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Wyandotte County clergy present solutions to address affordable housing, crime

Churches United for Justice
Posted at 9:47 PM, Jun 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 23:29:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A group of 17 churches are taking on issues they believe is creating injustice in Wyandotte County.

On Tuesday, they highlighted the problems, impact and solutions.

"We are gathering to do something that Micah 6:8 calls all churches to do and that is to do justice," Reverend Tony Carter, Jr., a pastor at Salem Missionary Baptist Church, said.

Christians from all Wyandotte County gathered at Mount Carmel Church Tuesday evening to see how they can carry out a mission from the Bible in order to change the status quo.

"People in the community are really concerned," Sherieta Thomas-Brown, an attendee, said. "You know, I'm saying they want to know what's going on. We really are. And everybody wants to get involved."

A coalition of faith leaders found what they believe is root cause.

"So when it comes to owning homes, getting a good job, graduating from high school, what once was red-lined is still struggling today," Reverend Andy Frazier, pastor at Bonner Springs United Methodist Church, said.

Some families can't find an affordable home.

"We're just at a point where we're just waiting on God to do what he does best, because I don't see the way things are possible," Tamia Mahone, who attended the event, said.

And a surge in violence continues to tear families apart.

"Several weeks ago, I had to eulogize a young man that I watched grow up in my church as a pastor," Reverend Charles Cofield Jr., pastor at Kansas City Community Church, said.

To address both issues, "Churches United for Justice" is calling on Wyandotte County to use federal stimulus money to establish an affordable housing and equity trust fund and implement a plan around group violence intervention.

"This is so far beyond just thoughts and prayers," Frazier said. "This is implementing a strategy that is researched and proven effective to save lives and reduce violent crime."

At Tuesday's gathering, they called on UG leaders to have proposed legislation to enact the solutions ready by September.

"Politics gets pushed out of the way when the people stand up and make their voices heard," KCK Mayor Tyrone Garner said.

And they plan to continue doing that, the clergy members plan to present their solutions again during the Wyandotte County Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday.