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Economic Justice

Our Economic Justice program focuses on the food and housing needs of the Gainesville community.  In concert with other organizations in the city, we have been privileged to assist families and individuals in need.

Family Promise

Family Promise of Gainesville is a member of the national organization FAMILY PROMISE. We consist of around ten host churches who house homeless families for a week.  While the churches offer housing, meals and transportation to families in need Family Promise staff offers counseling and help in financial aid, child care, and finding jobs.  We have been a host church for over ten years.  A core of dedicated members continue to make this a successful and satisfying endeavor.  We urge you to become a helping member of this needed project. It makes a large difference in our community to move families back to stable lives.

Come join the dedicated UUFG Family Promise team. Lend a helping hand to a family in need and make life a little better for some precious children.

There are tasks for all available, from cooking a meal, dinner hosting, and overnight hosts, transportation, and setting up rooms with beds. Please read the summary description of Family Promise volunteer roles. You may use this information to decide how you would like to help during our hosting week. You can then choose one role for more detailed information. For a more detailed description of each role, click on the individual descriptions to the right. These are the instructions you will use during hosting week. Please read the Volunteer Guidelines before you volunteer. In addition, you may wish to donate needed items:  hotel soaps and shampoos, toothbrushes and toothpaste, children’s books and games for small children, and age appropriate movies.

Please watch for our hosting dates and recruiting notices in the Sunday Gazette. Recruiting usually starts three Sundays before the hosting week. On those Sundays, after the service, the sign up sheet will be in the Phillips Hall after service.

Contact: Pat Caren, Nancy Parkinson

Food4Kids Backpack Program

Our Westwood middle school backpack program has had a very successful year thanks to support from the UUFG congregation.  We have suspended food donations at the end of April so that our pantry at Westwood school will be empty by the end of May.  Thank you all for your support and donations; these children do appreciate our efforts.  We will begin collecting food again in August and look forward to another year of helping chronically hungry children with food for the weekends.

Also, the backpack children will not be forgotten over the summer.  Food4Kids plans to provide monthly food boxes of food for the children currently in the backpack program. Thank you again and keep us in mind for next year.

Contact: Carol Rivers, Irene LaBelle, Alice Primack

Neighborhood Resource Center

The Neighborhood Resource Center at 1130 N.E. 16th Avenue connects needy families to social services and provides a clothes closet and workshops.  Social Justice Council has been exploring ways to help this relatively new resource in Gainesville, at the Library Partnership on N.E. 16th Avenue (http://www.pfsf.org/index.php/library-partnership).  This Center provides many of the same services as Gainesville Community Ministry which we have supported for many years, but without the religious emphasis and requirements of GCM.  This year we have donated a similar amount of funding that we would have usually given to GCM.

The Center is extremely appreciative, and we are collaborating with them to find ways that we might get volunteers involved as well.  Right now they are organizing a series of workshops for women about getting and keeping a job and would appreciate help with planning and/or teaching, and also donations of clothes suitable for interviews and work.  They are also collecting baby supplies such as clothes, diapers, formula and cremes, and children’s school supplies for fall—you can leave your donations in the bin at the Social Justice display in the Phillips Hall at UUFG, and we will get them there.

ACTION Network

The Affliliated Congregations to Improve our Neighborhoods (ACTION Network) is an interfaith community organization that develops leadership and empowers people to take democratic action to improve the quality of life in North Central Florida. ACTION Network cooperates with an international network of more than one thousand religious congregations and one million families working in 150 cities and towns through the PICO National Network.

Our Fellowship is a member of ACTION Network, along with about 15 other local churches.  What do you think needs doing, using the same proven methods of community organizing taught by ACTION Network?  Come and contribute your ideas!

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