It all started because one woman saw a need.
In the mid-‘90’s, Reverend Elmira Smith-Vincent was a well-known real estate agent working in Genesee County. In her many years of working with individuals and families, she became increasingly concerned that many potential home buyers lacked the knowledge they needed to make informed financial decisions.
She asked her self repeatedly — how can these families plan for their future, and their children’s future, without the knowledge and tools necessary for financial solvency? It became Smith-Vincent’s personal mission to find a way to give Detroit’s impoverished communities a way out and into a solid financial future.
In 1997, Rev. Smith-Vincent began holding meetings and classes where potential homebuyers could meet with bankers, mortgage companies and realtors. The response was phenomenal. Home buyers, anxious for this knowledge, flocked to her classes. In 2000, Mission of Peace was formerly organized as a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation.
Today, Mission of Peace (MOPNC) has three Michigan-based offices (Flint, Detroit and Dearborn Heights) and acts as a national corporation serving affiliates across the United States. Since inception, 98,884 individuals have benefited from their services and outreach, receiving education in basic financial literacy, home ownership and life skills. 2,500 clients have become homeowners and 67,873 have successfully avoided foreclosure.
Mission of Peace is a testimony to the power of one woman with vision, faith and knowledge. Speaking from the heart, Reverend Smith-Vincent said, “One of the concerns that I had in establishing MOPNC was to make sure that potential homebuyers were educated and treated with dignity. It did not matter the price range of home example five hundred thousand or thirty thousand dollars; they needed to be educated and ready in all of the components of home ownership.”