Clerestory: Mission & Means
Clerestory exists to provide rehabilitative and developmental opportunities for men, women and children moving out of crisis, addiction or similar recovery situations, or situations of poverty or abuse, in the form of vocational, educational, residential, and community-building initiatives, in order to better equip (both practically and relationally) such individuals to engage life and society with dignity, health and strength.
The means for attempting to accomplish the mission is to raise and generate funds to be used to: (i) start and/or provide capital for businesses that do or would generate jobs and skill development opportunities; (ii) purchase interests in single and multi-family housing to provide quality residences; (iii) provide access to various educational opportunities, including financial education and jobs-preparedness education as well as certain forms of post-secondary education and technical training; (iv) assist in creating and fostering assimilation into healthy and loving communities by partnering with local civic and religious organizations, providing access to professional counseling services, promoting a love and appreciation for the arts, and improving access to healthcare; and (v) make contributions to other groups and organizations already engaged in various aspects of these endeavors.
1. Construction of a dorm to house African-American young men for access to proven leadership development program.
In support of the Urban Hope Leadership Initiative, Clerestory is assisting with funding the buildout of an 8-person dormitory space next to Urban Hope for young men to be able to live together during UHLI’s 12-month program. The Urban Hope Leadership Initiative is an initiative of Urban Hope Community Church through which it has been drawing young African American men graduating from southeastern college campuses to move to Fairfield to live together and participate in a year-long, work-based leadership development program. The goal has been to grow young men, many of whom have grown up in single parent homes and difficult circumstances, into church, family and urban ministry focused leaders, which it has been doing successfully since 2016. Most of the past graduates have remained in the Fairfield community and become leaders in the church, and many have become husbands, fathers, and deacons. This project is 65% funded and should be completed by September 15, 2023.
2. Placement of a grocery store in a “food desert”.
Fairfield, Alabama, located next to the city of Birmingham, Alabama, is a “food desert” in that there are no grocery or other retail establishments in the entire city selling fresh meat and/or produce. Clerestory is funding the buildout of a grocery store and aligning with Carver Jones Market and Harvest Community Charities in getting the operations of the grocery store up and running to sustainability. This will address a huge need in the community for fresh, quality food, as well as the need for life and vitality in the middle of downtown Fairfield. This will also provide jobs to local high school students that will provide critical job training and development, positive relationships, and connection to church due to the store’s close ties to Urban Hope. Construction is underway and approximately half of the funds have been raised. We are in need of approximately $1,000,000 to complete this portion of the project. The building in which the store will be located is owned by Urban Hope Community Church, a Clerestory partner in this project. This project is set to commence construction in September 2023.
3. Opening of local cafe’ for gathering and community.
In coordination with Urban Hope Community Church and Urban Hope Development, Clerestory is funding and assisting with the buildout of a Cafe’ space connected to Urban Hope. This Cafe’ will provide the sort of food-focused gathering space that the Fairfield community currently lacks, and it will also provide important jobs in a positive environment to local residents. Much of the work on this space has been done, and an additional $150,000 is needed to complete the buildout and provide working capital to support the business until sustainability. This project is partially funded and should be completed by October 1, 2023.
Founder Mixon Firm LLC and Clerestory Inc
Greg has been practicing business and transactional law in Birmingham since 2000. After beginning his career in a large Birmingham firm working in the firm’s corporate/mergers and acquisitions group and real estate/commercial lending group, he opened a boutique transactional firm in 2010 with a transactional and general corporate practice. Over the course of the past seven years, Greg has looked for meaningful ways to assist the materially poor and suffering in our city. In 2011, he established the non-profit, Clerestory, Inc., with the focus of providing educational and economic opportunities for individuals at risk for various reasons. Greg holds a liberal arts degree from Samford University and received his law degree from Cumberland School of Law. He is married with three children.
Jay is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holds a Master’s degree in counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has been working in the field of counseling since 1989. He serves as a therapeutic monitoring facilitator for the Alabama Physicians Health Program of the Alabama Medical Association. Jay developed and provides oversight for Clerestory’s counseling services to residents at a women’s shelter.
Generous individuals and ministry partners support Clerestory as we implement economic development initiatives for the benefit of the poor and at-risk. We take the responsibility of stewarding their gifts very seriously, and prioritize transparency in our finances. To that end, you can view Clerestory’s latest 990 forms upon request by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our federal tax ID number under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code is 27-4967363.