Rebuilding Communities thru Public-Private Partnerships
Partnerships between private agencies, city governments, and churches historically have not gone well. These entities have been kept separate and generally have their own agendas to carry out. But what if these public, private, church collaborations actually worked? What would a town look like? What would communities feel like to live in?
Let me take you over to High Point, NC, where Operation Inasmuch is used by the entire town to bring big change to that community.
“A stranger is a friend that you’ve never met,” said Michael McNair, Director of Community Development and Housing of High Point. That is something the community in High Point takes to heart as they go out twice a year and drastically change their city, one street at a time.
The process to make these Inasmuch Days happen all works so beautifully. The city provides the financial resources. The public/non-profit groups add their skills and organization to the day. And finally, the churches and the neighborhoods come out in droves to get these projects accomplished and change lives.
Communications begin months in advance leading up to these large Inasmuch Days. Homeowners are having face-to-face meetings with community leaders to talk about their homes and people in the community are getting to know their city leaders. There are then follow up meetings by non-profit leaders and these same people are now getting to know what resources are all around them. McNair says, “These relationships endure.” Trust is growing throughout the city. The homeowners are talking more with each other and taking pride in their streets and in the greater community of High Point.
Allowing people to “age in place” in a safe and healthy way, as well as keeping people in their homes is a huge benefit of the many projects completed. Many of these homes have been passed down through the generations and many are showing their age. Sofia Crisp, Executive Director of Housing Consultants Group, says their homes, as broken down as some are, are some people’s only asset. This adds generational wealth to their community and value to the lives of the people that live there.
When Operation Inasmuch was created, I’m sure it was never a dream to have city governments using this faith-based model to change a community. But show up in High Point on one of their Inasmuch Days, it is clear that everyone is willing to serve under this model of ministry… just look for the crowds with the red Inasmuch shirts.
You can watch more videos of these amazing High Point Inasmuch Days on our YouTube page.