I would like to send a quick thank you to everyone involved in making our Rail//Line Art Auction such a success! Everything was truly spectacular: the food, decorations, music, art, service by our amazing volunteers, all of our guests, and not only all of this, but the best MC’s in the world, CeCe and Joey Traywick!
As a Christian community development organization, our methodology has been to identify the gaps that exist among those we serve in order to meet real needs in the name of Christ, while also proclaiming the beautiful hope of life with Jesus. Over the years this has driven us to open a restaurant (the Koinonia Mexican Restaurant), a weightlifting room to reach youth, a private school initiative, a construction company that served as a job training program and a platform to increase housing stock and home ownership in the neighborhood. But let me not forget to mention the many works which we currently do, such as working with at-risk youth (a work we have done since the very beginning), providing quality affordable rental units to persons in need, provide transitional housing for women in crisis, internships to equip young disciples of Jesus to engage in the world around them, and now, to begin a new work as we step into the realm of economic development with Rail//Line Coffee, a redemptive coffee house.
The obvious “wins” of this project are to:
- remove blight and invest real dollars into an under-resourced community;
- create a gathering place for the purpose of fostering relationships;
- engage in genuine economic development to encourage business growth in the South Side; and,
- provide leadership development and job skill training for those who participate in our program!
It is our hope that this model will not only be sustainable, much thanks to the generosity of many of you, but that the revenue created by Rail//Line Coffee will afford CLDI the opportunity to continue our redevelopment efforts and serve as a stepping stone as we look to further engage in leadership and career development opportunities for those in need.
Thank you for being a part of the journey with us!