Epidemics have plagued urban youth, claiming new victims each day and upsetting the family construct. These epidemics are unlike traditional epidemics, for they are moral and social, not medical. Yet these epidemics spread for the same reasons: the body is weak.
Strengthening morals develops immunity to this epidemic. This requires the development of strong character, and strengthening of the family. By focusing on these relationships, Straight Up Ministries is focusing on mentoring Jr. High and High School youth and helping them reach their full God-given potential. Our emphasis is building character, responsibility and identity into the lives of teenagers, creating an atmosphere where meaningful relationships are formed.
The greatest field of opportunity is the neighborhood–where life happens. Str8Up Ministries is a unique Youth Club grounded in having a relational focus. This oasis is easily accessible, attracting youth and providing them with exciting alternatives to the deadly temptations of the streets.
The challenge is well-known and established. The reality is that households in our urban fringe, face a multitude of challenges. Some of these challenges include broken homes and struggling financial environments with insufficient stability and family structure. Many youth, having lost their identity, have found their identity in gang activity, drinking and drugs. Limited family resources restrict abilities to achieve educational goals, limiting personal success. This cycle of poverty frustrates our youth and usually results in deplorable graduation rates. Economics do not permit many of these youth to have transportation to traditional programs that offer positive alternatives to street life, allowing many children to fall through the cracks. If not mentored and given the right direction, these children often turn destructive in their relationships and pursuits.
The fight to save these young people is family by family, house by house. It is imperative that we break the cycles of poverty, physically and spiritually and minister within the context of family and community. Straight up Ministries is committed to raising a dynamic, disciplined, dedicated and determined generation who have been changed by their relationships with God and mentors. Fighting these plagues family by family, and block by block, our plan is to identify and support positive parenting in the surrounding neighborhoods and provide support to these healthy families. We especially want to support and strengthen healthy single-parent households.
Through the neighborhood youth lodge, Straight Up Ministries provide a local environment with activities to strengthen families and mentor youth in a variety of ways, particularly in the areas of life skills training, academic tutoring, and leadership development. We are offering these activities at no financial cost to the youth and families. We also harness the energy and innovative ideas of the youth to give back to the community through neighborhood work days, tutoring, and other practical helps to the neighborhoods.