Beacon Hill: Reinventing the system

A couple years ago a group of christian families got together and felt they needed to walk out the things they believed, instead of just talking about it. So they spent time every month getting together and praying. Praying led to action. Soon one of those actions was to bring a hundred dollars or more per family and pool it up. From there they looked for those who needed help. Time and time again they helped out people who needed rent, car payments, groceries, etc. All the while they remained completely anonymous.

As the months rolled on an idea was birthed. That idea was Beacon Hill. Within months Beacon Hill was a reality. (One of the amazing parts of this story is the fact that they never looked for property. They had an investor approach them, out of the blue.) Soon they were accepting applicants to come and shortly after, those accepted were moving in. Beacon Hill had started. Homeless women and children were coming in off the streets and being rescued from sleeping in their cars.

These women and children are being shown love and taught life skills they need. They are being pointed to the right community resources and helped back on their feet. In their first year, Beacon Hill had a greater than 75% success rate.

I believe a lot of people think it’s okay to live off the system or indefinitely accept assistance the government can provide, as though entitled to the help. While the programs the government provides are beneficial they are only meant to be temporary (in my opinion). Beacon Hill realized they were only enabling their tenants to be dependent on those systems.

So, for Beacon Hill 2012 brings changes to how they provide assistance. As the year progresses they will take their tenants from a place of receiving assistance from these programs, which breed dependency and only make it harder and harder to survive, to one of complete independence. Freedom in the true sense of the word.

As I talked with one of the founders I was amazed to find out Beacon Hill is an independently funded program. It receives NO assistance or funding from the government. They maintain the program on money given to them by businesses or individual people who want to help. Because of this they are not limited to what they can teach or how they can teach it.

I know I’ve only touched the surface of what Beacon Hill is and what it offers, but the main point is this: a group of families got together and decided that they were no longer going to just talk about what they believed in. They put action to that belief even when they felt they were in over their heads and doing something way out of their league. They stepped out and are participating in an adventure that is creatively and indefinitely changing the city of Anchorage, Alaska; and more importantly the lives of the women and children they help.

Photo: Mr. Kris