Parents push Pinellas Schools to speed up ‘restorative practices’

November 12, 2019. WTSP.COM

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A grassroots group of concerned parents, grandparents and career educators stood in support of one another at Tuesday’s Pinellas County School Board meeting. Each of them are members of F.A.S.T. (Faith and Action for Strength Together) and came to voice concerns over the school district’s implementation of, what is known as, “restorative practices.”

It’s the social science that studies how to strengthen relationships between individuals and social connections within communities, according to the International Institute for Restorative Practices.

The IIRP says, in schools that fully implement restorative practices, student arrest and suspension — and overall racial disparities in discipline — go down. Restorative practices are also said to increase a feeling of safety among teachers and reduce teacher turnover.

FAST secures commitments for ‘one stop shop’ mental health service plan in Pinellas County

April 9, 2019. St. Pete Catalyst.

Residents of Pinellas County may soon have a single place to go when facing a mental health crisis, thanks to commitments secured by Faith and Action for Strength Together (FAST) Monday night at Tropicana Field.

FAST is a grassroots coalition of more than 40 religious congregations throughout Pinellas County. The organization gathered 2,500 people at Tropicana Field to ask public officials to commit to proposed solutions for systemic problems facing the county.

FAST puts pressure on City of St. Pete to tackle affordable housing crisis

April 8, 2019. St. Pete Catalyst.

The growing housing affordability crisis continues to dominate community conversations, and Monday night it will take center stage at Tropicana Field.

A coalition of more than 40 Pinellas religious congregations known as Faith and Action for Strength Together (FAST) plans to bring together 3,000 Pinellas County residents during its annual Nehemiah Action this evening, to hold St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman accountable for keeping his promise of spending $15 million Penny for Pinellas funds on affordable housing before 2030.

Thousands of people plan St. Petersburg rally on lack of affordable housing funds

April 8, 2019. WTSP.COM

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Thousands of people are planning to hold a rally because they’re upset about the lack of spending on affordable housing in St. Petersburg.

Around 3,000 people are expected to gather around 7 p.m. Monday at Tropicana Field.

The group, Faith and Action for Strength Together (F.A.S.T.), is upset Mayor Rick Kriseman doesn’t plan on spending $15 million for affordable housing until 2023, according to a news release from Ephiphany Summers. They hope to put pressure on Kriseman to begin spending on affordable housing using Penny for Pinellas funds as soon as next year. The group hopes city leaders find another way to pay for and make affordable housing a priority.

BCC approves resolution pledging Penny funds to affordable housing

March 11, 2019. Tampa Bay Newspapers.

CLEARWATER — Members of Faith and Action for Strength Together asked Pinellas County Commissioners for assurances that the next round of Penny for Pinellas funds would be spent on affordable housing as promised.

FAST, which is an organization made up of members of church congregations throughout the county, is concerned that future commissioners might not have the same mindset as the current ones about the importance of affordable housing.