"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself." – Luke 10:27

Community NET Reach

Bringing help and hope to neighborhoods through empowerment and transformation. "The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved." - Mother Teresa

NET Reach (Neighborhood Empowerment and Transformation) is:

  • Advocating hope for Hi-Crest residents by bringing collaborative partnerships as supportive solutions,
  • Mentoring relationships that offer hope and encouragement through the  Dare to Dream Leadership Program, and
  • equipping residents to achieve their goals, dreams and hopes for better future.
  • building strong youth and developing future leaders through Doxazo Camps and Dare to Grow.

Hi-Crest Neighborhood Statistics

Deemed an “intensive care” area on City of Topeka’s neighborhood health map for more than a decade, statistics for residents in the Hi-Crest Neighborhood are staggering:

  • 25% unemployment rate
  • 50% of adults live in poverty
  • 92% of children live in poverty
  • 62% of families affected by domestic violence
  • highest admissions for substance abuse treatment
  • highest percentage of police calls for children in need
  • highest percentage of families with children served in foster care in Shawnee County

NET Reach started with:

  • people answering a call from God,
  • faith communities stepping up to help locally in their mission work,
  • local agencies and city government working differently in their local community.

In 2013, Hi-Crest NET was founded by the Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries board in hope of preventing homelessness in neighborhoods that house residents who are frequently in a revolving door back to the Topeka Rescue Mission for emergency shelter.  NET Reach is funded by local churches, businesses and individuals.  NET Reach works in collaboration with Topeka Public Schools, Community Resources Council, City of Topeka, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library and many other local agencies.

Families in multi-generational poverty are isolated and have limited access to resources.  They are more susceptible to problems such as joblessness, crime, violence and eventually homelessness. Many residents in Hi–Crest are considered “homeless with a roof over their head.”  That roof frequently may be without common utilities, like water, gas or electricity.

Dare to Dream Leadership Program –  Stats for NET Reach

  • 59 residents have graduated from the Dare to Dream Program
  • 28 mentors meeting with residents weekly during Taco Tuesday Mentor Meeting
  • 95 children participate in Dare to Grow children’s program on Tuesdays with their parents
  • 58 volunteers help serve tacos and help with kids

“I hit rough times due to the choices I had made. I had to start from the bottom and I had to start crawling to the top again. I’m not quite there yet. I’m not the woman I want to be, but I’m definitely not the woman that I used to be.”- Quote from Jeanette {DARE TO DREAM GRADUATE}

“We were unaware of the needs of people in poverty. The “quick fixes” that we always thought should work we no longer believe. Mentoring gives us empathy for how their days are often lived from one crisis to the next crisis. Our hearts have been opened to needs that were inconceivable before – especially right here in our city.”-  Quote from Judy {MENTOR}

NET Programs in Hi-Crest helping residents with their goals:

  • LIGHT House Program: helping residents improve their living conditions by teaching, encouraging, and empowering residents.  During the housing projects, residents will work with neighbors, friends, volunteers, and mentors to repair, clean, repair, and organize their home.
  • NET Worx: Job Readiness Program providing a “Prescription for Job Success” by helping residents find a job, keep a job, or move to the next level in their career.  NET Worx participants learn the best way to create resumes, write cover letters, complete online job applications, and prepare for the interview.  Participants will complete an internship where they will work through the valued feedback from the employer and learn how to become the “best” employee in the workplace.  Mentors will come alongside the participant to encourage and support them during the process, as well as helping them to practice many of the skills they will need to learn.

“I used to live in just a house on a street, but now I live in a HOME.”- Quote from Tia – Recipient of Lighthouse Project Assistance (DARE TO DREAM GRADUATE)


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