ICARE update January

ICARE Network Party February 6
The BBUUC ICARE Justice Ministry Network will gather for a Pizza and Planning Party on Monday, February 6, 6:30 – 8:30 PM. All ICARE Network Members are strongly urged to attend. We will enjoy pizza, meet with our Team Leaders, and plan for the Nehemiah Assembly March 27. If you are interested to learn more about ICARE and BBUUC’s Justice Ministry Network, email ICARE@bbuuc.org or call Ken Christiansen.

ICARE Issue Updates
ICARE Research Committees address issues chosen by the ICARE membership at House Meetings in fall. The most recent citywide ICARE Research Committee updates are as follows:

1. Re-entry: We met with the Jacksonville Reentry Center and they are all set to start reaching new clients with their additional $900,000 in funding. They should be accepting new clients starting in 2017. Please encourage your members to take advantage of this program if needed.

2. Restorative Justice in schools: 157 schools are now using restorative justice and over 8700 students went through the program in the last year. This program is teaching kids how to make better decisions, learn from their anger and access support from peers that might be going through similar situations. This program is reducing crime on school campuses and increasing the time students are learning instead of at home suspended. Ask your school if they have the program and how it works?

3. Civil Citations: Our bill to make civil citations mandatory for certain offenses is now in bill drafting. It should have a bill number soon. Our committee met with Senate President Negron this week and he shared with us that he is making this issue one of his top priorities. He also shared that he is putting people on committees that this bill will see that support our work. We feel very confident we can win this with 10 bill co-sponsors including Senator Gibson and Bean. We are still working in the House to get our local delegation supportive of the bill.

4. Restorative Justice in Neighborhoods: We have 4 neighborhood accountability boards in Jacksonville that serve youth that have received a civil citation instead of arrest. These boards are made up of community members that allow the offender to share his/her story, the victim to have a voice and the community to decide on sanctions that will heal the victim, child and community. If you are interested in sitting on one of these boards, contact Teen Court at 904-255-1030.

5. Wealth Building: We have a location and $1 million in money raised by Northwest Jacksonville Community Development Corporation to start a community owned grocery store on Moncrief Blvd. Staff from NJCDC is going to San Francisco to see models next week and is currently writing grants for more funding to hire a staff person that will develop the model.  Below is an article about how grocery coops help low-income communities.


6. Homeless Day Center: We met with the Mayor’s staff this week and we were encouraged that they are meeting monthly with local partners and Clara White Mission on plans to open the Day Center. However, there is no open date or line item in the city budget. We plan to meet with the Mayor in January to get his commitment to attend our Nehemiah Assembly where we will press him on this issue again.

The next meeting of the ICARE Research Committees will be on Thursday, January 9, 6:30 PM at Arlington Congregational Church, 431 University Blvd North. If you are interested in joining a Research email ICARE@bbuuc.org or call Ken Christiansen.