Our Plan


Working better together in partnership with public, private and nonprofit (including faith-based) organizations Pillars of Promise (POP) will first meet the need and then change the heart.

  • Hearts – Hopelessness has hardened hearts. This must be changed
  • Head – Transform minds from a 4×4 block mindset to one of a “world of possibility”
  • Hurt – Acknowledge pain of fatherlessness, abuse, hopelessness, poverty, hunger & more
  • Healing – Provide means and physical space to restore brokenness
  • Hands – Raise expectation through education and training to restore dignity
  • Hope – Create purpose-filled lives where peaks and valleys can be reconciled in a belief that is bigger than oneself


POP will become a member of the Leadership Foundations similar to Urban Ventures in Minneapolis. Through proven strategies developed in over 40 cities around the U.S and the world, POP will leverage and adapt from lessons learned through the collective experience of Leadership Foundations gained over the past 30 years. A key concept that has resulted in successful change in cities where Leadership Foundations is present is the Wheel of Change.

  1. Engage Leaders: POP connects and engages leaders of good faith and good will from all walks of life and sectors within Des Moines to tackle our city’s greatest challenges – particularly those that affect the most vulnerable. POP considers a leader to be anyone who steps forward to offer her or his gifts and resources to help. Connecting leaders requires POP to speak multiple languages where, for example, religious AND non-religious, for profit AND nonprofit, white AND blue collar, government AND private and white AND non-white leaders can sit down together and find common ground upon which to communicate and get things done. POP believes a lot can be accomplished if we do not care who gets the credit.
  2. Building Capacity: POP will see social renewal in the Des Moines urban core if it builds on the capacities of those leaders and organizations that come forward to help. For long term change to take hold, POP will first build physical capacity through the construction of a collaborative gathering place. It is hard for children and families in the urban core to receive the “hand up” help they need to advance out of poverty. Lack of transportation, affordable day care, complexity of accessing a variety of services makes it difficult to improve. Having a convenient and centralized gathering place not only make it easier for children and families to get the services they need, but the service providers in working together in holistic fashion, can provide more complete and comprehensive care than when working independently. Through intentional collaboration, POP will connect all on- and off-campus service providers to meet the specific needs necessary for that community. Collectively POP will position its partners to respond to urgent and ever changing needs of our urban communities in our collective fight against intergenerational poverty.
  3. Collaborate in Partnership: To insure sustainable success, POP is focused on six areas of influence in our fight against intergenerational poverty:
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Family Wellness
  • Food and Nutrition
  • Sports and Arts
  • Character Development

As previously noted, POP will not provide services directly but will instead form purposeful strategic relationships with proven service providers in each city it works in.