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.


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Human Development Fund


Human Development Fund Current Recipients:


Dallas Bethlehem Center (DBC)

In partnership with South Dallas/Fair Park children and families, we help to create a brighter future through education, food security, empowerment and neighborhood development. 99% of children in the South Dallas/Fair Park service area qualify for free lunch programs. Stress markers include high dropout rates, incarceration rates, prevalence of drug houses, violent crime rates and the highest teen pregnancy rates in U.S. The three major needs in the service area are Education, Food Security, and Community Development.

Our activities include EDUCATION: Early education for 56 infant through 3-year old children, Mentoring to 50 youth ages 5-16; a Cub Scout program for boys ages 8-12; Girl Scout program for girls ages 6-12. FOOD: Through coordination of two community gardens and food distribution programs, we serve over 250 households. COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT: We offer athletic and life skills educational programs to 150, 10-18 year-old children and youth. Over 50 adult volunteers participate in the everyday running of community programs such as Food Distribution, Community Gardening, and Community Events.


Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Mission

The mission of Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Mission is to bring positive transformation to the North Bachman Community through holistic services with children, youth, and families. Christ’s Foundry provides care and support for the educational, social, physical, and spiritual needs of families primarily in the North Love Field/Bachman community. Christ’s Foundry is innovative in its short-term assistance programs and projects. We seek long-term and intense relationships for holistic transformation in the lives of families by offering resources and support that help people get through their lives, not just the next month. ]

Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Mission is located in the North Love Field neighborhood, where the Hispanic population accounts for over 90% of the 48,000 people in the area and the per capita income is 2/5 the national average. Over 13,000 children under the age of 13 live within two miles of the mission. Over 80% of these children are “limited English proficient,” and 99% are on subsidized lunches. Problems facing this community include high crime rates, high drop-out rates, teen pregnancy, gangs, drug use, domestic violence, work-place abuse, over-crowding in homes and schools, and a lack of services and agencies addressing these issues.


GROW North Texas: The Gleaning Network Of Texas

The mission of GROW North Texas is to connect North Texans to food, farms, and community, thereby helping to create a sustainable, secure regional food system that enriches the land, encourages economic opportunity through food and agriculture, and provides equitable access to healthy, nutritious food for all residents. The age of farmers continues to increase as the incidence of chronic, diet-related diseases also increases. 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.


Senior Youth and Adult Mission Trip to Guatemala (Sponsor: ODIM)

ODIM Guatemala operates two medical clinics, a dental clinic, programs to fight infant malnutrition and diabetes, health education seminars, as well as student scholarships, and learning reinforcement programs in the communities of San Pablo La Laguna and San Juan La Laguna on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Destinations of the Mission trip are: San Juan La Laguna and San Pablo La Laguna (June 23-July 1, 2018). The HDF grant funds will support construction and medical supplies and administrative fees for the trip. The 2018 Northaven team will be a combination medical and construction team. Construction team members will work on building a two-room cinder-block home for a poor family in San Pablo La Laguna. One team member is a nurse practitioner who will work in the two ODIM medical clinics. HDF has supported Northaven mission teams to Guatemala every year since 2002 with the exception of the three years (2006-2008) we went to Mississippi and Louisiana to help Katrina victims rather than to Guatemala.


Heart House

Heart House offers counseling services, play therapy, and educational development for refugee children living in Vickery Meadow through the Head, Heart, and Hands (H3) program. Funds will be used to help refugee children living in Vickery Meadow move through the resettlement process, thereby increasing their opportunities for success. Established in the year 2000, Heart House provides safety, education, and opportunities (through intervention and support services) to move students from a mindset of chaos to calm. Through the H3 program, Heart House gives children a chance to thrive through afterschool and summer programs and services, including homework assistance, mentoring, counseling, and protection from negative influences. The H3 program employs a comprehensive approach to deliver meaningful results. Social-emotional learning is a core part of the strategy to ensure healing and growth of each child.


