West Side Initiative

WEST SIDE INITIATIVE

The Great Commission extends to the ends of the earth, but it always begins at home. God is using River to bring hope and joy to the West Side of Charleston. We partner with the Second Avenue Center providing daily homework help, meals two nights a week and back blessing food for the students to take home for the weekend.  We also partner with Midian Leadership, a ministry dedicated to developing community leaders through education, family, faith support and sports programming. 

STATISTICS

  • Median income of $16,005
  • 36% of families live below the poverty level
  • Only 22% of kids are raised in a two-parent home
  • 30% of families receive food stamps
  • Over 50% high school dropout rate
  • West Side Elementary has the lowest test scores in the county

“The biggest challenge that many kids on the West Side face is their home life. A big part of the solution is adults who are willing to love and care for kids on a consistent basis in the name of Jesus.” – Reverend James Ealy

“The West Side of Charleston is very unique. It is the part of Charleston that needs the most financial help, the most mentoring help and it needs male role models more than anything. It needs you.” – Danny Jones

Homework Buddies Program - Lean more!



Second Avenue Center
The Second Avenue Center has been providing a safe place for elementary on the Westside for decades. Children come for homework help, after-school care, and mentoring. Each evening the children are fed a warm meal before returning to their homes. The Second Avenue Center also host a wide variety of community events from block parties to food distribution to fundraisers to funeral.
 
River Ridge partners with the Second Avenue Center by providing home homework buddies, dinner and backpack blessings (food for the weekend). In addition River Ridgers help with upkeep and maintenance with the center as well as volunteering with block parties.
 
Meal Teams
River Ridge provides sit-down dinners for the children at the Second Avenue Community Center. This ministry ensures that children receive good dinners each night. Sit-down meals will be served on Mondays & Wednesdays. Volunteers are needed from 4 - 5pm.
To sign up, please click 

Meal Team Signup
 
Midian Leadership Project
The mission of the Midian Leadership Project is to develop community leaders through a combination of educational, family, and faith support anchored in sports-related programming for adolescents.   
 
In early 2021, Midian purchased a building to serve as the hub for the ministry.  As it is remodeled and becomes fully functional, it will be a place for middle and school students to come after school to find a safe space.  The building will have a full-sized basketball gym, classrooms, and a lounge.  Students will be able to get help with homework, play basketball, receive help for college planning, and be mentored.
 
For more information on Midian, visit  www.midianproject.com