Today Mayor Vincent C. Gray, along with the Mayor’s Interfaith Council (MIC), the Office of Religious Affairs (ORA), and the Department of Human Services (DHS), celebrated the launch of the “One Congregation. One Family.” initiative. The effort – which Mayor Gray first mentioned in his State of the District Address earlier this year – partners District agencies with faith communities to help address the problem of families experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.
“This partnership will harness the power of the District’s religious congregations to help provide families with the support and encouragement they need to achieve self-sufficiency,” Mayor Gray said. “While government can provide supports like job training, housing assistance and other resources, congregations can provide further help and can surround families with positive role models, practical advice and many other resources to help these families once again become self-sufficient and move into secure, permanent housing.”
The One Congregation. One Family. effort relies on trained Faith Mentor Teams, who will offer a range of talents, skills and interests. The teams may include people who are proficient at financial management, maintaining a household, planning nutritious meals on a budget, teaching parenting skills, and assisting with educational enrichment opportunities for children.
The initiative will complement Mayor Gray’s “500 Families. 100 Days.” campaign, which aims to assist families as they move from shelters to permanent, secure housing.