FCC funds Play Space for Louisville Children
by Rick Tipton
Founded in 2017, Hope Collaborative is a 501(c)3 Christian community development organization serving Louisville and surrounding counties. Their mission as one church body is to bring wholeness, unity, and healing to our community. They do this by providing various trauma-informed programs and services that focus on social-emotional development, relationship building, and education and practices for dealing with stress and triggers.
Hope Place Community Development Center primarily serves immigrant and refugee families and children living in Louisville’s Southside neighborhood. It is the only trauma-focused community center in South Louisville. Programs include therapeutic and educational after-school and summer programs, a café providing warm meals to students four days a week, leadership programs for middle schoolers, and adult ESL and citizenship classes. They serve an average of 150 children for summer camp, 50 in the therapeutic after-school program, and 50 ESL and citizenship adult learners.
Within three blocks of Hope Place, you can hear 100 languages spoken by people from 20 countries. Nearly all have experienced significant Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including torture, violence, and homelessness. Studies suggest that people dealing with adverse childhood experiences and past trauma make the most progress towards healing and wholeness in a warm, cheerful, and inviting environment where they feel protected, worthy, and valued.
After making the arduous journey to the United States, most of the people Hope Collaborative serves now call a nearby apartment complex home where sadly they witness shootings, drug use, and crime daily. There is no safe place to play or gather outdoors. “Two recent systematic reviews highlight the benefits of green space in improving mental health, overall health and cognitive development of children. The children they serve need a safe place to run, play, learn, and heal. Hope Collaborate is creating that space in the lot next to their building by adding art and music therapy elements, quiet zones, a soccer goal, playground equipment, and landscaping. The funding from First Christian Church installed a sand/water table in that space.
The wholeness grant used to fund this ministry was made possible through your faithful financial support of our church and its ministries and help fund a variety of efforts to make our world a better place.
You can find more examples of those efforts or apply for a grant to make the world a better place by clicking here.