Our community development model uses an asset based approach in which we look at the strengths of a community instead of focusing on its negative aspects. Through outreach programs and strategic relationships, we look at each community to bridge the gap by partnering with other ministries and agencies. We believe the four main components of community development are: education, physical health, economics, and spiritual health.
Community change begins with education and the development of basic skills for all people. Education encompasses the traditional K-12th grade route, adult education, financial guidance, work skills, and anything else that will help to empower residents to live healthier lives. We invest in tutoring, mentoring, and after school homework centers in West End, East Lake, Woodlawn, Avondale, Fairfield and Pratt City. We have raised awareness for our partners in these communities and have connected volunteers to invest in the lives of their residents.
We serve in the community through tutoring programs, STAIR reading programs, assisting with special needs, facility maintenance, summer camps, identifying individual volunteers who have a love of
teaching and connecting them with service opportunities, providing educational resources to teachers
and students, and by helping our partners obtain grants for summer camps and other educational opportunities.
The overall health of an individual is essential to the health of a community and we believe a healthy community has access to medical facilities, food, and transportation. We partner with Christ Health Center in Woodlawn, Hope Health Care in Fairfield, and MPower Ministries in Avondale and we assist these partners with resources and volunteers so they can provide better care in their underserved communities.
Health fairs are one of the ways our partners reach out to their communities and we partner with them by donating medical and health related items when available, promoting their events, and providing them with volunteers. The Birmingham Sharing Gardens (BSG) is a cooperative of churches and organizations committed to community gardening which not only provides a greater variety of healthy food choices, but also is a place for neighbors to gather and interact. We started the BSG in 2013 with 3 gardens and we now operate 6 gardens and an aquaponics growing station located at CSM.
Financial security is foundational to a thriving community and multiple factors influence the economics of a community: housing affordability and availability, access to credit unions, job training, and job placement. The creation of jobs for the underserved and uneducated builds opportunities for people to care for themselves.
Working with partners such as the City of Birmingham, ARCH, and various churches, we are able to build new homes and repair damaged homes. This improves the health of the individuals living in these homes and improves the overall livability of the neighborhood. Residents often own their home, but do not have the financial resources, knowledge or skills to fix common household problems. Often these problems go unaddressed until there is a serious health issue. By using skilled and unskilled volunteers we can ease a very stressful situation for many of our underserved home owners. Our goal is to not only fix the immediate problem, but also to provide Gospel driven spiritual care to the whole family as well.
We believe that true and lasting change can only come through the strength and power of Jesus Christ and that the local church has the greatest ability to impact the lives of the residents.
We partner with pastors coming alongside their vision for community change. By building partnerships with local churches and connecting them with other churches, we help them work together to meet the needs in the community so that residents see Christians and their local church living out the Gospel by meeting their immediate needs.
Christian Service Mission (“CSM”) is a 501(c)(3) organization. Disclosure statement.
Copyright © Christian Service Mission. All rights reserved.