Vanguard Street Ministry is a subsidiary of Urban Alliance. Urban Alliance’s mission is to foster and promote community development programs within urban communities. In addition, they are a conduit for agencies, churches and corporations to contribute to the betterment of their community.
Urban Alliance is formed out of a need to see urban communities transformed and a desire to create a vehicle for that to happen. Although the work of Vanguard Street Ministry was conceived as early as 1999, Urban Alliance, Inc. received its tax exempt status in 2006. Along with creating, fostering and promoting community development programs within inner city neighborhoods, Urban Alliance serves as a conduit for providing multiple services to the local community.
Since its inception, Urban Alliance thru its four divisions has fostered many positive programs, beginning in the Kalamazoo County through various partnerships. The goal of Urban Alliance, Inc. is not to duplicate services but rather to work with people and organizations that have creative ideas on how to fill service gaps within their community. Our target group is marginalized people. Our experience over the past 12 years has been that evangelism alongside social services provides a powerful offense against hopelessness, poverty, addiction and crime.
Apart from Vanguard Street Ministry, Urban Alliance Inc. encompasses three divisions:
Momentum Neighborhood Employment Solutions is a neighborhood based economic development engine connecting unemployed and underemployed individuals of the community with employment and entrepreneurship opportunities through training, coaching and networking with our business partners.
Momentum provides eligible unemployed and underemployed people with job and life skill training to secure and maintain new employment. The 10 week program takes place four times per year. UA has established a Momentum Business Network (MBN) whose members guarantee interviews and hold positions open for each graduate upon completion of the program.
His Kingdom Housing is the division of Urban Alliance responsible for transforming neighborhoods through strategic investment, rehabilitation and housing services. Its mission is to provide safe, quality affordable housing opportunities to people in need while building a better neighborhood for all to live in. Since its inception in 2010, its work has primarily focused on the Edison neighborhood of Kalamazoo MI.
His Kingdom Housing highlights include:
- Rehabilitated two homes in Edison
- Created extensive external improvements to 10 other homes
- Provided neighborhood clean up beautification and safety lighting
- Created quality affordable housing opportunities
- Created ‘Lease to Own’ opportunities
- Provided neighborhood based economic development, recruitment, and employment opportunities and training
- Provide opportunities for youth engagement and establish programming to reduce crime, youth violence and school absenteeism
Urban Alliance has always been interested in setting up alliances with other local community development organizations. Upon its inception, UA soon started attracting interest from the wider community who shared Urban Alliances vision but had their own ideas on how to bring about transformation in their respective communities. UA provides an incubator for these enthusiastically led organizations to grow until they are ready to form their own 501(c)(3). We provide oversight, advice and resources to ensure continual growth and development. Our fiduciaries partners have included:
- The Media Arts Academy – provides at risk youth job readiness skills in the media industry alongside skill-building towards self-sufficiency. The MMA also provides opportunities for youth to build social and emotional learning competencies along with a positive self-identity. Over 130 young people have successfully participated in media arts and social change projects since its inception.
- Project Restart – providing free renovated computers to under resourced residents of Kalamazoo.
- Kingdom Minded Ministries – fosters the healthy development of ex-offenders, young adults (teens), and single parents. KMM does this through their Food Service Training and Certificate Program along with their Moral and Character Building Skills Program. These programs help create a new future for ex-offenders by helping to re-establish them back into society.
- Tree of Life – exists to provide a Christian centered education to all children regardless of their socio-economic situation. Tree of Life celebrates ethnic diversity and equips children to serve God, people, and creation to their fullest potential.
- Aviators – is a movement that identifies, equips and mobilizes indigenous leaders within low income neighborhoods to teach their fellow neighbors how to navigate, activate and advocate in their local community. Aviators aims to develop a collective neighborhood vision and city-wide plan leading to systemic change and poverty reduction.
For more information about Urban Alliance go to www.uainc.org, phone (269) 348-0978 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.