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We believe that ideas associated with enterprise are central to both ministry sustainability and the work of lifting the city out of poverty. Some of these ideas include work, participation, collaboration, initiative, creativity, industry, empowerment, risk-taking, vision and courage. Giving flight to these ideas in a group of people such as LifeLine, or in a community such as Uptown Toledo, lends tremendous long-term redemptive potential to the energies and activities of those who are involved in them.

Work is one of the ways in which LifeLine can provide opportunity for sustainable life in community. Inspired by Jesus People USA in Chicago, we look for ways to create work crews to provide needed services for which remuneration can be expected. That's a fancy way of saying we want and expect worker to be paid for their work. This may take the form of paint crews or construction crews or window washing crews. We primarily consider options that require low equipment costs and even lower overhead costs. Our goal is to develop cottage industry kinds of enterprise solutions that will bring members of the community together to do work that is good for both the workers and those they serve.

Additionally, we help people to put feet to their own ideas for sustainable cottage industries that will allow them to provide a living for themselves and their families. We're talking about the kinds of enterprises that don't require a person to be hired, but that instead can be a part of the domestic autonomy of an individual or family. LifeLine can provide support and encouragement through various means to people seeking this kind of "leg up on life" as an expression of our commitment to help lift the city out of poverty. The kind of personal empowerment and vision represented by this kind of activity are central to who we are.

We believe that organic, systemic problems such as urban poverty require organic, systemic solutions. Work has been relegated to dependent and even codependent kinds of relationships in America in the past 50 years or so, in particular, so that autonomy and personal initiative have been undermined. We believe the kind of approach discussed here holds the potential to restore a good bit of dignity lost, entrepreneurial energy and sustainable lifestyles to the community, and in so doing to empower people and even neighborhoods for transformation. We also believe the church can and should be helpful and proactive in the process.