Family and Community Wellness

Nehemiah – Who We Are

There is a need and desire for a stronger Madison for all – therefore we focus on strengthening the African American community. Nehemiah cultivates character, leadership, and economic development for the African American community through culturally grounded programs.

The Need

Family & Community Wellness is a broad topic that refers to more than just physical health. Healthy communities are composed of members who are not only physically and mentally healthy, but who are also thriving socially and economically. Healthy communities depend on healthy families.

In the Madison area, where stark racial disparities exist across the board; in education, criminal justice, housing, economic opportunities, and more, African American families endure levels of stress, isolation, and trauma that the majority of white families do not experience. The result of this is that African Americans are more likely to have higher rates of physical conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and early infant death. African Americans are more than twice as likely to lack health insurance, and African American children are six times more likely to be referred to Child Protective Services when compared to whites.

The key to success is to support African American family by building strong relationships within communities to provide supportive, wrap-around services that meet families where they are and allow them to obtain the resources and skills needed to maintain happy and healthy homes.

Family & Community Wellness

Nehemiah provides a number of programs to help address these issues, including:

Neighborhood Community Chaplain – We provide chaplaincy, basic needs, empowerment, and liaison services in the Allied Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood.

Case Management – We are embarking on a new set of services, providing prevention and intervention case management services for African American families.

Focus on Girls & Women – We are currently reviewing all existing programs to determine how we can strengthen each in terms of addressing the critical needs of African American girls and women.

Community Chaplain

The Chaplain’s work involves developing indigenous leaders, serving as a liaison with human service agencies, connecting those in need with resources, and planning and implementing opportunities for spiritual growth in the neighborhood.  The Chaplain also provides advocacy for residents, serves as an intermediary with a wide range of social service providers and offers direct assistance to neighborhood residents.

Nehemiah’s Chaplain has served Allied residents for more than five years.  Madison’s Allied neighborhood is distinctive for its racial and ethnic diversity.  The neighborhood has the highest proportion of low-income residents in Dane County and is often referred to as its most troubled neighborhood.

Community Chaplain Leadership

Gloria Manadier-Farr is Nehemiah’s Community Chaplain. Gloria has 20 years of experience in the fields of substance abuse, trauma, and mental health. She is a licensed substance abuse counselor and minister of Fountain of Life Covenant Church. Gloria has worked in the Allied neighborhood for more than five years building trust and developing the capacity of Allied residents to be effective change agents.

Contact Information

For more information, contact our Director of Family Services:

Gloria Farr gfarr@nehemiah.org 608.257.2453