It has been almost five years since approaching our parent organization, CitySquare (formerly Central Dallas Ministries), for their blessing to start Urban Connection Austin. This was their plan for several years, but no one had stepped forward to lead the effort. So, after spending 33 years in professional ministry (much of it spent seeking to help others in need - in Detroit, Chicago, San Antonio and Austin), I offered to lead it because I had a passion for this ministry.
Since then we've made great strides, working with our neighbors in north Austin to address the root causes of poverty. It began when we partnered with Austin Voices for Education and Youth and Austin ISD to create and direct a Family Resource Center at Dobie Middle School. There we help families in crisis so their students can be in class every day, ready to learn. And over the last few years we've helped hundreds of families find the resources they needed to move out of crisis toward a more stable, self-sufficient life. You see, we believe that education is one of the two greatest resources for lifting people out of poverty. The other is community.
That's why we convened the North Austin Community/School Alliance, with over 50 partners, to leverage the resources of the community to help. And it's why we're forming local Family Councils in several multi-family housing complexes to engage parents on their own turf and secure their investment in a better future. You see, we believe that resources, without relationships, are invariably wasted.
The noted author and theologian, Frederick Buechner, once defined vocation as the place "where our greatest passion meets the world's greatest need." I would like to think that Urban Connection Austin is that kind of place, for me and for you, if you choose to join us.
Let's continue this conversation and I'll tell you more about the ways we're working to fight poverty with our neighbors in north Austin. You can do so by subscribing to this blog. Just type your email address in the upper right-hand column of this blog and we'll keep you updated on our progress.