POMONA, CA, USA
Pomona is one of the largest cities in Los Angeles County, with an ethnically and economically diverse population. Approximately 70 percent of the population is Hispanic; 14 percent non-Hispanic White; 7 percent Asian; 7 percent African American, and over one-third of the population was born outside of the U.S. Eighteen percent of the population lives in poverty, with even higher rates among the city's children. Unemployment and underemployment is widespread, especially amongst people with limited English proficiency and low levels of educational achievement.
The Servant Partners team collaborates with First Presbyterian Church of Pomona, which is located in the heart of inner city Pomona. Servant Partners staff and interns helped First Presbyterian members start a non-profit called Pomona Hope, which ministers to children, youth, and families in the surrounding community. Pomona Hope runs an after-school program, mentors students for college, supports parents, and grows a community garden in partnership with the church. These programs serve more than 50 families in Pomona. First Presbyterian Church became a part of Inland Communities Organizing Network, and through this affiliation the church has worked together with other community churches, non-profits and unions to reduce crime, improve the environmental health of the community, and improve parental access to public schools. They continue working to address issues of affordable housing and immigration.
Currently, Servant Partners is working with the leadership of First Presbyterian Church on its strategic development in terms of evangelism and outreach, and in developing leadership structures to support the growth of Christian leaders.