DAI Tenant Leaders Deepen Cooperation with Code Enforcement, See Noticeable Improvements in Housing Conditions
DAI tenant advocacy for improved conditions in low-income Bachman Lake apartment complexes continues to pay off, partly due to increased collaboration with bilingual housing code inspectors. Spanish speaking Dallas Area Interfaith leaders have been at the forefront of action, including meetings with City officials and educational meetings with residents.
About six years ago, AMOS asked families what kept them up at night. Parents said they needed services for children in mental health crises.
“Kids were waiting months to see a therapist. They were not getting what they need from a system designed for adults,” said Crystal Loving, of First Unitarian Church. A child in the midst of a mental health crisis would be handcuffed, put in the backseat of a police car, and enter the juvenile justice system rather than get the mental health care that was needed."
North Louisiana Interfaith leaders erupted in applause as the Caddo Commission voted 8 to 4 to approve seed funding for two Community Lighthouse pilot locations. These Community Lighthouses will serve as beacons of hope during crises, immediately assessing the needs of the community and providing vital assistance to area residents. Among the services offered are cooling and heating stations, charging stations, food distribution, ice, water, and other supplies and services.
North Louisiana Interfaith Statement
Caddo Agrees to Put Up $500,000 toward Community Lighthouse Project, KSLA News 12 [pdf]
Caddo Parish to Vote on Community Lighthouse Pilot Program, KTBS 3 [pdf]
Valley Interfaith and EPISO teamed up to successfully oppose two bills that would have undermined the Model Rules for Development that govern real estate development in counties that border the Texas-Mexico border. The Model Rules for Development have been a critical tool that our organizations fought for over 30 years ago and which have limited the development of substandard housing lacking access to sewer and clean water lines, drainage and roads.Read more
With Guidance from ACTION Tulsa, Senate Bill 261 Prevents Student Loan Servicers from Deceiving Borrowers
"Senate Bill 261, authored by state Sen. John Montgomery, R-Lawton, and state Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa, in 2021, directed the attorney general to prepare a written statement including an “Oklahoma Student Borrower’s Bill of Rights,” which contains language prohibiting student loan servicers from engaging in acts that mislead or deceive borrowers.
According to the language, servicers are prohibited from misrepresenting or omitting any material information in connection with the servicing of a student education loan, including misrepresenting the amount, nature or terms of any fee...
...Provenzano said the librarian and ACTION Tulsa asked her to see that rights for students require servicers to disclose the consequences of payment plan changes."
[Photo Credit: The Journal Record]
New Law Strengthens Student Borrower's Bill of Rights, The Journal Record [pdf]
"In many of our faith traditions, the idea of covenant provides a template for understanding the way COPA thinks about our work. This means going above and beyond the social contract that establishes the state, government, and laws that bind us … by widening our circles of attachment across income, social, cultural, religious, and racial divides – and creating moral commitments to one another, with shared values and ideals that compel us to work together, despite our differences, for the common good....
"On May 18, 100 Polk County residents celebrated the launch of a new mental health workforce program at a Mental Health Workforce Kickoff at Corinthian Baptist Church. The $1.8M mental health workforce investment from Polk County’s ARPA funds will go towards up to $20,000 in loan payments for 90 new mental health professionals. To be eligible, therapists must commit to work for 5 years at a Polk County community-based mental health provider, have a masters degree, and student loan debt....
Dr. Cathy Beck-Cross, LMSW, EdD, Associate Professor of Social Work at Grand View, is excited. "We are thrilled for this opportunity for Grand View master's degree graduates entering the workforce to provide mental health services. Polk County, like the rest of Iowa, has a shortage of licensed therapists, especially ones who are bilingual. Many thanks to County officials who moved this initiative forward, and to AMOS for their advocacy in the process."
State lawmakers and Huston Tillotson students announced their intent to form Texas' first Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus to help provide the state's HBCUs with "necessary resources and support to thrive." This effort is an outgrowth of a three-year partnership between Huston-Tillotson University (HTU) and Central Texas Interfaith (CTI), involving leadership education and preparation of students studying political science. Fannie Akingbala, a leader from Ebenezer Baptist Church, co-chaired the press conference.
HBCU students helped organize the caucus, which hopes to assemble state lawmakers from both the Senate and House who represent, attended or support HBCUs and obtain funding for them "commensurate with the role they have played in developing the prosperity" of Texas...Read more