Maryvale was birthed in the 1950’s as a sparkling oasis – a flourishing planned village in the desert beckoning families to a new suburban community. John F. Long, an innovative community planner and developer and his wife Mary created homes for young families and a planned village that won multiple awards as a model for city planners. Maryvale is one of the villages in metro Phoenix.
Now the sparkling innovative community is in decline. The new reality that faces Maryvale demands critical care to meet the community’s increased poverty, homelessness, crime, and great social needs.
People know original village of Maryvale from the negative statistics and the news stories that dominate the headlines. This 2.5 square mile area in Phoenix has statistically become an area in the city in need of great care:
- homicides more than twice the citywide rate.
- Each month over 100 prisoners upon release, return to their families in Maryvale
- Rape offenses 18% higher
- Robbery 65% higher
- Arrests for all drugs are higher
- Active gang recruitment, prostitution, human trafficking
- Educational levels are lower, highest high-school dropout rate
- Unemployment is higher
- Highest percentage of teens in the Arizona juvenile justice system
- High teenage pregnancy
- Transitioning population
Maryvale has not been a place that people want to come – rather it’s become a place people have wanted to leave.
At a recent economic summit, reported that 80% of the people who work in Maryvale’s schools, businesses, and city services, do not reside in Maryvale. While they are serving the residents of Maryvale, their vested interest in the flourishing of the neighborhoods in Maryvale has limits.
The Caleb Center seeks to reverse these trends to bring community transformation.
Maryvale needs educated and talented people who are passionate about serving others who become part of residential life - addressing not only the physical and material needs but the care of the community. Caleb Center invites Care-Teams to live, work and worship in Maryvale bringing revitalization and renewal.
THE WORST PLACE?... Jesus was from there!
Jesus was raised in the small Galilean village of Nazareth.
So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene" (Mat 2:23 NIV). And the town of Nazareth had a bad reputation. One of the disciples stated, "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" (John 1:46 NIV). Furthermore, Isaiah predicted that Jesus would be considered as worthless; “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Is 53:3 NIV). In other words, He will be called a "despised person" or a Nazarene (like those from Nazareth).
Can anything good come from there? We hear that about Maryvale … and the answer is YES!!!
Criminologist John Dilulio
“The path to effective change in the rotting urban core runs through gospel-centered churches and faith-based ministries.”
Safety in the City
Moses set apart three cities of refuge. For one whose life is in danger, they had a city that would provide shelter so that they might live in safety from those who would seek to kill him (Deuteronomy 4:41-42).
Contrary to popular belief, urban centers do not inherently act as breeding grounds for danger and violence. In fact, the Bible presents the city as a place of safety and lawfulness. Israel’s cities of refuge represent this perspective. God set aside these cities to shelter people who had committed accidental manslaughter.
Rather than running away from a community, the suspect was encouraged to run toward one. Citizens of the city were to protect the suspect and ensure a fair hearing rather than leave him in the open to be preyed upon by the dead person’s relatives.
The hazards of modern life in cities (or anywhere) are often a result of the loss of community. The answer to urban crime is not to flee to the suburbs but to reclaim the benefits of living alongside one’s neighbors in peace, without fear or prejudice but with meaningful interaction and generosity. God yearns for us to live in fellowship with one another.
Caring for the suffering and broken is not often glamourous – but God is calling a generation to follow him into the midst of those in despair. Maryvale needs learners, people with what-ever-it-takes mentality, out-of-the-box thinkers, teachers, nurses, social workers, entrepreneurs, ministers, fund raisers, home remodelers, social media communicators, writers to tell the story, care givers, compassionate ministry director, youth mentors, advocates, street counselors, community organizers, participants in social justice, immigrant services, mentally ill homeless care and care to families of mentally ill.
We more often think about safety for ME.
But God calls us to provide safety for others who are in need. HE calls us to work with him to “speak good news to the poor... to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of our God’s justice, to comfort all who mourn,…(Isaiah 61:1-2).