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 families 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

Fountain of Life Church Food & Essentials Pantry  – We provide support with food and essentials to Madison’s Southside at Fountain of Life Church

What is a 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 over 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.

Fountain of Life Pantry Leadership

Jacquelyn Hunt is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor that directs FOSTER of Dane County in partnership with Fountain of Life Church and Nehemiah. Ms. Jackie has over 20 years of experience in the fields of culturally relevant, strength-based, and trauma-informed care. Hunt took her program to the community where she began to provide services right there in the heart of where those who were most impacted by racial disparities dwelled.

Resources:

Chaplain Farr’s Work

Jacquelyn Hunt’s Work in the Community During COVID-19 Crisis