“Again and again we are finding that when it comes to global needs in organizational development and human development, the granting of money creates dependence and conflict, not independence and respect. By changing the equation to other means of exchange, we find that we are empowering people based on shared responsibility, mutual support, and accountability."
– Ron Nikkel, President of Prison Fellowship International
Main Street Marketplace and Meeting Place has made the shift in the way we provide services to those living in instability within our community. After market research, studies, and many seminars that encompass inclusivity and empowerment, we are now motivated through education, encouragement, and continued conversation with those we serve.
Meeting Place offers a unique Getting Ahead class that provides the opportunity over a period of 15 weeks to begin to think about and re-write their new unfolding story. In a safe, facilitated group setting, the Getting Ahead class guided by Just-Gettin’-By World curriculum takes you through a step by step discovery of yourself. It’s not just about, "how you got where you are now" but discovering the steps to propel you forward to creating the best life possible. This class opens doors by implementing resources for those in instability that may not have had the knowledge of where or how to access prior to the program. During this 15-week course, students will break old habits and be educated on what has lead them to setbacks in obtaining a stable lifestyle. Our facilitators are trained and are aware of the conflicts that occur on a daily basis that one faces in poverty. They are highly trained on problems such as "predators" that specifically target people in need and the effect that it has on their journey to security. Through encouragement and consistent mentorship, Getting Ahead students' build the life they envision in order to be stable so they are able to give back to the community.
Spreading the Word
Meeting Place offers educational classes to all people with different backgrounds and experiences. Recent research has presented a deeper understanding of how people living in instability face challenges virtually unknown to those in the middle or upper class. This program will shine a light on the challenges those living in crisis confront from both obvious and hidden perspectives. During the training, facilitators will offer a new outlook for understanding and address the dynamics which characterize life in instability and why it is so challenging for people to break the cycle. As a community, we begin to explore practical ways and compassionate strategies for engagement that can have a positive impact on people's lives without creating a system of dependency.
Unity in the Community
Marketplace and Meeting Place believes, "Everyone has a place at the table." All are welcome, each person serves a specific and divine role within the organization. No matter if one perceives himself or herself to be on the giving or the receiving side, all "sides" leave with the feeling of respect and gratitude. A community is not only about helping, but being a source of comfort for which one may long for. Through an extension of compassion, a person with multiple resources can lead so that others can partake in the benefits. Together our community is working towards one goal and that is goodwill and abundant life for all. With all parties properly educated on backgrounds and life experiences as a whole, our local town can commonly make a long term investment and achieve a unified purpose.
"Each of us can make a difference... Together we can make a change."