In the mid-1990s, a huge hospital on the near west side of Milwaukee as closed, adding to the blights in an area already marked by poverty, unemployment, addiction and crime.
Then in August 2000, Convoy of Hope, a national relief organization, brought in semi-truck loads of food for a community outreach event co-sponsored by dozens of churches and the Urban Ministry Center of the Assemblies of God - the forerunner of City on a Hill. In one day they provided 8,000 residents with a meal, groceries, a job fair, health services, children's games, haircuts, music and the gospel.
Impressed by the event and concerned about the neighborhood's decline, the hospital's owners began a dialog with the local coordinating agency. Four months later Aurora Health Care transferred 321,000 square feet of buildings and two city blocks of surrounding land to the newly incorporated nonprofit agency, now known as City on a Hill.
Beginning in 2001, City on a Hill used demographic analysis, interviews with community leaders, and a neighborhood outreach strategy called Adopt-a-Block to identify unmet needs if families in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Since then, we have built relationships with residents, developed a wide range of programs to meet their needs, leased space to other nonprofits to supplement our services, and facilitated the development of 150 units of affordable housing for families and senior citizens on our campus to help revitalize this neighborhood.
Today, our staff and more than 1,500 volunteers annually impact the lives of thousands of children, teens and adults - even transforming whole families. And through innovative training programs and poverty simulations, each year we teach hundreds of people about poverty and injustice in America, motivating them to respond to the needs of the poor in Milwaukee and in communities all across the nation.