HEATHER FLOWERS AND THE FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER

Heather Flowers, Justice Center Site Coordinator spoke to the members about the work of the Waycross Family Justice Center and Magnolia house, Magnolia House was recently awarded a grant to develop a Family Justice Center (WFJC) which will be a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary co-located center providing services to victims of interpersonal violence under one roof. The WFJC will provide service to all six counties (Ware, Pierce, Brantley, Bacon, Charlton, and Coffee) of the Waycross Judicial Circuit for the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.
Ms. Flowers told the group that forty people have formed five planning work groups. The work groups are Governance, Operations, Community Outreach, Fund Sustainability, and Data Collection.
They are researching grants like the Resilient Georgia Grant and others for additional funding.
Currently, members of the group are tackling problems that plague our society such as mental health issues, bullying, and suicide prevention through The Handle With Care Program. Law enforcement agencies can send information to a child’s school when the child or children is involved or witnesses a domestic disturbance that warrants law enforcement intervention. The Handle With Care Program alerts the school professionals the child may need attention to cope with the incident. In the past, law enforcement did not usually know what happened to children after their involvement was concluded. Now by notifying the school, services are available to help monitor the situation.

WELCOME ZEL’S CATERING!

On Thursday, July 14th, the Exchange Club of Waycross welcomed Zel’s Catering and Angeleek Bostick with her talented staff to the club. They greeted the club with a wonderful meal and cheerful smile. Taking up the mantle that the great Sharon Deal wore for 25 years, they prepared a wonderful meal and promised to be great partners with the club. Angeleek and her staff of Kim Beane, Debbie Moore, and Sandra Novosel met with the members after the meal to hear comments and suggestions for the future.
When asked for a comment, Angeleek said that she was thankful for the opportunity to work with the Exchange Club. Everyone was “blown away” that the officers were able to secure a group who were so talented. We are all looking forward to the next week!

OATH (OKEFENOKEE ALLIANCE FOR THE HOMELESS)

Program Chair Mike Thrift introduced, Sarah Carver. Mrs. Carver is a former educator and a member of the River of Life Church. Representing OATH, she explained that the mission “is to meet the needs of homeless and those precariously housed through a continuum of care that leads to self-sufficiency.” She added that OATH offers a hand-up, not a handout. OATH in Waycross was an outgrowth of the Children’s Initiative that meets monthly to share information about what is being done and what needs to be achieved for the youth in Ware County and surrounding communities. In 2017, a group began working to address the obstacles that counselors and educators find that many children in school may have to cope with every day when they are not in school. They found that a number of children faced the real possibility of being homeless. With a real heart for children, the group, lead by Director Gail Seifert, began to plan.
The result of that plan is (OATH), a not-for-profit organization created to fill the service gap for the homeless in Ware, Pierce, and Brantley Counties.
Due to poverty and homelessness children may sleep in cars, “couch surf,” or be chronically absent from school. Homelessness is the result of a multitude of issues culminating over time — it does not happen instantaneously.
OATH serves single men and women with or without children, families, and unaccompanied youth who lack safe and secure housing. EVERYONE DESERVES A SAFE PLACE TO CALL HOME. OATH in Waycross is located at 402 Brunel Street. Currently, it is a day center only, but the goal is to have an overnight center.
Homeless clients can take shower, wash and dry clothes, are offered lunch prepared by volunteers, and get respite from the heat. In addition, they are offered help in getting a job and applying for rental assistance.
OATH sees a major need for more affordable housing. They are looking at a “Tiny Houses” project in Glynn County.” It could be one solution to offer affordable housing to the homeless population here, also.
OATH served over two hundred clients in the last year. Most are local. Those served are women and men ranging in age from 18 years old to 80 years old. Some are homeless due to job loss, mental illness, physical abuse, or drug abuse. Most are trying, but sometimes bills outpace the income in the home. OATH partners with UNISON, ACTION PACT, and other local, state, and government agencies to help guide the clients when these agencies could help.
If you would like to help or volunteer, please call 912-816-4399.

Unity for Service

Our Motto - Unity for Service
The motto was adopted in 1917.
Its originator, Charles Berkey,
said the motto was inspired
by the 133rd Psalm, which says
“Behold how good and pleasant
it is for brethren to dwell
together in unity.”

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