FAITH

Fighting Against Injustice Toward Harmony

Background

FAITH (Fighting Against Injustice Toward Harmony) is an interfaith, diverse, congregation-based community organization. Our member congregations pledge to build powerful Justice Ministries within their own congregations and to work together to address the root causes of issues of injustice in Volusia County.

What are our goals?

To provide a vehicle for people of faith in Volusia county to live out their duty and call to Do Justice.

To build strong relationships both within and among our congregations.

To identify problems of social justice in our community.

To identify solutions that address the root cause of the problems of social justice that we identify.

To stand united on agreed-upon issues of justice and fairness and hold political and economic systems accountable to what God created them to be.

Accomplishments

Since FAITH’s beginning in 1999, we have brought people together from different races, religious denominations, and areas of Volusia County to work together on issues of common concern. These are just a few of the community improvements resulting from FAITH’s work:

Crime & Drugs: FAITH was successful in getting the City Commission and the Chief of Police to double the size of Daytona Beach’s street level narcotics unit. Also, FAITH has developed a Hot Spot Card, an anonymous tip card, which allows residents to report criminal activity, as well as code violations, without fear of retaliation.

Healthcare: FAITH convinced Halifax Hospital to redirect approximately $25 million property tax dollars from routine illness being treated in the ER to open a new clinic where the uninsured can receive primary health care at a cheaper cost. This is now called the Halifax Health Community Clinic and is located at 303 N. Clyde Morris Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114.

Night Bus Service: This is a service many groups in the community, including Votran itself, had been trying to get for 6 years. FAITH was successful in securing a commitment from the county to run the bus service until midnight, which enabled many to work in the service industries. This service began in January, 2003 and Votran reports that the ridership is up nearly 400 riders per night.

Mental Health: In 2008, FAITH ensured that a local provider, ACT/Stewart Marchman, is providing adequate care for our mentally ill inmates.

Treatment Program in County Jail: A substance abuse treatment program was implemented in May, 2001, but was eliminated by the county six years later. In 2009, FAITH won commitments to reinstate a new and improved substance abuse program (through Haven Recovery) for inmates in our jail that also provides diversion and continued treatment in a residential facility upon release. The program now saves the county more than $620,000 a year and 475 inmates have successfully completed treatment because of FAITH’s efforts.

Unemployment: In 2009, FAITH won local hiring agreements in the cities of Ormond Beach and Daytona Beach, giving local workers an advantage when looking for jobs. In 2010, FAITH convinced Volusia County Council to pass a “Local Contractor Preference” that gives our Volusia based companies up to a 5% preference on county funded bids.

Youth Criminal Justice: Volusia County ranks 61 of 67 for graduation rates of Black students in the State of Florida. Our schools also have one of the highest arrest rates in the state. Both of these problems contribute to the “School to Prison Pipeline” in our community. FAITH took a stand with 1,800 people on April 7, 2014 and won commitments from the Sheriff, State Attorney, School Superintendent, Department of Juvenile Justice, and the Public Defender to reduce youth arrests for non-serious crimes like temper tantrums and throwing spit balls.

Homelessness: FAITH identified a need for more shelter beds for individuals who are homeless. Currently there are only 21 shelter beds for the nearly 5,000 homeless people in Volusia County. Dramatic stories have surfaced about people that are homeless being arrested for merely having nowhere to go. At the 2014 Action Assembly, with the power of 1,800 people, FAITH won commitments from Volusia County Council Members to donate land for a shelter that will house 250 single homeless people. The shelter, called Volusia Safe Harbor, will operate 24/7 and will include case management, intake center, bed, food, and medical and mental health services. Volusia city officials from nine municipalities also agreed to work together to fund the operating expenses of Volusia Safe Harbor.

 

Executive Board of Directors

  • Co-Chair – Fr. Chris Hoffman, Our Lady of Hope
  • Co-Chair – Rev. Willie Barnes, Mt. Zion AME
  • Vice-Chair – Rev. Peter Cottrell, Coronado UMC
  • Treasurer – Willa Marie Smith, St. Timothy Episcopal Church
  • Recording Secretary – Ron Smith, Coronado UMC
  • Corresponding Secretary – Terre Tumminello, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church
  • At-Large- Rev. David Troxler, First Christian Church
  • At-Large- Rev. Susanna Orensky, Deltona Christian Church
  • At-Large- Rev. Joretha Capers, Stewart Memorial
  • At-Large- Rev. Sharon Dey, Tomoka United Methodist Church
  • At-Large- Rev. Nathan Mugala, Allen Chapel AME
  • At-Large- Danielle Rogers, St. Mary Episcopal Church
  • At-Large- Fr. Phillip Egitto, Our Lady of Lourdes
  • At-Large- Bill Ternent, Unitarian Universalist Society

Contact Us

P.O. Box 164
Daytona Beach, FL 32115
Tel. 386-238-7060

Jessica Robillard
Lead Organizer
jessica@thedartcenter.org

Freddie Wilson
Associate Organizer
freddie@thedartcenter.org