HeartLove Place bills itself as “a beacon of hope in the community.” Indeed, when other organizations and businesses have fled the central city, HeartLove Place’s new and modern facility—which occupies an entire city block–stands tall and shiny among many of the nearby, older, dilapidated buildings.
Specifically, HeartLove Place is located in the Harambee North Neighborhood of Milwaukee—one of the most troubled central city neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Harambee North is bounded by Capitol Drive on the north, I-43 on the west, Center Street on the south, and on the east, Holton St. and the Rail Corridor between Keefe and Capitol. The 2000 US Census found 11,671 persons living in 3,935 households within the neighborhood which encompasses 1.06 square miles, or about 114 city blocks.
HeartLove Place began humbly more than 22 years ago through the inspired volunteer ministry of dedicated individuals who recognized the huge challenges facing Milwaukee’s low-income population. Fractured families, debilitating unemployment, struggling schools, increasing crime and violence, and record teen pregnancy rates plagued many urban families and youth. Determined to show the love of Christ by helping others overcome these challenges, a committed group of Christian leaders set about with a plan to address these issues. The result of this effort is HeartLove Place, which was established in 1999, a comprehensive community organization that was founded to build upon the success of the Partners for Youth program that began in 1989.
Like its predecessor, HeartLove Place is a grassroots, neighborhood-based organization located side by side with, and committed to, the residents of Central Milwaukee and the Harambee Neighborhood. HeartLove Place prides itself on leveraging its resources by working with several supporting and collaborative organizations.
The Mission of HeartLove Place is “Through the influence and knowledge of Jesus Christ, assist Milwaukee’s central city families by teaching, encouraging and mentoring individuals to accept responsibility, incorporate good judgment and fairness in their work ethic, and build positive character.”
The goals of HeartLove include providing services and programming to all community residents who request them; encouraging collaboration between public and private agencies to supply needed services; strengthening families through education, quality services, and access to resources; illustrating compassion through Christian principles without passing judgment; and providing employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for community members.
Without a doubt, HeartLove Place has excelled in all its goals through its myriad of programming and services, including its child development center, banquet and food service program where individuals are not only trained and employed in the food service industry, but provide meals to many schools in the area, and Camp HeartLove.
HeartLove place continues to demonstrate its love and ‘heart’ for the community by being a caring, compassionate, unique and positive neighbor in the hood.