When serving in vulnerable communities, there are no simple solutions.
The issues these communities face are complex and interrelated.
Building all of our programs on the core value that only Christ can ultimately transform a life, we focus on long-term change by addressing these three fundamental areas:
Education, Employment, and Enrichment.
High School Diploma, GED Certification, Technical School, College, Specialized Certifications … are all key components to attaining stronger and more sustainable and rewarding employment. However, in the CornerStone focus area, 27% of the residents have less than a high school diploma and only 33% have obtained a diploma or GED. It is part of our mission to provide a variety of educational opportunities and support for our neighbors.
Read more about the educational opportunities we support
Within our community, CornerStone seeks to collaborate as much as possible when it comes to supportive educational programs. For example, Huntsville Inner City Learning Center sits right in the middle our our focus areas and offers an amazing program that includes daily tutoring for children ages 5-13. We encourage all of our families to take advantage of this rich asset in our community.
CornerStone also seeks to partners with higher education programs, such as those offered at Calhoun and Drake, to bring GED classes, certification programs, and degree options to our residents.
Regardless of educational attainment, there are other areas where classes are making a direct impact on our community. For example, our Jobs for Life Initiative offers a 32- hour class focusing on preparing people for sustainable work in meaningful places of employment. Mentors are a key component of the success of this class.
Another initiative is our Faith and Finances class. Faith and Finances is a financial literacy class that enables low- to moderate-income individuals to set financial goals, know their credit scores, understand what their assets are, track their spending, and begin saving.
We hope the relationship-based learning style of these classes will prove to be an anchor of our educational initiatives.
Learn more about Faith and Finances classes
The community in which CornerStone will offer these classes lies within the 4th lowest income census tract in the state of Alabama. Over 53% of the families living there are living below the poverty level and there is a staggering 25.8% unemployment rate.
Each class can take in up to 20 students, with each student having the opportunity to be mentored by 1-3 “allies.” These “ally” or coaching slots will be filled by volunteers and the hours spent in coaching roles will definitely qualify for CRA credit as the “ally” will attend each of the 12 90-minute classes with their student. This supportive/relational role is paramount to the success of the student and the class as a whole.
Fill out a Faith and Finances Application
Made in the image of God, we are created to work. At CornerStone, we believe in collaborating with the faith community, city government and local businesses to make our community stronger by helping people prepare for and find meaningful work. In a community where over 53% of the residents live below the poverty level, a strong focus on employment is a must.
Learn more about the Jobs for Life program
After successful completion of the Jobs for Life class, it is our goal to continue in that process and create opportunities for graduates to secure employment that brings them fulfillment while financially sustaining their families. For this very purpose, the Jobs For Life Business Network was formed.
This initiative is a network of individuals who use their sphere of influence to connect employers to potential employees. Sometimes a candidate just needs someone to consider their resume, regardless of limited experience or education, knowing that they are serious about work. The JFL Business network is committed to finding employers who will do just that.
Fill out a Jobs for Life Application
CornerStone seeks to facilitate relationships that encourage people to seek God’s best for their own lives and for their community. Identifying and empowering indigenous leadership is central to sustainable change within a community.
Learn more about our efforts to enrich communities
Neighbors get to know each other while working together to improve their community. Efforts are currently underway to establish better communication between neighbors so that information can be more easily shared.