Homework in the Garage

Homework in the Garage is the first step of long-term Community Development.  We are using this program to build trust with the community and get to know neighborhood residents.  It is an after-school homework help program for elementary aged students in the Capistrano Villas neighborhood.  Many children in this neighborhood are significantly behind in their academic progress, which sets them on a risky path for their future.  Half of adults here lack a high school diploma, and just as many are not fluent in English, so they lack the ability to help their own children succeed in school.  Community members have asked Unidos for help in this area and are partnering with us to provide this important support for their community. This program shows the community that God cares about their unique circumstances, and then we embody that caring concern in our volunteers’ relationships with the kids.

Neighborhood Action Committee

Community development begins by discovering local assets, specifically the people in the neighborhood who are willing to invest in improving their community.  In the coming year, Unidos will gather these resident-leaders and invite them to dream of a partnership between their neighborhood and caring local churches.  Then our neighbors can invite the Church to partner with them in various programs of community development.  Each one of these programs will be a context for building “cross-barrier friendships” that communicate God’s love to our neighbors and transform us into the likeness of Jesus.

Community Center

We are praying for an opportunity to open a community center in the Capistrano Villas neighborhood that would make many more community development programs possible.  There, churches and community residents will have the opportunity to build transformative friendships through programs like: Mentoring, Individualized Tutoring, Family Matching, Bible Studies, Cultural-tradition Sharing, Low-income Financial Management Classes, Prayer meetings, Cross-cultural Cooking Classes, Spanish/English Conversation Groups, Missional Engagement Workshops and others.