Fact Sheet: Inner City
The mission of the Inner City ministry of Cru® (previously known as Here's Life Inner City) is both to partner and pioneer in grassroots ministries of evangelism and discipleship.
Its work is intimately tied to compassion, life training and the sharing of resources; to the ultimate fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Through evangelism tools, food, necessity items, life skills and career development, as well as youth- and adult-development programs, Cru and its some 2,000 partner churches and ministries are reaching America's poor with the resources for spiritual and material needs to succeed and overcome the challenges of poverty.
John H. Sather and Milton L. Massie serve as co-national directors of the Inner City Ministry of Cru, which is dedicated to equipping churches to provide help and hope to the poverty-stricken in their communities.
Sather joined Cru's staff in 1974 when he began to serve with Cru's ministry to high school students. In 2002, Sather began to provide inner-city ministry leadership to the Twin Cities area. In 2010, he became national director of the Inner City Ministry of Cru.
Massie joined Cru in 1986, serving with Inner City in his hometown of Chicago during his entire tenure on staff. He took on the national leadership role with Sather in 2010.
Founded in 1983 in New York City with 10 staff members, the Inner City Ministry of Cru has grown to serve 12 staffed cities and eight affiliate cities.
Staffed cities: Atlanta; Bakersfield, Calif.; Central Arkansas; Chicago; Dallas; Detroit; Jacksonville, Fla.; Los Angeles; Milwaukee; Minneapolis/St. Paul; New York and Seattle.
Affiliate cities: Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis; Houston; Kansas City, Kansas; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Orlando, Fla.; San Francisco and San Diego.
PROJECTS & INITIATIVES
- Homeless Care Kits
Each year, Cru provides local churches with thousands of Homeless Care Kits to offer to the poor in their community. Containing blankets, toiletries, warm gloves and much more, the Homeless Care Kits are designed not only to meet the physical needs of the poor, but also to connect them with local churches that can help meet their long-term needs and share the gospel.
- Urban Immersion® & Summer in the City®
Groups of college students spend their spring breaks or summer vacations serving as extra manpower to inner-city churches. Students work with inner-city ministries, while they receive training on understanding poverty and building ethnic harmony.
- S.A.Y. Yes! Centers for Youth Development®
Inner City offers launch training and on-going coaching to churches to build Christ-centered after-school mentoring programs. More than 170 S.A.Y.Yes! Centers are in operation around the country, developing some 3,500 at-risk children into strong leaders. Operated by inner-city churches, the centers provide children tutoring, computer training, mentoring, Bible classes and other activities designed to nurture their development. SayYesCenters.org
- Boxes of Love®
Boxes of Love are large, food-filled boxes brimming with classic holiday trimmings—turkey or ham, stuffing, potatoes, canned vegetables, bread, juice and desserts—as well as faith-based reading materials. More than 30,000 boxes, which each feeds a family of six, are distributed each Thanksgiving by hundreds of inner-city church partners of Cru across the country.
- Adult Development Programs
There are many barriers to employment for those caught in the web of poverty. Cru’s adult development tools assist churches in building programs that help men and women overcome these barriers and develop a path to a meaningful career.
PowerPacks are new backpacks filled with much-needed school supplies as well as gospel material. Cru’s partner churches use the packs to reach out to families in need in their neighborhoods. Each August, just before the start of school, thousands of children receive these new backpacks to help them begin the school year with the things they need to prosper.