of projects qualify for the Community Impact Program?
In short, think creatively.
… unused or underutilized school buildings (parochial or public) could be redeveloped for other ministry uses, including housing.
… older housing stock could indicate homeowners in need of assistance or empty houses that could be part of a larger initiative.
… social ministries may think about adding or expanding housing as a part of their overall provision of services.
If you need help with the application, send us an email or give us a call. We would be happy to help. For more information about our Community Impact Program please contact NHSC’s Director of Resource Development, Rev. John Albers, firstname.lastname@example.org or at 314-996-1317.
NHSC’s bottom line priority is to strengthen the ministry of congregations, social ministries and other LCMS entities where they are, in the communities and neighborhoods they serve. NHSC looks forward to exploring how we can help expand your outreach efforts through housing ministry!