Excerpted from May 4th update provided by Aileen Ball, Lead Organizer, The Good Faith Network
May 2nd, 2023, marked a milestone in the history of Good Faith Network: our first YESES!
We will be finalizing the numbers in the next few days, but we know more than 1,200 people came to the 2023 Nehemiah Assembly!
What We Heard:
- a reflection from Pastor Cheryl Jefferson Bell (co-Vice President of the Good Faith Network) on how our faith-based community organizing works;
- overviews of the deep research conducted this year around homelessness, mental health, and affordable housing;
- important information from Commissioner Andrew Brown of KDADS (Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services) about state requirements for crisis stabilization and state funding available to support crisis stabilization and ending homelessness;
- powerful testimonials and statements of support from:
- Kelly Jackson and Cindy Glaeser (National Alliance on Mental Illness – NAMI Johnson County),
- Julia Orlando (Bergen County, NJ), and
- Heather Bradley Geary (Vecino Group).
Negotiators from each research and action team presented proposals to Chairman Mike Kelly and made specific asks.
What Commitments Were Made ?
From Chairman Kelly we heard commitments to:
- place items on the Board agenda related to improving mental health crisis services;
- take the KDADS proposal offering support to end homelessness forward for Board action;
- take an action to the board to investigate the feasibility of an affordable housing trust fund.
We also heard him say that hiring Megan Foreman (Johnson County Housing Coordinator) is a direct result of the advocacy of Good Faith Network.
Chairman Kelly also committed to future meetings with the Good Faith Network and expressed appreciation for the event in today’s Board of County Commissioners meeting.
- Representative visited the Board of County Commissioners meeting: This morning, we sent a representative from the Good Faith Network to report on the work of the Nehemiah Assembly; we will continue to send representatives in the weeks to come.
- Meeting with Chairman Kelly: Our co-presidents and committee co-chairs will be reaching out to Chairman Kelly to begin arranging a follow-up meeting.
Read the Shawnee Mission Post’s coverage of the Good Faith Network Nehemiah Assembly 2023.
To learn more, visit the Good Faith Network’s Issues and Campaigns Page.