Village Marketplace, Inc. is an Alabama Not for Profit 501(c)(3) [applied] and operates a retail store at 1000 Meridian Street North, Huntsville, AL 35801. Village Marketplace is managed by the very able team of Marisa Stearns and Jessica Martin and Nancy Martin (not related!).
The Village Marketplace is operated by The Village Marketplace Council, a small group of dedicated people each of whom represent a ministry active in Huntsville. The Village Marketplace exists to fund these ministries and groups who are doing such great work to break the cycle of generational poverty in our community. The Village Marketplace’s partner groups are:
- Lincoln Village Ministries – Lincoln Village is a collection of small houses and businesses in the shadow of the old Lincoln Mill in Northeast Huntsville, just north of downtown. The Ministry made a 10 year commitment to the people and almost 10 years later, they are just getting started. Along the way they built a thriving after school program in the public schools and have recently bought the historic Lincoln School building where they once were volunteers. In the school the Ministry has opened a new faith-based elementary school Lincoln Academy. This ministry involves at least a dozen churches and other organizations from all over the southeast and they are close friends and colleagues. Mark Stearns and a huge swarm of volunteers have changed the character of the neighborhood.
- Village of Promise – VOP is an anti-poverty group focused on transforming University Place Elementary School (UP) Using a model based on Geoffrey Canada’s Harlem Children’s Zone in NYC, Bobby Bradley and her team have already made a difference in the school in just one year. Over 10 or 15 years their impact will no doubt be extraordinary. They have engaged with The Village Marketplace in a meaningful way through their donations and their mentoring. Over time, we hope to develop more and deeper connections with UP and with VOP.
- The Village, Inc. – The Village was founded over a decade ago to defend the rights of street people and seek a better situation for them. To do that, the organization engages in direct outreach, walking the railroad tracks and highway underpasses looking for “homeless” people living on the streets of Huntsville. Since 1993 outreach coordinators and many others have transformed the lives of dozens of people who had been at the very end of their ropes. Today The Village is working very closely with a sister organization: First Stop, to coordinate services and make sure every “camper” is reached.
- First Stop, Inc. – First Stop specializes in housing and case management for the homeless and has a facility on Stokes Street in the heart of west Huntsville poverty. This mission is on the front lines of poverty in our City and is the focus of much of our work in the area. Case management really works when the campers engage with their Case Worker. First Stop can provide temporary housing assistance, transportation, medication, doctors visits, coordination with Mental Health, furniture and many many other services. They receive funding from churches, HUD, the City of Huntsville and other sources and now, from The Village Marketplace too!
The Village Marketplace is dedicated to serving our city and our Lincoln Village neighborhood. Our goals are simple, to listen carefully to those who pray for us and help us extend our mission and to show progress on these three import objectives:
- Provide low cost goods to the community,
- Provide Recovery Employment for people trying to get their lives back together, and
- Provide sustainable funding for our partner agencies
Please come and see us, we need everyone’s help to make the project a success!