These Johnson County faith groups are uniting to tackle homelessness, mental health

A amount of religion-based companies in Johnson County are banding jointly to advocate for mental health and fitness and homelessness concerns.

Why it issues: Founded in early 2020, Superior Religion Network is made up of 20 neighborhood religion communities that hope to use their collective voice for adjust.

The firm selected the two areas of housing and accessibility to psychological wellness treatment as best priorities this yr dependent on dozens of listening sessions with their congregations.

Housing difficulties and psychological wellness have also traditionally been stated among the the leading priorities for nearby elected officials, civic teams and nonprofits in Johnson County and the Kansas City metro.

Excellent Faith Community hopes to deal with these challenges from a “justice” point of view, alternatively than duplicating endeavours by charitable companies from a “mercy” standpoint.

“I consider it’s remarkable that this is our initially year, and so substantially has transpired, and so substantially development has been designed, just about, all of us executing our personal detail, but coming collectively and resolving these problems,” claimed Cheryl Jefferson Bell, co-president of Great Religion Community and pastor of local community justice at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood. “It’s a great factor.”

These Johnson County faith groups are uniting to tackle homelessness, mental health
Members of Very good Religion Network collected very last thirty day period to speak through the organization’s priorities. Picture credit Leah Wankum.

Excellent Faith Community, which is a regional affiliate of The DART Centre, a countrywide network of religion-based local community companies, in the end seeks to attain the adhering to in Johnson County:

  • Improve entry to mental well being care products and services
  • Checking out solutions for a navigation hub for mental health expert services
  • Handle disaster stabilization in psychological wellness
  • Direct a coordinated method to conclusion homelessness

Why now? “I assume that some issues of injustice that may possibly have been a little little bit extra concealed before COVID truly arrived to gentle throughout all of the religion traditions, so individuals who experienced housing insecurity and men and women who had mental wellbeing problems weren’t as seen or weren’t as well known. They were being exacerbated by COVID some were brought about by COVID. Some just grew to become additional obvious. They had usually been there, but we quickly took recognize of them more for the duration of COVID,” stated Rabbi David Glickman at Congregation Beth Shalom in Overland Park and co-vice president of the Good Religion Community

On homelessness: “We’re trying to advocate now for maybe a refined switch from handling homelessness to ending it, since what we have learned close to the country is that it’s actually doable, and there are a great deal of locations where it’s occurring. And so, we’re just striving to raise awareness of that and advocate for that refined shift from controlling to ending homelessness.” – Tim Suttle, a pastor at Redemption Church in Olathe and co-vice president of Great Faith Network

Critical quote on mental health and fitness care entry: “Everything we’re doing is actually radically upstream avoidance. So people today never obtain on their own in disaster and floundering and hunting and panicking, ‘What do I do?’, or having difficulties in silence.” – Jennifer Savner Levinson, board of trustees member at Congregation Beth Torah in Overland Park and co-chair of Superior Faith Network’s mental health committee

Next methods: The business is concluding analysis on homelessness and mental overall health treatment obtain, and is web hosting a “Solutions Briefing” on homelessness this week.

The briefing precedes the Nehemiah Assembly, a gathering of Good Religion Network customers, on May 3 at the Church of the Resurrection. Details here.

Everyone fascinated in attending the Nehemiah Assembly, receiving concerned or mastering more about Excellent Faith Community — which include folks without the need of ties to a faith or community religion team — can stop by hold of.

In the leading image, pictured previously mentioned (from left): Jon Brudvig, pastor at Salem Lutheran Church Maria Campbell, pastor at Heritage United Methodist Church Cheryl Jefferson Bell, pastor at Church of the Resurrection Tim Suttle, pastor at Redemption Church Carla Oppenheimer of Grace United Methodist Church David Cox, reverend at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church Vicki Enjoy of Grace United Methodist Church Jennifer Savner Levinson of Congregation Beth Torah and Ali Haynes, pastor at Indian Heights United Methodist Church.