Human Rights Initiative (HRI) of North Texas

Since its founding, the United States has been synonymous with three basic tenets: freedom, justice, and opportunity. HRI of North Texas serves clients while employing the same three values. HRI offers free legal representation to victims who are most vulnerable and, often times, completely invisible to the current justice system. We have come to recognize the work we do as forging a path to safety, liberty, and opportunity for immigrant victims of violence. All of HRI’s clients are immigrant survivors of human rights abuses, either internationally or domestically. Their stories vary and their circumstances differ, but in the end, each has been faced with a decision to flee a violent situation or to stay and face almost certain death. If they choose to flee, they often leave with little to nothing to help them start a new life, and they are faced with financial, cultural, lingual, transportation, and legal barriers. Through professional legal services, HRI is able to help these individuals overcome at least one of these hurdles: immigration status. HRI assists its clients in gaining access to protections made available through the U.S. Immigration System. In sum, HRI of North Texas provides legal and support services to refugees and immigrants who have suffered human rights abuses. It also advocates for justice and promotes international human rights.


Legacy Counseling Center

Legacy Counseling Center is a 28-year-old center that provides affordable and quality mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and housing services to people living with HIV/AIDS. Legacy has sought to improve life for people living with and suffering from HIV/AIDS. We have assisted thousands of clients, creating a healthier community by intervening with the right care at a client’s moment of crisis, and we are now the largest and primary provider of HIV specific counseling services in North Texas. Through education and treatment, Legacy reduces the spread of HIV/AIDS and cuts health care costs to society. Our direct services are: 1) Individual, couples & family, and group counseling with 24-hour emergency on-call services and a walk-in crisis clinic, and men’s and women’s support groups, including minority outreach and Spanish Language counseling, 2) Intensive outpatient and supportive outpatient substance abuse programs, with group and individual components, 3) The Grace Project Program for Women, a year-round education and empowerment program, which is the nation’s largest conference for women living with HIV, and 4) Comprehensive housing programs.


Love Thy Baby

Love Thy Baby provides blankets and clothing needed for babies born into poverty and/or health crises. Love Thy Baby delivers essential care items through local hospitals and agencies such as Parkland Hospital, John Peter Smith Hospital, Pedi-Place, Family Place, Hope 4 Refugees, Nexus, White Rock Center of Hope and Sharing Life. Many families leave a hospital with only what has been provided by the Child Life Specialists who distribute our work. In 2017, we provided nearly 50,000 receiving blankets, quilts, diaper shirts, hats, socks/booties, and donated clothing to newborn babies born sick, premature, or into poverty. In addition, we delivered about 10,000 diapers and gently used clothing items to the agencies listed above. Our volunteers sew, knit or crochet most of our items, and they pride themselves on the quality of their work. The handmade items allow us to provide significantly more items at a lower cost than if purchased.


North Dallas Shared Ministries (NDSM)

Established in 1983 by five North Dallas congregations, including Northaven UMC, NDSM now numbers over 45 Covenant Congregations. By combining resources (food, financial, and volunteers) the basic needs of low-income persons, primarily the working poor living in North Dallas, an area lacking in services for the indigent, could be addressed. Thirty-four years later NDSM continues as an evolving agency. NDSM’s objectives are to address immediate needs appropriately, efficiently, and effectively, that recipients use the offered tools and opportunities, that they follow through in accessing services to which they are entitled, that they assume responsibility for their lives to the degree that they are able, and that their quality of life becomes more stable. The free programs and services NDSM provides include: Food assistance to prevent hunger. Rent and utility assistance to prevent homelessness and disconnection of utilities. Preventive, primary and ongoing medical care for adults and children. Dental care for adults and children. Mental health counseling. Laboratory tests and medications. Job counseling. Day and evening adult ESL classes. School supplies and uniforms. Tax preparation assistance. Eye exams and glasses. And clothing, new and used.


Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN)

Since 1982 RMN has been growing a movement of United Methodists who are working for the full participation of all people in the UMC. Our outreach programs are the foundation of the Movement for LGBTQ inclusion. RMN’s organizers are directly engaging United Methodists across the country. Currently RMN’s organizing team consists of five Regional Organizers, one Transgender Community Organizer, and one organizer focused specifically on working to defend against the use of religious exemption laws for discrimination against the LGBTQ community in the state of Georgia. We also have one coordinator for our work in the African Central Conferences. The organizers provide training, consultation and support to individuals, clergy, and church communities both struggling with decisions around full inclusion and already committed to inclusivity. Currently RMN has 878 Reconciling Communities (RCs) and 34,547 Reconciling United Methodists (RUMs). We also work to cultivate individuals as Reconciling United Methodists. These activities grow a base of understanding, knowledge and support for the full inclusion of LGBTQ individuals in the denomination.


