Last week I visited with Rev. Richard Coleman, who serves as the Executive Director for Hope United CDC in North Minneapolis (featured in short video below). Rev. Coleman helped form the Northside Community Response Team (NCRT),  a coalition of the leaders of 60 nonprofit organizations and philanthropists who came together shortly after a tornado ripped through North Minneapolis on May 22, 2011. The NCRT mobilized thousands of volunteers to clear debris and help residents. In addition they received and distributed over $677,000 to assist the area and its residents in its recovery.

This was no small task. Of the 7,000 properties in North Minneapolis, 3,700 were damaged by the tornado in an area of the city that is depressed economically. Recently, a report was shared at Hope United’s Bridge of Reconciliation which stated the unemployment rate at 37% in North Minnepolis. In addition 67% of the residents are on some form of public assistance.

Having recovered from the tornado, Hope United and the members of the NCRT have dedicated their organizations to addressing the ongoing economic issues of North Minneapolis through a collective impact approach to jobs called the Workforce Investment Network (WIN). This is a community based collaborative led by the chief executives of Summit Academy OIC,  EMERGE, Northpoint Wellness, The Minneapolis Urban League, Urban Homeworks, Community Standards Initiative, and Hope United CDC.  The goal of WIN is to reduce public assistance dependency by 25% over the next five years.

This is a powerful example of a faith based organization working in partnership with community organizations around issues they and the community care about. They know the baseline and are working toward agreed upon outcomes using a collective impact strategy.