Our approach: Asset-based community development
Launched in 2001, Together for Hope (TFH) represents a national, long-term effort to work with people in 20 of the nation's most impoverished counties in order to affect change around the causes and consequences of economic disparity. The ministry is about establishing lasting relationships, listening, learning and walking alongside local leaders and residents. The hope is that these partnerships will be transforming for the local communities and the partnering congregations, organizations, and individuals who work in the focal counties.
While Together for Hope focuses on East Carroll Parish, as it's been named one of the most impoverished places in the country, our work also believes in the value of establishing partnerships with other organizations and individuals throughout the Louisiana and Mississippi Delta. Community development entails working together with concerned groups both within East Carroll and throughout the this wider Delta Region. Together for Hope, for instance, regularly partners with Teach for America, AmeriCorps, and other programs made possible by the Delta Regional Authority , the USDA, and Louisiana Economic Development (LED).
Asset-Based Community Development
Asset-based community development is the idea that communities are the driving force in bringing about sustainable change. Together for Hope, then, is one community partner among many that works alongside local citizens and leaders to facilitate the processes of helping communities flourish. Our work, then, is focused on the strengths and capacities of the city, the parish, and individual citizens. This type of community development listens respectfully to the citizens as they determine projects and goals that they want to accomplish.
This is done by listening to local leaders and others, building relationships of trust with them, learning about existing resources, and walking alongside them to find solutions.
We work with local residents, state and regional Fellowship groups, churches across denominational lines, faith groups, non-profits, and other organizations to maximize local resources and to empower community members.
Volunteers participate in house repair, church construction, health care, clothing, literacy, food supply, recreation, day camps, economic development, job skills training, and a variety of community development activities.