In 2002, a group of eight college students from Hope International University decided they wanted to live out their faith by loving their neighbor as themselves. They soon discovered that there was a small under resourced neighborhood called the GEM District just a few blocks away in the city of Fullerton, California. The area was characterized by gang violence, drug trafficking, and poor housing conditions. Multiple families were sharing a one-bedroom apartment and there were over 3,000 people living in a two-block radius. After months of praying and seeking direction, the group of students decided to immerse themselves in the GEM District to start a new and exciting journey.
For the first few weeks, the group went into the street and asked some of the neighborhood kids if they wanted to hang out. Eight children decided to join the new visitors in the neighborhood. Relationships started to form over the next couple months and the new visitors eventually became friends and mentors. In late October of 2002, Solidarity officially began its first After School Program.
With the number of students growing every year, Solidarity began to look for opportunities to generate more financial resources through a social enterprise strategy. A local business owner, Daniel Kam, heard about the opportunity and offered to partner in starting Solid T, Solidarity’s first social enterprise in 2007.
Today, Solid T is facilitating a career development program for youth throughout the city of Fullerton by providing them with job preparedness workshops, job training and academic assistance . The social enterprise has also generated over $800,000 to support the various programs of Solidarity.
For more information on Solidarity, please click here.