A message from Chris Andersen, InFaith Community Foundation's President & Executive Director on the 2019 President's Grant.
Poverty. We likely think of economic poverty when we hear the word. But in the broader sense, poverty refers to a meagerness of supply or a poorness of quality. Indeed, we could suffer from the poverty of imagination or compassion, even a poverty of faith.
Over the past three years it has been my privilege to make a President’s Grant to an organization and cause in need of resources and attention. These are causes that I am personally connected to often through stories shared by our donors or through the work of InFaith’s initiatives. And with each grant I think about the opportunity to engage through financial resources, but also and more importantly, the opportunity to address the poverty of compassion that keeps us from recognizing and acting on issues that deny our neighbors dignity, respect and grace. Past grants have addressed the sin of racism, genderbased violence and the environmental destruction of God’s creation.
With this year’s President's Grant I invite all of us to see that while the stock market soars, more and more of our neighbors are falling into poverty and homelessness. Causes vary from a job loss, the lack of affordable housing, and illnesses including addiction. Causes we don’t see or choose not to see. But we are still called to make the invisible, visible and act in accordance with our faith and ask ourselves, what would Jesus do?
This year the President’s Grant (of $5,000 each) supports and brings visibility to three faith-based organizations that engage with their communities to address poverty and homelessness.
Westminster Presbyterian Church (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Westminster’s Housing Ministry Team supports the full spectrum of housing needs within the Minneapolis community, increasing awareness of homelessness issues, and effective change that will help end homelessness. They partner with many, including Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaboration and Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness.
Imagine Housing (Kirkland, Wash.)
Imagine Housing addresses the crisis-level increases in homelessness and housing instability in their community that stems from the shortage of affordable housing. They are responding with a commitment to provide more homes, serve more people and create a stronger and more connected community.
Inspiritus (Atlanta, Georgia)
Inspiritus guides individuals and families whose lives have been disrupted on a path from surviving to thriving by delivering programs and services to help individuals and families progress in four measurable markers of a thriving life: basic needs, stability/safety, community integration and self sufficiency/self-determination.
InFaith’s mission propels us to be advocates for vulnerable people and communities affected by poverty and homelessness, and we are grateful for the good work done through Westminster Presbyterian Church, Imagine Housing and Inspiritus.
InFaith President & Executive Director