In community development conversations prior to 2014, there arose a vision to secure property in the Hilltop and use it to provide affordable housing to families connected to the Hilltop together with support and services from the Church and Center. Our Hilltop neighborhood is gentrifying, and this has meant the displacement of many low-income families, often families of color. At Peace we see families cycling in and out of homelessness, moving all over the city and county, moving out of the Hilltop and away from supportive connections. We see this as a justice issue. Affordable housing provides a direct method for stabilizing families in the Hilltop. It is an investment in the Hilltop by securing more long-term affordable housing in the Hilltop in order to maintain our diverse and vibrant community. It allows children to live in the same community, go to the same school, and get to know neighbors and caring adults there, and have friends to provide support. It brings families into close proximity of Church and Center ministries of academic, social, emotional, and spiritual support.
How has our church responded to God’s call to enter into the work of affordable housing ministry? Peace Lutheran Church purchased two nearby houses in 2014 and added a third house in 2019 for an affordable housing ministry, supporting three families transitioning from homelessness with affordable housing, family support, and community connections. Praise God!