"To see a transformed community where young people are empowered to reach their full potential.”
Streetlight is a youth outreach aimed at building relationship, developing trust and discovering potential within the lives of young people in the community.
Streetlight is currently run every Thursday night at Elizabeth City Centre from 6pm-9pm by volunteers from local churches.
A number of activities are used to help foster relationships, such as: Henna, Spray Gun Tattooing, Nail Painting, Water Pong and more.
With an aim for youth to discover their potential, we encourage our volunteers to experience and journey through life with some of these young people.
We believe that many of the young people we meet out in community need positive mentoring-like relationships with people who can walk alongside them in life, and help draw out the potential that we believe God created for them to discover.
Build Relationships through consistent presence in the lives of young people in our community in relevant and approachable ways.
Develop Trust by engaging in authentic and positive interactions and conversations, living life with young people, and making ourselves available to the needs present in their lives.
Discover Potential by being inclusive and accepting of all people and attentive to ways in which we can add value through role-modelling, encouragement and mentoring.
Ben Rowe, founder of Streetlight, served as Youth Pastor of Elizabeth Church of Christ from 2014-2019 for 5 years.
During his first few years of ministry he felt a prompting from God to explore his work out in the community - extending his time in schools, at skate parks and being present outside the church. One Thursday night, Ben was at Elizabeth City Centre and noticed the amount of young people congregating not to shop, but purely just to do life together and being in a sense of community.
After witnessing a theft by a young lad, his eyes were opened to not only the brokenness that was around him, but the potential he believed God had for these young people. Without having anything constructive to do, he saw young people engaging in destructive activities and anti-social behaviour.
Compelled, he made a phone call to Elizabeth City Centre, spoke with management and shared his heart. It was agreed that Ben could bring himself and a few volunteers to the centre on a Thursday night. Since then, Ben and his wife, Anni, have fostered up strong relations with the centre management, security team & council resulting in Streetlight operating and now thriving at the centre for the past 3 years.
Streetlight now consists of volunteers from 9 local Churches/Christian Organisations and has had 20+ Churches, schools, small groups or businesses support through finance, donations of goods, join our prayer/newsletter team or have us come and speak about Streetlight.
Currently to date, we average around 100 youth interactions each night with a 70% return rate. All of our supplies are donated from local churches or individuals including Ben & Anni’s personal income.
The shopping centre has reported a decrease in crime since Streetlight started in Oct 2017 and there has even been interest expressed from other shopping centres to look at potentially running Streetlight at their centre.
"The Centre has seen a reduction of incidents relating to youth theft and violence on Thursday nights since the program started"
- Glenn Hanson
Elizabeth City Centre
Co-Founder Streetlight Community
Ben oversees Streetlight's vision, programs & relations including corporate, stakeholders, churches, volunteers, & youth. With 5 years’ experience in Youth Ministry in Elizabeth & a passion for networking and unity between churches & the community, Bens drives Streetlight's vision & he seeks to mentor, equip, challenge & encourage Streetlights' volunteers, youth & churches.
Co-Founder Streetlight Community
Anneka (Anni) heads ups Streetlight’s operations. Whilst juggling 2 young kids (Zahra 3 and Obi 1) at home. Her skills are in General & Event Management and has a Degree in Intercultural Studies. She assists with Streetlight’s vision, strategy, processes & procedures.
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