North End Community Improvement Collaborative, Inc. (NECIC) held their quarterly Faith-Based Advisory Council meeting on Friday, August 31. Representatives from area churches and other faith-based organizations were in attendance to provide updates on their many activities as well as to collaborate with one another to support the needs of the community.
New attendees included John-Paul DeWalt representing Sar Shalom Messianic Congregation and members of Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC).
Love INC’s Brenda Schwamberger introduced the organization to attendees as an organization made up many denominations and churches. “We do ministries to give people a hand up to get back on their feet, and we work to unite churches,” she said.
Love INC is a national organization that has been working locally for nearly a decade, but has not done much marketing, instead receiving referrals from other churches and First Call 211.
“We don’t just want to give a hand out, we want to pray with people, and connect them to a church,” she said. She noted that they connect people to area resources as well as offering support, gathering needed items. However, she added, the organization monitors recipients in order to avoid overuse of donors.
First Christian Church announced that they will receive two additional lots from the Richland County Land Bank, and will plant additional fruit trees. The plan is to dub the area the “Prayground”.
Reverend Allen of Oasis of Love Church said the annual block party was a huge success. He announced the addition of Oasis Charities housed in the Ocie Hill Neighborhood Center, as well as a new program called Life Builders.
Life Builders focuses on mentoring incarcerated individuals and supporting them through reentry. They also mentor young men, ages 17 – 18 years of age, in the court system, working in conjunction with Judge Spon. “We want to stop youth from going to jail so we don’t have to mentor them in jail,” he said.
New Beginnings Church announced a “Back to School with Jesus” program for area youth. Updates were given on the Welcome Garden, a community garden supported by NECIC and manned by the church and area residents. Garden space is available for $20 per season, and free shared space is also available.
Announcements from NECIC included updates regarding the OSU Urban Agriculture project, a new housing initiative with a focus on tiny houses, and progress updates on the Open Tables initiative for youth aging out of the foster system.
The next Faith-Based Advisory Council breakfast will be November 30, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., at NECIC, 134 N. Main Street, Mansfield. If your organization would like to become a part of the advisory council, call Kay Smith at 419-522-1611.