how it all began
15 years ago we received a call from someone who wondered if we knew about 400 families in Loveland that were in need of some extra help. The very next day, we were taken for a walk through three different neighborhoods, all tucked away in the corners of our community. We didn’t know they even existed. Most people didn’t…and maybe still don’t. Suburban poverty is something that many in our country are yet to recognize. The belief is that all the people in poverty are in urban cores. But this just isn’t true. In fact, in the last 10 years, poverty has risen in the suburbs more than our cities. Even though many people in poverty moved out to the suburbs, a lot of the resource agencies that help did not.
In the last 15 years, one of the most important things we’ve learned is that there are people in our surrounding suburbs who are ready to change. They are ready to leave the generational patterns that have locked them in poverty. But if this is to happen, they need the right type of help…help that empowers and not enables. That’s what the INVITED initiative is about.
For 15 years, the Care Center has provided care for the whole person by helping people remove barriers and build the resources needed to thrive in life. The Care Center offers community, assistance, practical resources, and encouragement to help support any individuals and families in need, regardless of where you live. Services include a Resource Center store, stocked with food, toiletries, paper goods, and cleaning supplies, life skills workshops and coaching, recovery support, financial and job counseling, and prayer. What you see, is that everything we’re doing here is intention to help us build healthy relationships with those we’re serving. Because when we have relationship, we have trust. And until someone trusts you, they aren’t going to let you in and allow you to help them take the next step…whether with family, health, job, or faith.
The care center today
The Care Center currently operates out of Northstar’s auditorium and kid’s classrooms. This arrangement is limiting in that the Care Center can only open its doors twice a month for a few hours since these spaces are regularly used for other ministries and activities. The ultimate goal is to have the Care Center open 5 days a week so we can spread out the crowd, give more personalized attention and care to families and offer more services throughout the week. A designated space for the Care Center would allow us to expand our reach and services to impact more families in Loveland. If we are going to empower people to take the next step in life and really provide the right kind of help, then we need to eliminate these limitations. And that’s just what we’re going to do. We want to do life together for the long haul. We’re not going anywhere. Our commitment to our community is real and strong.
After 15 years of resourcing families in Loveland, building relationships, seeking to understand the needs of the community, and surveying what long-term strategy makes the most sense, our next step in loving the marginalized here locally is to build a full-fledged Care Center on our current Northstar property. It will have the space to be open multiple days a week and invite in a host of life-giving ministry partners that will provide even stronger help to our friends in need. Our current space limitations do not allow our ministry partners to be under one roof with us.
We believe this addition will better equip us to help people take the next step in life. It will empower, not enable. It will help the whole person, not just part. It will build better relationships, not just provide relief.
Our goal is to raise 2 million dollars and that 1.5 million of that total will go to the development of the Care Center on the side of the building where the student room currently is. The students will get a new, bigger room on the opposite corner of the building. And after watching another rain-soaked funeral at our church, we’ve decided to pave the muddy, grass parking lot for $300,000, and then use the remaining $100,000 dollars to fund a new Northstar Campus in West Chester and $100,000 to fund a Back2Back project that will provide prayer and care to their international staff. All components of the INVITED initiative work together strategically to help us achieve our 5 year vision to “Double the Impact.”
This initiative will also benefit us on Sunday morning, where the new Care Center lobby will transform into a video café that seats 80 people, and provide us 4 new kids classrooms and a larger, new junior high and high school space.
Everyone wins. The missing. The marginalized. And God’s kids.
We’re going deeper with our mission here at Northstar. And we’re inviting you in. We’ve never done anything of this scope before.
But, what we’ve learned as a leadership over the years, is that God has invited us into a story of freedom, family, and purpose. The main character of this story is not us. God is…and it’s all about building his kingdom for his glory and his fame. Not our own. And so we’re inviting you into this Care Center initiative, because we believe it will improve our ability to tell His story well. We believe it will make Him more of the main character, while providing the right kind of help to our friends in need. We pray you will consider this invitation and join us in this next chapter of Northstar’s journey.
Donations can be made via the link below or by mailing a check with INVITED initiative in the memo line to Northstar at 11020 S Lebanon Rd Loveland, Ohio 45140. You can also drop off a donation during offering at a Sunday celebration. Our hope is to have all donations by June 2019.