Shepherd Community Center's mission is to break the cycle of poverty on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis by engaging and empowering the community to cultivate healthy children, strong families, and vibrant neighborhoods through a Christ-centered approach that meets the spiritual, physical, emotional, and academic needs of our neighbors.
Rev. Jay Height
4107 E. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46201 USA
Breaking the cycle of poverty, Near Eastside, Indianapolis, children's services, community center, continuum of care, education, graduation, college access, Nazarene
Children's and Youth Services (P30)
Family Services (P40)
Personal Social Services (P50)
IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
Years of disinvestment on the Near Eastside have left many families isolated in generational poverty and often living in crisis--lacking few opportunities for employment, education, housing and access to food.
Our service area has a poverty rate that is more than double that of Marion County (48.3% vs. 21%). Nearly 1/3 of the residents do NOT have a high school diploma. Lack of educational attainment limits employment options. As a result, the median household income is $20,000 lower than Marion County residents (approx. $22,000 vs. $43,000). Only about 30% of people own their own homes in the area and a staggering 35%+ of all housing is abandoned. The murder rate is more than 200% higher, drug overdoses are 340% higher and non-fatal shootings are 400% higher than the rest of the city. The Near Eastside is also a food desert lacking access to fresh, nutritious foods. Many children rely on school lunch programs and social service agencies to provide daily meals.
What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Continuum of Care
Age 0-3: Project Jordan This program began in 2006 and is geared to work with pregnant mothers and their children until they are three years old. We will work on parenting skills and we will connect them with other services. Age 3-5: Pre-school Academy This is an academic based, half-day school for 3,4,and 5 year olds. The main focus is to insure that after graduating from our academy, they will be able to read. We use an aggressive curriculum that helps build on all aspects of their complete education needs. Students are also provided two meals a day. Age 5-11: After-school There are two after-school programs for elementary age children that work with them to provide individualized tutoring, help with homework, physical exercise, their evening meal and lots of fun. Summer Day Camp: Nine week program that offers children a place to receive two meals a day, interactive group experiences, field trips, swimming, reading time, crafts, science lab, life skills training and lots of enjoyment. Sports: Children are offered opportunities to participate in Karate, soccer, gymnastics, basketball and other sports that help them grow and mature mentally and physically in an environment of hope. Age 11-14: After-school Homework help and individualized tutoring is the foundation for the middle school program. Students are able to use tutorial computer programs and are tested to monitor progress in their areas of weakness. Club activities include specialized offerings that mix fun with life skill learning and career exploration. The students also receive their evening meal through this program. Summer Day Camp: Career exploration and life learning is seen throughout the nine week program. Field trips to meet people who represent different careers help these students choose what they want to do in their life. Students also do work projects and are paid a stipend that enables them to learn banking, shopping, and budgeting. Age 14-18: After-school Similar to the middle school program, students work on homework and individualized tutoring. Life skills training includes drivers education, cooking, car repair, and various physical exercise opportunities. Dinner is also served each day. Summer Day Camp: The emphasis of this program is on how to achieve the career one desires. Post high school education options are explored and students get to visit colleges. Weekly field trips to various local businesses include the requirement for each student to write a report of their impression and what they learned. Half of the week is spent on work projects where they begin to learn the importance of a strong work ethic and can earn money. Lunch is included and afternoon snacks are part of the daily routine. Age 18-22: College Access While the students are still in school a staff member begins to help the students and their families explore college. Financial aid is pursued and visits to colleges are made with the whole family. When a student starts college, help is provided to supply them with all the basic needs. During the summers, employment opportunities are found for the students. Parents and Adults: Educational skills, parenting skills, English as a second language, emergency food and clothing, crisis counseling, and holiday food baskets and Christmas store are services provided to the adult neighbors. Job programs are also offered.
Children and youth (0-19 years)
Where we workNew!
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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
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Shepherd Community is a faith-based, non-profit organization established in 1985 with a straightforward but staggering goal: to break the cycle of poverty on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis.
We seek to do so by engaging and empowering the community to cultivate healthy children, strong families, and vibrant neighborhoods. To achieve our mission, Shepherd has developed a Continuum of Care that provides age-appropriate interventions, from birth through adulthood, to address the needs of the 500+ families/1,000 individuals we serve each year.
Shepherd has been implementing a two-generational approach to service delivery for more than a decade. Our Continuum of Care focuses on the physical, emotional, spiritual, and academic needs of our neighbors through a full set of programs that allow us to be continuously engaged in the lives of families.
Persistent poverty is a complex problem. It is influenced by multiple personal, cultural, social, political, and economic factors. No simple solution exists and progress in breaking free of generational poverty occurs slowly and often with setbacks. Our Theory of Change exemplifies our conviction that only a holistic, multifaceted, relational, and long-term approach will be effective.
