Inasmuch Facilitates Public-Private Partnership
Public-private partnerships are the rage in communities—collaborative efforts involving public or governmental entities, private agencies and churches. Just such a partnership took place in May in High Point, North Carolina and Inasmuch was the tool that brought it together.
When David Crocker visited with the principals of this partnership in June, they were thrilled with how well their Inasmuch event went. They had more volunteers than they needed. They saved the City many thousands of dollars since the home repairs were done by volunteers. The president of the Home Owners Association in the neighborhood where the projects took place said more owners have joined the HOA and a general sense of pride in the neighborhood has been on the rise since the Inasmuch event. A well done video tells the story of this amazing partnership. It may be seen above or by clicking here.
The office of Community Development in High Point knew of Inasmuch’s ability to mobilize church volunteers. So, they attended an Inasmuch training session in Greensboro in January and targeted May for their city-sponsored Inasmuch.
The City of High Point identified a community with a number of owner-occupied homes that needed repairs where the owners could not afford to make those repairs. They set aside funds to furnish materials for repairs on 11 homes. Representatives of the City personally visited with these home owners to obtain their permission to do the repairs and to obtain information to ensure they qualified according to Community Development Block Grant guidelines.
A local non-profit that specializes in repairing low-income, owner-occupied housing—Community Housing Solutions—was used to qualify each recipient of a repair project and to assess the needs of each home. Michael McNair of the City of High Point said the skills of Community Housing Solutions were essential in the success of this project. Gene Brown, Executive Director of CHS said: “Operation Inasmuch Southside brought together over 150 people to repair the homes of 11 home owners who couldn’t financially or physically do the repairs themselves. From the Southside Neighborhood Association, City of High Point, Housing Consultants Group, churches, businesses, and Community Housing Solutions, each organization used its gifts and talents in coming together to restore hope to this community.”
David Crocker of Inasmuch says, “We have not pursued these kinds of partnerships in the past because we believe the message of Inasmuch—sharing God’s love in acts of compassion done for folk who need them—is as essential as the work itself. But the events in High Point suggest that some communities may be willing to allow the faith message in order to accomplish what they could not do as well without the Inasmuch model. It’s important to note that the City purchased Inasmuch T-shirts with the Matt. 25:40 Bible verse printed on them for all the volunteers involved.”