National Avenue Christian Church is an open and inclusive, progressive community of faith with a heart for social justice housed in a traditional and liturgical framework. Our commitment to God is embodied by our common concerns for creating faithful and artistic self-expression, working towards global justice, and walking in the way of Jesus.
We live in the tension of our diverse backgrounds and our shared story, praying that our eyes will be open to see the God of grace within us, in the space between us, and ahead of us as we walk together. Whether we are helping give out food at Crosslines, building homes for those in need in Nicaragua, or giving Springfield’s street-dependent youth new shoes for their journey, this is a community of faith that will empower and encourage meaningful service as we follow in the Way of Jesus.
To apply for a grant request download the Grant Request Form. Fill out the form and return to National Avenue Christian Christian, attention Justice Collaborative Leaders.
A Church community providing support to former offenders
The mission of Hand Up is to assist with emergency funds for adults who have been released from State or Federal corrections facilities within the last twelve months. Working with the support of various community agencies and service organizations and whenever resources are available, Hand Up will meet or assist with the needs of those beginning new lives after incarceration, and who have exhausted or are not eligible for other sources of assistance (be it with housing, utilities, medical, pharmaceutical, or food). Each referral or request for help will be assessed on a case by case basis to clarify the viability of the award based on need and to reduce the occurrence of recidivism.
Hand Up was conceived of by an ex-offender, who after having been released from the federal corrections system as a Public Law designee to Alpha House (halfway house), found that resources were limited in the extreme, if they existed at all. After experiencing and foreseeing the difficulties being faced by others attempting to start lives over again, the idea of a community based organization made up of like minded people working with grass roots funding was born. While attending a local church, National Avenue Christian Church (NACC), and sharing his story and vision with members of their Justice Collaborative, the needed encouragement to begin building the organization was realized. The group intends to hold two fund raising events each year and will also ardently seek out additional funding when and wherever possible. The group who leads and directs Hand Up is currently comprised of the ex-offender, the churches two pastors, the director of One Door, the director of the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, a community liaison worker from OCH, a Collaborative Board Certified Therapist, current co-chair of the NACC justice collaborative, and the managing member-owner of BeaconStar Counseling.
Our Future Plans
Hand Up presently anticipates the ability to serve approximately twelve to fifteen persons a year as we are currently organized. The hope is that through partnerships with One Door and other like minded community organizations, we will be able to help ex-offenders with some of the items needed to re-establish themselves in the community, and to avoid the many pitfalls that frequently lead to re-offending. We hope to additionally involve more persons who have experienced these things on a personal level and will therefore be better able to help new referrals to the program negotiate the way to a new and better life.