Create Networks, Build Infrastructure, Attract Resources and Build Scale
For the past 30 years, thousands of non-profit community development organizations (CDOs) and CDFIs have demonstrated effective strategies for addressing poverty and underdevelopment in the United States. These organizations have developed a variety of successful community programs, all designed to improve the quality of life in their local communities. Despite this important work and, in many cases, impressive results, these organizations generally have been unable to scale up their operations—that is, to make a meaningful and sustainable impact by serving a larger percentage of those in need.
What Does Scale Mean?
For community development, scale means providing services to a large number of low-income people, providing services to a significant percentage of those in need, having enough capital to develop new products and services, and getting beyond year-to-year funding concerns. The concept of scale is also shorthand for the related goals of scope, sustainability, and impact. Serving more people (scope), being able to maintain operations over time (sustainability), and making a real difference in communities (impact). Taken together are all components of successfully achieving “scale”.
Boots on the Ground Project
Boots On the Ground Project was created to provide the community of Port Arthur, Texas; more specifically those considered to be “living on the fence line” the necessary resources and skills to grow and provide for their families. Children reap the benefits of their parents being served with education, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
Boots On the Ground has a goal to train up to 275 participants annually with a projected budget of USD$13.1M, providing the courses below to help strengthen those whom we serve.
Character reconstruction helps participants with self- analysis and self-discovery. Both necessary for achieving healthy family relationships.
Academic Advancement helps participants with basic reading, writing and math skills necessary for the completion of high school diplomas which is foundational for college and career readiness.
Computer Literacy assists participants with basic computer and computer software use as a tool for communication, creativity, and organization.
Financial Literacy provides participants with the knowledge and skills to manage financial resources, and make effective financial decision to secure a long-term financial future.
Entrepreneur and Career Development provides participants with tools, technique, and training in business development through a hands-on mentorship program.
Job Preparation and Readiness provides participants with training to enter the workforce as an active, responsible, and productive employee.
Upon completion of the Boots on The Ground coursework, participants who were once draining the community will become active participants in society, the community and their families. All the while regaining self- dignity and reaching the goal of family reunification
Business Fortification Project
The Business Fortification Project is a full-service business incubator dedicated to expanding and strengthening Black owned businesses. Each sponsored business will receive services for infrastructure development, training, and coaching in the areas of recruitment, orientation, management and payroll. The project will provide each business with a stipend for service plan activities, business liability insurance, unemployment insurance and payroll for one employee. This jump start encourages new businesses and helps entrepreneurs to sustain their businesses.
With a goal to sponsor 50 Black businesses annually, the Business Fortification Project has a projected annual budget of USD$7.5M and expects a 90% new business retention rate. Black owned businesses will be fortified by the project’s mission which include:
Create job opportunities for area residents
Create higher wage jobs
Leverage Black business intellectual properties
Contribute to the growth and success of emerging technology business
Generate new tax revenue
Facilitate exchanges between, government, universities and industry
The Business Fortification Project desires to create jobs by increasing new Black businesses and increasing economic health of the community.
100 Affordable Housing
100 Affordable Housing is a community rehabilitation project that will provide 100 affordable housing units in a period of three years. The first year’s budget for 40 units. The estimated total project cost is USD$10.0M. 100 Affordable Housing’s affordable home initiatives contribute to community improvement; plus, ties into the community’s assets. Investment funds provided support the projects objectives to promote home-ownership opportunities to community residents.
Committed to its mission of alleviating poverty and revitalizing distressed areas in Black communities, 100 Affordable Housing operates “exclusively for charitable and educational purposes, thus, providing safe, decent and affordable housing to low -to- moderate income persons, and families. 100 Affordable Housing is very hopeful that combined efforts will prove successful and become a blueprint for others in attempting to cope with the housing crisis.