Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz pledges support for social justice group’s homeless-family initiative

March 14, 2018. The Lakeland Ledger.

LAKELAND – Fourteen hundred church congregants cheered when Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz said he would meet their demands to develop housing for homeless children and families in Polk County.

Mutz was the only government official who attended the Polk Ecumenical Action Council for Empowerment’s 18th annual event Monday night. The social justice group was seeking commitments from eight officials on three goals: housing for homeless children, funding for two mental health teams to serve seriously ill children and adults, and continued diversion of children from the court system.

The Nehemiah Action night was held at Resurrection Catholic Church and involved members of 18 churches from Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow and Lake Wales.

PEACE to tackle affordable housing issues in Polk, still advocating for crisis mental health care

WINTER HAVEN — About 400 people from 22 churches gathered Monday evening for PEACE’s 18th annual Community Problems Assembly.

The organization, Polk Ecumenical Action Council for Empowerment, selected the social justice issue it will concentrate its efforts on in the coming year — affordable housing and homelessness. And it reported on the past year’s continuing efforts to improve mental-health services for those cycling in and out of emergency care and on earlier efforts to reduce juvenile arrests.

“During 36 house meetings, more than 250 people gathered to discuss issues they are facing,” said Pastor Eddie Lake, pastor of New Bethel AME Church in Lakeland and the co-president of PEACE. Among 13 issues raised in the house meetings, three were selected for the assembly to vote on to decide the coming year’s focus: affordable housing and homelessness, crime and adult criminal records/re-entry to society.

Haines City medical clinic opens Monday to serve the uninsured

April 9, 2017. News Chief.

HAINES CITY — After more than a year of work that involved a coalition of churches, a committee of community leaders and an application for a federal grant, a health clinic opens Monday to serve the large uninsured population in northeastern Polk County.

Central Florida Health Care’s Haines City clinic will start seeing clients at 7:30 Monday morning in a building it purchased at 701 Ingraham Ave.

Federal grant to fund a health clinic in Haines City

December 19, 2016. The Lakeland Ledger.

HAINES CITY – A community health clinic to serve low-income residents is expected to open in Haines City by mid-April now that Central Florida Health Care has been awarded a startup grant.

Ann Claussen, chief executive officer of Central Florida Health Care – which operates community health clinics in six cities in Polk County and in three cities in neighboring counties – sent an email Friday announcing the award of the New Access Point grant.