The MAAFA Redemption Project is a nine-month program focused on improving quality of life for at-risk young adult men through housing, employment, educational opportunities, and social services. The program creates a structured community-building experience by providing most participants with on-campus housing five days a week, a rigid daily schedule infused with skills training and reflection time, and a bi-weekly stipend of $600. While many of the young men would not be classified as “homeless” or “housing insecure” at the start of the program, MAAFA leadership typically finds that participants have precarious living situations or eventually find themselves without housing. The desire to provide a residential program for opportunity youth is to recreate a collegiate atmosphere that gives the program the feel of an academy and to foster a close-knit brotherhood.
Why We Invested
The MAAFA Redemption Project is a serving a community and city-wide need by providing opportunity youth with holistic coaching and critical connections to employment and social services. The organization has developed a thoughtful approach to supporting quality and scale by leveraging the trust and social capital embedded in community churches. MAAFA has gained compelling early traction, and its founder, Marshall Hatch, has a strong appetite to lead the organization to its next level of growth. As a first-time founder of a young, multifaceted organization, Hatch is also exploring implementation of multiple programs and recognizes the impact that strategic partnerships can have at this stage. We believe that A Better Chicago’s support would be valuable as Hatch hones his vision for MAAFA’s core programming.
Executive Director and Founder Marshall Hatch, Jr. has an appetite to expand MAAFA’s reach on Chicago’s West Side and is focused on developing a replicable model to facilitate this. Hatch has envisioned a model of expanding through partnerships with community embedded churches across East Garfield Park, North Lawndale and Austin. Hatch recognizes the importance of model quality, and further codifying the program is a top near-term priority. Finally, Hatch is also focused on gaining exposure in the community to drive continued development of key partnerships.