Our Programs

The Northwest Project

The goal of The Northwest Project is to pilot strategies over a five-year period to help families overcome the challenges that have kept them living in poverty and sustain their long-term success in emerging from those circumstances. The project includes a focus on 10 key areas for stability. Areas include: accountability, parent training, reliable transportation, affordable housing, quality childcare, budgeting/banking, financial planning, job training/education, resolved legal issues, and health and wellbeing.

Programming is targeted to low-income families, especially those without liveable wages. The Fairbanks currently serves as a hub for youth and adult education classes through Missouri Mentoring Partnership and Northwest Project; quality early childhood education through Life 360 Family Services; financial education through local bank partnerships; and food access through Springfield Community Gardens and Ozarks Food Harvest. Social enterprise is being made possible through a community kitchen and other agri-business support. Additional services include: food pantry, diaper bank, and Springfield Brewing Company Bike Shop. Coming Soon: Coffee Shop and Library, Tutoring Lab, Laundromat, Screen Printing Shop, Sewing and Alterations, Community Classroom, and Multimedia Arts.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks selected northwest Springfield for this project because much of the area exceeds the city’s overall 25.6 percent poverty rate. In addition, the privately funded Northwest Project will take place in concert with the City of Springfield’s focus on improving public safety, infrastructure and chronic nuisance properties in this geographic area.

The Northwest Project is a collaboration among Missouri State University, Drury University, and Drew Lewis Foundation.

Apply for the Northwest Project

Northwest Project Ally

Allies are volunteers working to move families and communities into economic stability, through support, collaboration, and advocacy. A Circles Ally is a person who volunteers to assist a Circle Leader in achieving their goals to leave poverty. We partner families experiencing poverty with supportive intentional friends in the community. 

Springfield Connect

Businesses, churches, and individuals in the community can help support a local family to break the cycle of poverty by committing 2-5 years of support in the form of:

  • Spring clothes
  • Summer youth programming
  • Back-to-school supplies
  • Holiday meals
  • Family home needs, and more.

Adopt a family in your community and impact poverty from the inside out.

Healthy Homes

Healthy Homes is an innovative pilot initiative helping families walk through a series of steps for improving home health conditions.

This program is offered to all Northwest Project participants. It includes monthly in-home education and access to home resources and a healthy home educator.

Blue House Project

The Blue House Project is a privately funded home ownership program. The mission is to purchase 10 homes in Grant Beach neighborhood. The houses are refurbished and then rented to Northwest Project participants with the understanding that families will take over ownership within two years.

Families are chosen based on need and ability to purchase the home. The home ownership program includes education and monthly home visits.

Project RISE

Project RISE (Reaching Independence through Support and Education) is a rural expansion of our Northwest Project poverty alleviation model. It seeks to assist and support rural communities in developing strategies to help families overcome the challenges that have kept them living in poverty.

The model is adapted to meet specific needs and implement programming with the resources available in the community. Programs exist in Aurora, Salem, and Marshfield, Missouri.

Help Shape Our Future


The Northwest Project

Focusing on a Brighter Future for Families


Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Connecting a Passion to Purpose