LOPC’s Mission ministry looks to Christ as an example of how to serve others and meet people wherever they are. LOPC advocates for those challenged with issues of hunger, homelessness and lack of education. We look for opportunities for participants to make a meaningful connection with those we serve with the hope of transformation and understanding as a result of that connection. LOPC uses its resources to respond to needs locally and globally with the goal of making a sustainable impact on those we serve.
He has shown all you people what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8
Monument Crisis Center is a recipient of $250K Presbytery Grant!
After attending a presbytery meeting September, 2019, and learning the San Francisco Presbytery (SFP) was offering grants to non-profits addressing the homelessness crisis, Phil Hunter called a meeting in the LOPC library to explore this opportunity for Contra Costa County for all that were interested. It’s been an 18 month journey – from when over 30 LOPC members filled the library to overflowing to learn more about presbytery grants – to April, 2021 when the Presbytery Grant Committee approved a $250,000 grant for the Monument Crisis Center (MCC).
Back in 2019 once the meeting in the library began, it quickly became apparent that not only did ‘homelessness’ need to be defined but issues contributing to homelessness had to be considered: job insecurity, mental health issues, families’ health concerns, education and training, transportation challenges, applying for government assistance, city zoning ordinances, etc. The committee also recognized many non-profits provide multiple services. How could the committee identify the organization best suited for a grant? With Pastor Lauren’s help the committee strategized over this issue.
The committee broke into small teams to investigate nine proposals from six non-profits in Contra Costa County (CCC) who assist the homeless. Each team visited an organization and asked about their work related to homelessness: their priorities, programs, goals and, what would this organization do if awarded a grant of $100,000?
After two months of investigation, the committee reconvened to hear a report from each team. At the conclusion of the presentations all present voted in a version of Rank Choice Voting; voting for more than one organization. The result was unanimous: Monument Crisis Center (MCC) was selected as the organization LOPC would sponsor applying for a grant from the San Francisco Presbytery (SFP). The grant pursued would be for $250,000 to help MCC expand services into East Contra Costa County.
Once MCC was identified as the organization for the grant application, Ken Sargent began working with MCC to complete the grant application, helping articulate the needs, priorities and plans MCC had for east county to reach more underserved, marginalized individuals and families. MCC’s expansion plans included their multi-faceted help: offering food, education, wellness checks, health/blood pressure screenings, legal aid consultations, after school programs, domestic violence resources, mental health issues, financial literacy, employment counseling and job application assistance, etc. In June 2020, LOPC’s Session approved the application request for $250,000 to assist MCC expanding into east county. The grant application was then sent to the Presbytery grant committee.Meanwhile Covid-19 was having a huge impact on MCC’s services. Even before the large grant was considered by Presbytery, the grant application chair suggested LOPC apply for a separate $32,000 grant to help MCC with immediate needs due to Covid-19 crisis. With Covid county health standards put new burdens on MCC to distribute donations efficiently and safely. The $32,000 grant funded an employee to manage the enormous increase in donations received in response to the Covid ’shut down’ while complying with the county’s stricter health standards. The smaller grant application was approved by Session in November and the first check was mailed before the end of 2020.
The LOPC/MCC $250,000 grant was one of many the Presbytery grant committee considered, a process slowed somewhat by Covid. In late 2020 the LOPC/MCC grant was considered in detail and in April 2021, San Francisco Presbytery awarded Monument Crisis Center $250,000 to help expand their services into east Contra Costa County. It was a long process but the benefits will reach countless thousands for years to come. The result of a village, a caring community, a small group committed to a larger purpose.
Faith in action.