FAST lobbies for dedicated affordable housing money

June 5, 2017. Tampa Bay Newspapers.

CLEARWATER – Several members of Faith and Action for Strength Together spoke to Pinellas County Commissioners May 23 about the critical need for affordable housing.

The faith-based organization made up of 40 local church congregations, better known as FAST, has long urged the commission to spend more money to increase the county’s inventory of affordable housing. The group’s efforts have been fruitful in past years with the commission agreeing to place millions of dollars from Penny for Pinellas in an affordable housing land assembly fund. Unfortunately, not all the money pledged made it into that fund thanks to the economic downturn and budget cuts.

Religious Communities Advocate For Change

May 8, 2017. Tristate homepage.com.

More than a thousand people packed the Old National Events Plaza to tell local officials what they want done to better the area.

Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment (CAJE) is an organization that works to fight for justice in the Tri-State Area.

Each year the group researches different aspects of the community that they believe need attention and host an event to tell local government leaders.

This year, they asked for more funding to the affordable housing trust fund, for more officers to be equipped with Narcan and for more programs to be in place to assist the mentally ill.

“When you have 14 hundred people asking you to do something” said CAJE Treasurer Julie Dougan “and these are people that elected you to office and might re-elect you to office they tend to listen.”

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FAST wants more Penny for Pinellas tax money spent on affordable housing

April 24, 2017. Tampa Bay Times.

ST. PETERSBURG — City and county officials were asked to commit millions of dollars of sales tax revenues to build more affordable housing in Pinellas during a gathering of about 3,000 people Monday night at Tropicana Field.

 

 The program was the latest effort by a group of religious congregations called FAST, with the motto “Faith and Action for Strength Together,” to get local governments to spend more money to secure housing for the county’s poorer residents.

Justice Matters assembly pushes for action on community issues, calls out local leaders

March 30, 2017. Lawrence Journal-World.

An assembly hosted by faith group Justice Matters on Thursday brought up community issues such as mental health, affordable housing and school equity, and event organizers weren’t shy in voicing their disappointment that not all local leaders attended.

The conclusion of the third annual Nehemiah Action Assembly likely sent cell phones of two local leaders — School Board President Marcel Harmon and Douglas County Commission Chair Mike Gaughan — buzzing with text messages after their numbers were projected in front of the nearly full Lied Center and the approximately 1,500 attendees were encouraged to text them.

‘Safe City’ meeting calls for drug, housing, school reform

March 28, 2017. The Louisville Courier-Journal.

The “Safe City” platform of Citizens of Louisville Organized and United Together, or “CLOUT” was on the table Tuesday in a gathering of hundreds of residents, elected officials, civic leaders and activists at the Memorial Auditorium in Old Louisville.

Representatives from 22 churches and religious organizations led a conversation with officials about the agenda of affordable housing, education reform, substance abuse and mental health treatment.