Through our four-fold (physical, emotional, spiritual, and academic) holistic programming framed by the Continuum of Care, and through strategic partnerships, we direct our efforts toward transformation in eight key outcome arenas: 1) Spiritual Transformation Among Participants, 2) Empowerment of Parents, 3) Educational Success Among Youth, 4) Holistic Health Among Youth and Families, 5) Life Skills Growth Among Youth, 6) Increased Positive Adult Relationships for Youth, 7) Greater Socio-Economic Stability of Families, and 8) A Stronger Neighborhood. Taken together, we believe an individual's or family's progress in these eight arenas can break the cycle of poverty.
We recognize that the community environment in which our participating families live also matters greatly for their prospects for thriving. In fact, many of our staff live in the neighborhoods we serve and are personally invested in the community development work we do. Shepherd participates in strategic partnerships with over 25 organizations including businesses, churches, and nonprofits aimed at neighborhood-level improvements such as quality housing, strong schools, crime reduction, and business and economic development.
Since 1998 Shepherd has grown from a staff of 3 and budget of $100,000 to a staff of 80 and budget of $5M. Over the years, Shepherd's leadership has navigated the integration, development or merger of various programs and organizations to achieve economies of scale and ensure that relevant services are available to meet neighbors' needs long-term. Shepherd's leadership is committed to being a learning organization, evidenced by our investments in program evaluation systems and building a learning culture for staff and leadership.
Shepherd has participated in several program evaluation efforts in the past, invested in developing an organization-wide outcome tracking system, and trained all front-line staff in interview and data collection techniques to ensure data integrity demonstrating our commitment to data collection. Shepherd is in the process of designing and implementing a comprehensive organization-wide evaluation system using Efforts to Outcomes (ETO), which is planned for launch in early 2018. Individual program evaluation systems have been in place for years-each program area has developed a logic model and tracks progress toward benchmarks. This system will connect individual program outcomes to track progress toward overall organizational outcomes.
A 2016 evaluation of Shepherd's programs by Dr. Amy Sherman of the Sagamore Institute reported the following accomplishments:
1. Higher-than-Average High School Graduation Rate. Since 2007, 84 percent of the High School students with which Shepherd have worked successfully graduated from college. This exceeds the graduation rate at the four local IPS high schools that serve the same geographies as Shepherd.
2. Relatively Strong College Entrance Rates. Overall, 46.4 percent of its high school graduates have gone on to enroll in post-secondary education. In some years, this rate has been as high as 60 percent. Notably, college entrance rates among youth correlate with the youth's tenure of engagement at Shepherd: the longer they've been active in Shepherd's youth programming, the more likely they are to enroll in college.
3. Maintenance/Improvement of Academic Gains over Summer Months Among Elementary Students. Shepherd's Summer EXCEL program has been strong in assisting elementary students in maintaining or increasing their reading and math skills over the summer months. In 2014, 78 percent of involved children increased their reading comprehension skills and 100 percent maintained their math skills.
4. Superior Elementary-Age Academic Performance to Comparison IPS Schools. Elementary school students at Shepherd Academy consistently out-perform their peers in the local IPS Schools.
5. Strong Workforce Development Program Success Among Adults. In Shepherd's partnership with the Center for Working Families at the Edna Martin Christian Center, low-income neighborhood adults who are actively engaged achieved stronger-than-anticipated outcomes, especially in the second and third year program cohorts.
6. Growth in Life Skills Among Participating Youth. Shepherd youth who completed both the pre/post phases of the Casey Life Skills Assessment during the 2011-2012 year showed statistically significant and practically significant gains in the following areas: daily living skills; home life; self-care; work/study skills; and boundaries.
7. Strengthened Emotional Health Among Participating Youth. Shepherd youth who completed both the pre/post phases of the "Anti-Poverty Survey" (designed by Dr. Amy Sherman and implemented by Shepherd staff in 2011) showed positive, practically significant gains in emotional health.
8. Strong Results in Youth Mentoring Initiatives. According to the results of survey analysis utilizing the Behavior Outcomes Assessment Tool (BOAT), youth in grades 1-12 participating in Shepherd's various mentoring programs showed practically significant gains in five of seven measured arenas: Decrease in risky behaviors, Improvement in attitudes toward school, Improvements in social supports, Growth in family bonding, and, Improvement in self esteem
Shepherd Community, Inc.
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
as of 2/22/2018
Mr. Jake Stamper
Eclipse Marketing & Advertising Inc.
Eclipse Marketing & Advertising, Inc.
One Stop Marketing
Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association
Old National Bank
S. Edward Torres
Bose McKinney & Evans
State of Indiana – Department of Workforce Development
Olivet Nazarene University
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
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Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?