Human Development Fund

Northaven’s Human Development Fund (HDF) was established in 1969 for the purpose of extending Northaven’s mission of compassion and justice to urgent needs of the wider community. The HDF makes grants to non-profit organizations and ministries, both local and global, addressing issues ranging from hunger, low-cost housing, human rights, medical needs, and children and youth development. Northaven is connected with many of the recipient organizations through active involvement of Northaven members. The HDF also supports Northaven youth and adult mission trips.

In 1969 Northaven’s Administrative Board unanimously approved the establishment of a Human Development Fund (HDF) for the purpose of extending Northaven’s mission to urgent needs of the wider community.

The cultural context for the HDF proposal was the tumultuous intersection of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. Marches and protests were the order of the day. Out of this milieu came the Black Manifesto through James Foreman, a black civil rights leader in Detroit. The Manifesto called into question the priorities of white churches, especially stewardship of church finances and resources.

The initial plan for the HDF was to respond to the needs of disenfranchised groups in a direct and meaningful way, with special emphasis on needs within the black community. All Northaven members were given an opportunity to support the HDF with “second mile” one year at a time pledges beyond the regular operating and benevolence budget. The Commission on Mission was requested to research and recommend specific priorities for HDF grants.

Special consideration for funding was to be given to organizations lacking widespread public support with emphasis on projects or ministries involving the time and talents of Northaven members. Priority, but not exclusive, consideration was given to needs in the Dallas area.

In 1970, the first full year of the HDF, pledges amounted to $5600. By 1995 the HDF was distributing more than $38,000 each year. In recent years, HDF has distributed between $47,200 and $75,000 each year. The support of the HDF by each Northaven pastor through the years and the unfailing consistency of lay involvement have been the indispensable factors in the continuance and growth of the HDF. The HDF has become part of Northaven’s plan for mission, an ongoing spiritual and economic ethos embodied in the life of the congregation.

Over the years decisions concerning philosophy and methods of grant determination and the variety of issues addressed have been reviewed and refined. From 2004-2017 $770,000 has been granted and distributed as an expression of God’s love and call to compassion and justice.

Human Development Fund Current Recipients:


Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Mission

Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Mission provides care and support for the educational, social, physical, and spiritual needs of families primarily in the North Love Field/Bachman community. We seek long-term and intense relationships for holistic transformations in the lives of families through offering resources and support that help people get through their lives, not just through the next month.


GROW North Texas: The Gleaning Network Of Texas

GROW North Texas connects North Texans to food, farms, and community. The goal is to create a sustainable, secure regional food system, one that enriches the land, encourages economic opportunity through food and agriculture, and provides equitable access to food for all residents.

GROW North Texas seeks to adjust the regional food system to one that values fresh, sustainably grown food produced by regional growers and distributed equitably. The ultimate goal is community food security: a condition in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally appropriate, nutritionally sound diet through an economically and environmentally sustainable food system that promotes community self-reliance and social justice. GROW North Texas works toward this goal through cooking and nutrition education, organic gardening education, support of community and school gardens, and development of local production agriculture.


Guatemala Mission Trip

Northaven UMC offers an opportunity for cultural immersion in Guatemala in the communities of San Pablo La Laguna and San Juan La Laguna on Lake Atitlan. Each trip includes a service component with ODIM, which operates two medical clinics, a dental clinic, programs to fight infant malnutrition and diabetes, and health education seminars.


Human Rights Initiative (HRI) of North Texas

Human Rights Initiative of North Texas serves clients with those three values, freedom, justice, and opportunity, with emphasis on justice. It offers free legal representation to those victims who are most vulnerable and, often invisible to the current justice system.


Legacy Counseling Center

Legacy Counseling Center empowers HIV-positive people by providing information, support, and education. This includes reinforcing medication and medical care adherence, and promoting healthy, life-affirming behavioral choices. We also teach clients how to disclose their status, which decreases the spread of HIV/AIDS. Everyone we help to beat addiction is one less likely to abuse themselves and to infect others.


Love Thy Baby

Love Thy Baby delivers essential care items for newborns through local hospitals and agencies such as Parkland Hospital, John Peter Smith Hospital, and others. Our primary focus is to provide blankets and clothing to the Child Life Specialists at the hospitals, who distribute them to babies born into poverty and/or health crisis.

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Maria Madre de los Pobres

Maria Madre de los Pobres parish has sustained a 31-year church partnership with Northaven. The increasing number of Salvadorans currently claiming asylum at our Texas border emphasizes a country-wide crisis of danger and hardship experience by the poor all over El Salvador.


North Dallas Shared Ministries (NDSM)

North Dallas Shared Ministries numbers 45 Covenant Congregations to address the disparity between household incomes that average $800-$1,800 monthly and the cost of living. NDSM deals with families who are living on the edge; families faced with choosing between paying the rent and buying school supplies and uniforms for their children; adults whose diabetes is undetected or untreated because they cannot afford health care.


Organization for the Development of the Indigenous Maya (ODIM Guatemala)

ODIM Guatemala (Organization for the Development of the Indigenous Maya Guatemala) is dedicated to improving the wellbeing and future of the Maya people in the communities of San Juan and San Pablo La Laguna on Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. This is accomplished by providing healthcare, healthy home improvement, and education.


Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN)

Reconciling Ministries Network. While living our shared baptismal covenant, RMN equips and mobilizes United Methodists to resist evil, injustice, and oppression as we seek justice for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. As committed disciples of Jesus Christ, we strive to transform ourselves and the world by living out the Gospel’s teachings of grace, love, justice, and the celebration of all God’s children.


Resolana Program

Resolana program’s focus is to empower women in the Dallas County Jail to break the cycle of incarceration. Our goals are to increase readiness for change, increase connection with existing social services post-release, and to reduce recidivism. We accomplish this by creating a modified social learning community within jail walls, delivering holistic, relational programming, and supporting successful reentry with post-release case management.

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Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation

Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation provides educational and enrichment programs for children and youth in the very low income community of Vickery Meadow in Dallas. The hope is that by providing a good education and enrichment opportunities we are giving the students tools to create the lives to which they aspire.


Wesley-Rankin Community Center (WRCC)

Wesley-Rankin Community Center in West Dallas provides education and resources to drive community transformation. Our multi-generational approach focuses on providing opportunities for learning, socialization, and personal growth among children, youth, adults, and senior citizens. We give our children and youth a place to go after the school day. We support parents in pursuit of their own goals. We care for the health and wellness of senior citizens.