About Neighborhood Ministries
Neighborhood Ministries is a hub of community activity where basic necessities of life are joyfully met, including providing a safe place for youth to engage in sports, activities, and the arts. Whole generations of families have forever been changed by being shown a way out of the cycle of poverty that grips most urban communities. The results have been nothing short of miraculous and a testimony of the power of Jesus Christ to transform people using the faithful passion and work of Founder and President Kit Danley and scores of faithful employees and volunteers making daily differences.
The organization was founded in 1982, but the vision of serving and impacting the urban community began years before. As a teenager, Kit Danley’s heart was bent toward helping and serving the marginalized and forgotten in downtown Phoenix. Her relationship with Christ galvanized her calling to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the poor and disenfranchised. The vision of Neighborhood Ministries is not just to serve the community, but to be part of the neighborhood…"to be the presence of Jesus."
How do we break the Cycle of Poverty?
The cycle of poverty is best defined as when a set of factors or repeated events tend to keep people locked in poverty. Unless there is some intervention from an outside force.
Neighborhood Ministries is that outside force, breaking this devastating cycle within our community. People trapped in poverty are usually those families who have very limited resources. We believe the answer to breaking this cycle means embracing the whole family, holistically loving and serving them, and infusing the hope of Christ in tangible ways into their lives.
To be the presence of Jesus Christ, sharing his life-transforming hope, love, and power among distressed families of urban Phoenix to ignite their passion for God and His Kingdom.
The fact that God so loved the world that he entered into our reality allows us to follow him by standing with the poor and vulnerable on the ground in under-resourced communities, ministering with, not to or for, committed to an inside-out approach, not relying on an outside-in perspective.
The breadth of reconciliation begins with God’s saving work through Jesus Christ then expressed in our commitment to radically loving all people. The work of reconciliation, therefore, is to see our diverse community find a way back to one another, rich and poor, black, white and Hispanic, gang to gang, suburban and urban, Catholic and Protestant, Pentecostal to Baptist, young and old.
As Jesus did, we address the needs of the whole person, spiritual, physical, emotional, economic, psychological, educational and relational. Our programs and our church live out this focus with children, youth and adults, birth to grave and multi- generational.
The church is families and individuals coming together as the new community that Jesus ushered in as an expression of his kingdom. When the church as the body of Christ is a prophetic voice in a community advocating for and expressing love for change and transformation, God’s “shalom” can be expressed in that local community. We value the local church because of what it represents in that location: compassion, solidarity, spiritual and physical transformation, hope and the activity of the life of Christ.
We value all leadership and believe that the best solutions to our community’s problems are generated from with the community by local, indigenous leaders, those affected, owning and responding to the pain of injustice, oppression and poverty. We recognize our role in developing future leaders for the church, for institutional, non-profit, political and marketplace leadership.
Justice is consistent with the heart of God, leading to righteousness, the expression of God’s love in society. Injustice is an affront to God and demands we press for a just social order. We believe that the Bible calls us to a preferential love for the poor and to pursue a lifestyle and stewardship consistent with justice.
Committed to “entering into” our community, we continually discover what we don’t know and what we desire to learn. We are committed to remaining in a posture of learning, being among, not standing over, acknowledging change and transformation are a process and not often easily measured.
We hold to the model that the best transference of love, hope and power is through relationships. The unconditional love of God compels us to a relentless pursuit of one another, where we chose to bear the pain each one carries as well as bring the good news of that unconditional love, practically and verbally.
Community as we know it has two parts, the first is best expressed as diverse people who work together for the common good, caring for the sacred space that is their God appointed neighborhood. Community is also expressed as the solidarity that members experience with one another as they seek to serve, advocate and align themselves with each other in their communal space.
We acknowledge that the complex work of Christian Community Development cannot be done single-handedly. We enter into and create partnerships and collaborations with individuals, businesses, non-profits, churches, para-churches, social service entities, government, education … all of whom have an interest as we do in seeing forgotten communities reimagined and restored.