Springfield, MO

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Drew Lewis Foundation Breaks the Cycle of Poverty One House, One Life at a Time

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The Drew Lewis Foundation’s RISE and Blue House Projects are creating positive change in our community. The projects were started on the northwest side of Springfield and quickly expanded throughout Missouri. The foundation has recently taken its innovative approach to ending poverty to Pueblo, CO, with the intent of going nationwide.


“The people that we support in our RISE program are underserved individuals and families who may be working in low-wage jobs or living in unsafe homes,” said Zack Wilson of the Drew Lewis Foundation. Households enrolled in the program saw an increase in credit score and an increase of income of 30-40% or $630 to as much as $780 per month per household. Members report increased feelings of hope, confidence and self-efficacy.


The RISE program, which stands for Reaching Independence through Support and Education, is the core program that works through intensive coaching coupled with curricula to improve sufficiency in a variety of indicators including education, employment, debt reduction, quality childcare and parenting.


Blue House Project

This project rehabilitates blighted houses with the purpose of creating homes that are not only livable, but welcoming. “Renovating these homes empowers neighborhoods, reduces gentrification and provides stable, affordable housing to underserved families,” said Wilson. 


Changing a neighborhood happens one house at a time. The Drew Lewis Foundation restores aging homes in the community with the intent of providing stable housing to qualified RISE participants, who may eventually purchase the home as a culmination of the financial education program. Responsible homeownership and engaged citizens impact safety, feelings of connectedness and overall well-being. 



Donations are key to the mission of the Drew Lewis Foundation. Members of the Springfield business community can help with grants, in-kind donations and cash. Call Holly Melton at 417-224-4774 or email



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