City on a Hill spent the first few years after its inception in 2000 quietly earning the respect of neighborhood residents, and building a reputation among community organizations for integrity, consistency and compassion. Early news coverage focused on the addition of affordable housing to its campus, and its leasing of space to other nonprofit and minority-owned organizations.
Recently, City on a Hill's programs and services - and their funding by local foundations - have begun to be cited in the Milwaukee news media. Occasionally a story appears in a national publication or media website, as well.
"De La Santos has brought major improvements to the community, including the recent renovation and expansion of a free health care clinic, establishment of youth programs focusing on academic and life skills, and construction of high-quality low-income housing at City on a Hill. In addition, associates and community members who have benefitted from her work point to the concern and care De La Santos puts into each of her relationships."
"In addition to developing housing for low-income people, City on a Hill pursues its mission to alleviate the symptoms of poverty, break the cycle of generational poverty, and train and engage others in solutions to poverty through a growing number of programs, services and initiatives. These include youth programs, a free health clinic and monthly health outreach, social services, a food pantry, neighborhood outreach, adult support groups, mission trips and racial reconciliation workshops."
"During this holiday season, WUWM reporters are sharing stories of local people who give back to the community. In this installment of our year-end series Life's Voices, we meet Diane De La Santos. She works in urban ministry as executive director of City on a Hill, a non-profit on Milwaukee's west side. It provides a number of services, including a free health clinic and afterschool programs for central city youth, making the job a natural tie-in with passions De La Santos has had her whole life."
“The MANDIs celebrate Milwaukee’s diverse neighborhoods, and the many talented, committed people working together to create a better future for our communities,” said Donsia Strong Hill, executive director of LISC Milwaukee.
City on a Hill was selected as a finalist for the The BMO Harris Cornerstone Award, which "recognizes an organization for their commitment and effectiveness over time".
City on a Hill's Executive Director, Diane De La Santos, was selected as a finalist for The Northern Trust Navigator Award, which "recognizes an individual for leadership and collaboration".
"In an effort to make a strong impact on the Milwaukee community, 10 Bucks interns teamed up with City on a Hill to enhance the community organization’s Neighborhood BBQ."
"People may say, ‘I’m color-blind,’ but we are not color-blind in this society,” Diane says. “America is a racialized society, meaning that race matters. Race matters in America in ways that harm people.”
The result is what she calls “racial residue."
"Through the grace of serendipity and perhaps a higher power, all of the Community Clinic’s medical equipment, exam tables, microscopes, unused needles, family planning items, scales and much more were donated to City on a Hill in Milwaukee for its new free clinic space."
"Three in ten people in the United States live in poverty, and those numbers are even worse for children. In Milwaukee County, the number is close to 74,000 children who live in poverty, which equals to a little more than thirty two percent. The numbers were released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Community Society."
CBS 58 spoke with a local organization and a young girl about beating the odds."
"Aurora Health Care recently announced that it is awarding a total of $6.6 million in grants through its Better Together Fund to nearly two dozen federally qualified health centers and free clinics throughout eastern Wisconsin. The funds will be used to help community-based providers improve access to primary care and behavioral health services."
"There are 19 Safe & Sound locations in Milwaukee called Safe Places, where youth go for after-school activities. Norma Balentine, who is in charge of after-school programs at City on a Hill, said that giving youth a positive place to go helps them stay away from crime and gangs."
"Drequan is not alone. I sat down with him and a few other students who spend their evenings at the youth center City on a Hill on Milwaukee’s near west side. I asked if violence affects their lives, and each shared stories."
"For her extraordinary service as Executive Director of city on a Hill, Diane De La Santos is the recipient of the April Wisconsin Heroes Award."
"City on a Hill, a faith-based nonprofit agency, is seeking affordable housing tax credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority to help finance construction of 32 duplex and townhouse units at 2303 W. State St. The project would be a co-housing development with green space and a 4,000-square-foot community center."
"City on a Hill, a church group that has led the former hospital's redevelopment, wants to build up to 36 townhouse and duplex rental units on a 2.4-acre parking lot between N. 23 and N. 24th streets, south of W. State St."
"Pastor Diane and her colleague Cherrlyn of City on a Hill visited the 88Nine Radio Milwaukee studios to talk about how their organization meets the needs of Milwaukee's central city."
"Another developer that applied for city rezoning in late November is City on a Hill Inc., Milwaukee, which plans to build 32 townhouse-style apartments to replace a parking lot at West State and North 23rd streets, said executive director Diane De La Santos. City on a Hill in July opened 51 affordable apartments for seniors in the William A. Passavant elderly residential care complex, 2195 W. State St., which was built using tax credits."
"Children's laughter fills the air at a park near 29th and Melvina in Milwaukee. Henrietta Cloyd, a longtime resident, observes, "Children are enjoying the parks for a change. We've been beautifying parks again and the neighborhood seems quite a bit better, more positive.""
"Before City on a Hill opened its doors, crime, drugs and prostitution were daily obstacles for nearby residents. Much has changed in the decade since the ministry has made its home at 2224 W. Kilbourn Ave., the former Good Samaritan Medical Center. Local law enforcement acknowledges the work of Diane’s team as a factor in lowered crime and the community’s transformation."
"Towards the end of my interview with Diane De La Santos from City On A Hill, I asked her a somewhat hard question because I knew she could give me a thoughtful answer: "Since you work with people in need, do your friends and family ever feel like you might be putting yourself in danger?" Her answer is elegant and beautiful."
"On the second Friday and Day 12 of 50 in Meet The Need, we head to the Avenues West neighborhood and the work being done at City On A Hill. Serving that community with everything from a health clinic to youth programs to assistance with basic needs, their work is guided by an intuitive but oftentimes under-considered approach — ask the community what they want and then figure out a way to provide it for them. Diane De La Santos, Executive Director of City On A Hill takes us inside their work."