Worship Under The Stars is just 3days away! We are so pumped to get together as a community and worship the Lord together!!! So if you’re in the Tampa Bay Area, we would LOVE to see you! TheShred813 will be the food truck on-site selling their delicious food! There will be some prayer spaces for you to explore. Invite your friends, family, neighbors, the guy who bags your groceries, EVERYONE! Because this is going to be a night that you don’t want to miss!
And don’t forget that it is an outdoor event! Bring a blanket/lawn chair to sit on, canned food items, bug spray, and a friend!
Worship Under The Stars is just 9 days away! We are so pumped to get together as a community and worship the Lord together!!! So if you’re in the Tampa Bay Area, we would LOVE to see you! Invite your friends, family, neighbors, the guy who bags your groceries, EVERYONE! Because this is going to be a night that you don’t want to miss!
And don’t forget that it is an outdoor event! Bring a blanket/lawn chair to sit on!
We had 37 people from Wesley attend HOPE’s premier event, the Nehemiah Action, last Monday. Over 1800 people gathered virtually and heard powerful testimonials as well as objective data in support of the proposals we presented to the community leaders in attendance.
On the issue of criminal justice reform, State Attorney Andrew Warren, Public Defender Julianne Holt, Chief Judge Ron Ficarrotta, and Clerk of Court Cindy Stuart all enthusiastically agreed to reduce unnecessary arrests of children eligible to receive a civil citation for first time, minor misdemeanor offenses by supporting a viable secondary eligibility screening. These stakeholders acknowledged that in 2019 and 2020 in Hillsborough County, 770 children who were eligible to receive a civil citation were instead formally arrested, branding them with a lifetime criminal record. A citation holds the child accountable by requiring community service and counseling and taxpayers save $4600 for each citation issued. These officials also agreed to work with us to find ways to reduce unnecessary adult arrests, particularly for driver’s license suspensions due to unpaid fines and fees. They also agreed to attend a summit with Dr. Jack McDevitt of Northeastern University to explore tools to address community interactions with law enforcement. We were disappointed that Sheriff Chronister and Tampa Police Chief Dugan could not attend the Nehemiah Action, but we are encouraged that they are both open to working with us on these issues as well.
As to improving access to mental health and addiction treatment, County Commissioners Pat Kemp, Kimberly Overman and Mariella Smith enthusiastically agreed to work with county staff to identify local funds in the 2022 county budget to establish an internationally accredited Recovery Through Work Clubhouse in Hillsborough County, and to meet with HOPE leaders before the end of May to discuss this budget request further. The international Clubhouse model is recognized as a best practice for promoting the economic and social stability of people with severe mental illness while protecting their dignity and quality of life. It is proven to decrease ER visits, Baker Acts, arrests, and homelessness by offering people a positive social support, job training, and assistance in employment and housing. The employment rate of members in a Clubhouse community is 5 times that of nonmembers.
We still have a long way to go, but it is great to see God’s hand at work on these issues. If you would like more information about our HOPE ministry, contact Carol Dittmar at 813-499-7167.
Please join us for HOPE’s virtual event, Nehemiah Action, on Monday March 22nd at 7:00 PM on Zoom. Over 1500 people from 25 diverse congregations will unite to challenge elected officials to answer the call for justice in Hillsborough County. Chief Judge Ficarrotta, State Attorney Warren, Public Defender Holt, Clerk of Court Stewart and County Commissioners Overman, Smith, Myers and Kemp have pledged to be there, and we hope you will be there too!
Contact Carol Dittmar at 813-499-7167 or email@example.com for a link to register.