In 1994, two churches did a survey in the community asking what was the greatest need. As a result, an old sewing factory in Paradise, PA was converted into The Factory Youth Center. In 2006, The Factory expanded the services to include social services for adults. The organization continued to grow and in 2011, the name was changed to The Factory Ministries. The Factory Ministries now offers a youth center, a food pantry, and social services. The Factory has become a hub for connecting needs and resources in eastern Lancaster county, PA.
The strategic partnerships throughout the community became known as The Together Initiative Network. This movement, which started in just the Pequea Valley area, has now grown to include partners throughout all of Lancaster, County, PA. The Factory Ministries and its collaborative partners have developed a system for overcoming poverty using the Bridges Framework of the aha! Process and Dr. Ruby Payne.
Through the collective impact of the Together Initiative Network, the old Paradise Elementary School is being renovated and has become The Together Community Center. The TCC houses the youth center, the social services, and serves as a hub for several direct service providers to offer resources and workshops to help the under-resourced in eastern Lancaster County, PA build a future story.
The Factory Ministries with The Together Initiative Network is an example of what a community can do when it believes that everyone’s journey matters and when organizations develop relationships of mutual respect and collaborate to address systemic issues. Together, we have united non-profits, churches, school districts, townships, businesses, and community members in the belief that we can create a system to truly overcome poverty in our communities.
The Factory Ministries exists to empower others to strengthen their community. The Factory Ministries is a hub for connecting needs and resources for individuals and adults who find themselves under-resourced and struggling with issues of poverty. We believe that poverty is best defined as a lack of resources and because we believe that everyone’s journey matters, we exist to empower those in poverty with the resources and skills needed to overcome their circumstances and create a new future story.
To accomplish this, in partnership with our community collaborative, The Together Initiative, we have transformed an old elementary school into The Together Community Center. This community center houses our youth center, our social services center, and our food pantry. The TCC is also a hub for direct service providers to offer services to residents of eastern Lancaster County, PA.
We value the need to redefine what success is and how it’s best measured. We don’t measure success by attendance, buildings, or cash, but by growth in individuals and families, and by developing relationships and resources.
We value collaborating with others to impact the community. It is not our desire to do everything ourselves but to partner with other entities to establish a combined effort in reaching out to our community.
We value showing mercy to those who find themselves in difficult situations. We will accept people where they are and we will not use judgment or guilt as false motivational tools.
We value gaining a thorough understanding of the issues of poverty, both situational and generational. It is our desire to empathize with and be an advocate for those who struggle with issues of poverty.
We believe that everyone’s journey matters. It matters to God and therefore it matters to us. We exist because of this and not because of what we do. The Why is what drives us to do the What, and shapes the How.
We believe that relationships are our most effective currency. We believe that social capital is what people need most and measure success as to the extent we create relationships with needs and resources.