This fall CrossWinds and Urban Transformation Ministries partnered to launch a new ministry called “Hustle City.” The Purpose of Hustle City is to disciple men and women in the urban context through financial and entrepreneurial training. In the urban context, while unemployment has fallen, at the same time underemployment is ruling the day. Many people in our neighborhoods are working two or three jobs just to make ends meet. Combined with housing costs that take up to three-quarters of an urban dweller’s income, we recognize that there is a serious problem. At the same time, we also recognize an opportunity. So many of our neighbors are incredibly creative and gifted. The goal of Hustle City is to partner with participants to help them develop and maximize these gifts in a way that will lead not only to stability but to the kind of life that allows them to be a blessing to others and their community.
Hustle City aims to train people in two areas:
In entrepreneurial skills: So they can start businesses and make money.
In financial competency so they can build and maintain wealth.
We do this through various entrepreneurial exercises, guest speakers, financial management curriculum, and just recently we have partnered with Choice One Bank to offer Legacy Savings Accounts for those in the program. LSA accounts are a joint account between the participant and UTM that can be used for education, to buy a house or to expand a business. These accounts encourage savings by matching each dollar the participant deposits 2 to 1. If a participant saves $2,400 dollars it will be matched so that they will have $7,200. This all due to the generosity of donors and Choice One. This is a big deal, learning to save is one of the biggest elements of the program. We often say in class “it would be of no value to make a lot of money and then spend it all on new shoes.” We are trying to build young men and women who will impact the world, beginning with themselves, their families and community for Jesus, learning to hustle in a positive way is step one.