Unidos South OC is a faith-based non-profit based in San Juan Capistrano, California. (Tax ID: 82-3510252)
Our mission: to strengthen under-resourced neighborhoods
Our method: Christian Community Development. Believing that God is already at work in the neighborhood, we begin with the assets already here, particularly the residents who know and care about their neighborhood. From that base, we move outward, working toward collaboration between churches, non-profits, civic institutions and businesses for the good of all of San Juan Capistrano. Direct services in the area of education help us meet our neighbors, then together we build community through events, programs and collective action. Finally, this strengthened community can look toward larger issues to create a brighter future for themselves and their families.
Our “why”: Unidos volunteers, partners and collaborators participate with Unidos for various reasons. For the staff and board of Unidos, however, it all comes down to three things: the Margin, the Church and Cross-barrier Friendship.
The Margin. Throughout scripture we see a theme of God reversing the normal way. The younger brother receives the inheritance, the lowly will be lifted up and the last will be first. Through His people, God is making a new world according to His values. He is changing everything by bringing priority, focus and honor to those who in this world lack it. Unidos is joining Jesus in His upside down kingdom by focusing on those who remain out of the world’s focus.
Church. The Church is Jesus’ body – His primary means of acting in the world. Unidos serves the Church by helping her answer the question: What does God want to do on the margin of South Orange County that we can do better together? By helping local congregations collaborate in strategic action, Unidos facilitates Church-wide unity in mission to the margin.
Cross-barrier Friendship. God does His best work through relationships. However, to build friendships between the margin and the Church, there are barriers in the way: socio-economic differences, cultural differences and ethnicity. We must cross those barriers to build genuine friendships. When we do so, everyone wins. The Church learns to prioritize love over our assumptions and comfort, making us more like Jesus. The marginal community benefits materially from the overflow of the Church’s love for them, showing them what God is really like.