The Co-Op is a faith-based initiative of Kansas City area churches working together to bring about sustainable transformation at the neighborhood level. Collaborative partnerships both within the community and outside the community are working together on a holistic approach focused on:
Health and Wellness Services.
Learn more through this video…
Background: The Co-Op at Work in the Kansas City Metro
The idea of the Co-Op grew out of a conference we did back in 2007 called “Beyond Talk” as a way for churches across the Kansas City area to explore and create new models of working together, models that could contribute to neighborhood revitalization and sustainable community development. What emerged was a group of churches and nonprofits willing to move beyond the four walls of the church to be a part of the long-term work of sustainable neighborhood transformation. Here’s a short video from Rev. Wallace S Hartsfield, Sr; pastor of Metropolitan Missionary Baptist where the conference was held. It’s a poignant conversation with a leading urban pastor in the Kansas City area describing the impact that the historical failures of a racially divided church continue to have on our current reality and how we might better understand the road ahead.
In 2012 the Co-Op was officially launched and is now working in various stages with three neighborhoods across the Greater Kansas City Area. The Co-Op’s goal is to help these three neighborhoods become the kind of place one would want to live not leave. Currently the Co-Op is incorporated in the state of Kansas and has filed for its 501c3 status with the IRS which it anticipates receiving in early 2015. In the meantime, the Co-Op functions as an initiative under the Fiscal Sponsorship of Significant Matters.
The Mission of the Co-Op is to mobilize, equip and facilitate collaboration among churches and other willing partners to bring about neighborhood transformation reflecting Christ’s plan for a just and reconciled city.
The Co-Op continually develops partnerships with area churches, business leaders, and service providers, as well as city and civic leaders across the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. This alignment of faith-based marketplace leaders, community leaders, and church leaders is intended to bring a broad array of skills, abilities, and resources for neighborhood renewal efforts. The current Co-Op partnering entities include:
- Avenue of Life
- Church of the Resurrection
- Colonial Presbyterian Church
- CrossPoint Community Church
- Paseo Baptist Church
- Significant Matters
- The Mission House Network
The Issue at Hand
According to a report by the United Community Services of Johnson County, more than 225,000 people in the six-county area of the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area lived in poverty in 2010. From 2000-2010 the number of poor increased by 65 percent to nearly 90,000 people, and one-half of the increase occurred since 2007. The federal poverty rate in the Kansas City area increased from 8.6 percent of the population in 2000 to 12.7 percent in 2010. While the average poverty rate is 12.7 percent metro-wide, it is 20 percent within the urban core. The bottom line is Kansas City is losing ground, and urban neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of poverty are suffering the most. There are no easy answers, however, to continue to rely solely on imperfect government institutions or very overwhelmed private charity is a recipe for continued decline.
Sustainable Community Development… A Place to Live not Leave
The Co-Op team is leveraging its efforts and expertise to address SUSTAINABLE community development along a continuum of Emergency Relief – Individual Betterment – Community Development. Experience has shown that relief and betterment without COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT becomes a way out of the community, leaving the community itself further depleted.
Our vision is to help create a neighborhood where basic needs are being met without outside charitable resources and where the community itself can provide the means and opportunities for individuals to grow and achieve their potential.
The Wendell Phillips Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI)
NTI Leader: Pastor Greg Ealey | Sr Pastor Paseo Baptist Church
Boundaries: 18th Street to 31st Street and Paseo Blvd to Prospect
Hickman Mills Neighborhood Transformation Initiative (NTI)
NTI Leader: Pastor Dennis Solis | Sr Pastor CrossPoint Community Church
Boundaries: E Bannister Rd to Red Bridge Rd and Hickman Mills Dr to Red Bridge Rd
All three NTI’s
Download a copy of the Co-Op Over view here: Co-Op_Ovrvw_Ch