Resolana Program

Volunteers of America Texas is a faith-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the vulnerable reach their full potential. The program’s focus is empowering women in the Dallas County Jail to break the cycle of incarceration. Its goals are to increase readiness for change on the inside, increase connection with existing social services post-release, and to reduce recidivism. They create a modified social learning community within the jail, delivering holistic, relational programming and supporting successful reentry within post-release case management. Clients volunteer to participate in the program, living together in a shared section or “tank” of the Lew Sterrett jail. There they receive individual case management focused on reentry into the community and attend classes in six main areas: mental health, life skills, parenting, wellness, creativity, and the 12 steps. The program meets criteria recognized as important for women. It is realistic about women’s socioeconomic marginalization, delivered in an environment of safety and respect, and linked to a system of collaborative community services.

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Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation

The foundation provides educational and enrichment programs for children and youth in the very low-income community of Vickery Meadow. By providing education and enrichment opportunities we give the students tools to create the lives to which they aspire. The Vickery Meadow community is located north of Northwest Highway, South of Royal Lane, east of Central Expressway, and west of Abrams Road. Approximately 25,000 people live in a sea of apartments and 7800 are 18 years of age and younger. The population is richly diverse, with the majority being of Latino descent, but much of the population is made up of refugees from a variety of countries. The schools report 90-98% of the students as needing free or reduced lunch fees. Twenty-five students receive college scholarships from the Foundation. There are 135 students from 7th – 12th grades in our college-bound program. Each year we touch about 7000 students with 24 different programs that we bring into the schools and the neighborhood. These programs include early childhood programs, educational and after school programs for children in elementary schools, middle school incentive trips, high school debate and robotics clubs etc.


Wesley-Rankin Community Center (WRCC)

Education creates meaningful change in the lives of people from underserved communities and empowers them to take control of their circumstances. The Annie E. Casey Foundation tells us that economic and racial gaps compound the likelihood that a student who cannot read proficiently by third grade will not graduate from high school. For low-income Hispanic students -- the largest population served at WRCC -- the number of students who will not complete their high school education is nearly 50%. Wesley-Rankin’s afterschool programs address achievement and access gaps for K-12 students in collaboration with community partners that include Readers2Leaders, Southern Methodist University's Budd Center, AmeriCorps, and The Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Through a focus on social and emotional development in addition to academic gains, Wesley-Rankin’s programs provide critical support, ensuring that the early learning markers that are proven to predict high school graduation rates are met. Middle schoolers and high schoolers also benefit twice weekly from the expertise of young professionals who mentor students about their experiences in the working world. This broadens students' base of exposure and helps them carefully consider their career goals.


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

ODIM is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving healthcare and education for the Maya people in the communities of San Juan and San Pablo Laguna in Guatemala. In 2017 ODIM hosted 15 volunteer construction and medical teams (including a team from Northaven). For 2018, we have 12 teams on the calendar, including two from Northaven. As the organization has grown, we have developed new projects to meet the community’s needs, including an Adolescent Health Education program, the Healthy Mommy and Me program to eliminate malnutrition, a diabetes support program, a scholarship program for children to attend school in San Pablo, and construction of houses for people in San Pablo who live in extreme poverty. In the last months of 2016, ODIM was re-approved as an “Advance Project (#3022039) by the United Methodist Church. We remain an international mission destination for United Methodist Volunteers in Mission and we have been selected for grant funding by the General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC in support of our Healthy Mommy and Me program.

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Parroquia Maria Madre de los Pobres

Northaven has sustained a 30-year old sister-church partnership with Maria Madre de los Pobres in San Salvador, El Salvador. Our partnership began in 1987 as a result of a large influx of Salvadoran refugees into the Dallas area. Over the past six years conditions in El Salvador and particularly in the Maria Madre Parish have reverted to the dangerous levels once experienced in the 1980's. Three gangs fight to control families and businesses in the parish neighborhoods. In 2017 the church completed construction of a Security Wall around the compound, which houses the priest's residence, clinics, workshops, school, daycare center, and church building, but those living, worshiping, working, and seeking services there still need protection from the sporadic gun fights that have occurred, even on the parish grounds. Maria Madre is a positive resource seeking to protect families from forced immigration to escape gang violence. Consequently, our support for Maria Madre lessons our State of Texas burden for humane care of refugees. The funds will be used to support parish programs as decided by members of appropriate committees at Maria Madre. HDF funds from the past years were used to finance micro loan associations, construct an outdoor theater for community educational and artistic programs, purchase farm land that is used to produce food for parish daycare centers, and construct a senior citizen center, as well as a retreat facility for parish training programs.