Bates Place Neighbors seeks to identify and join the ongoing work of God’s Spirit in and around the Bates and Henry area. It exists to support neighbor-initiated improvement and to be a catalyst for engaging citizens and developing local leaders so that neighborhood life becomes increasingly strong.
The Bible bears witness to God’s gracious and saving purposes in the world.
It presents a vision of restored relationships (with God, with one another, and with the physical world) made possible by sacrificial love. This beautiful story and compelling vision invites our cooperation and ongoing participation.
Geography matters when it comes to working for the common good and bringing about positive social change. Bates Place Neighbors seeks to contribute to the well-being of its immediate neighborhood (i.e. the area bounded by MLK Jr. on the south, Eastern on the east, Wealthy on the north, and Madison on the west).
It also seeks to contribute to the well-being of adjacent southeast side neighborhoods bounded by Hall on the south, Fuller on the east, Wealthy on the North, and Division on the west.
Cultivating trust in neighbor-to-neighbor interactions and with local organizations is key to improving neighborhood environments. Priority is given to basic hospitality, honest conversations, and responsive activities.
Local challenges are best met by identifying shared joys & passions and utilizing local assets and gifts. Appreciation for the insights, skills, and experiences of those most affected by unfair policies and practices helps bring lasting solutions. It also overcomes assumptions of personal and social deficits.
Getting good feedback from neighbors, identifying their gifts and motivations, convening them around shared interests, and supporting their ongoing improvement efforts is foundational to meaningful neighborhood-level change. Bates Place Neighbors prioritizes these skills in its staffing considerations.
Every individual bears God’s image. The long-term transformation of people and places involves moving beyond doing things for others to doing things with others. Honoring the stories and gifts of all people, addressing relational isolation, creating access to helpful resources, developing effective partnerships, and advocating for just policies are needed activities for getting “beyond charity”.
Many community challenges must be met by new ways of thinking and behaving. The willingness to innovate and take risk is emphasized and encouraged in the development of neighborhood leaders and influencers.