“Unhealthy Cities: Poverty, Race and Place in America”
by Kevin Fitzpatrick & Mark LaGory
Book Signing Event
The purpose of this book is to show the important role that space and place plays in the health of urban residents, particularly those living in high poverty ghettos.
The book brings together research and writing from a variety of disciplines to demonstrate the health costs of being poor in America’s cities.
Both authors are committed to raising awareness of structural factors that promote poverty and injustice in a society that proclaims its commitment to equality of opportunity.
Our health is often dramatically affected by where we live; some parts of the city seem to be designed to make people sick.
The book is intended for students and professionals in urban sociology, medical sociology, public health, and community planning.
On October 1, 2010 a one-stop service provision event took place in Fayetteville, AR. HOPE 2010, sponsored in part by the Veterans’ Administration, was designed to serve those in need throughout the NWA region.
Take a few minutes to read the report (download by clicking imageto the right ), and if you would like to be involved in meeting the needs of the homeless in NW Arkansas please consider supporting
- Seven Hills Homeless Center
- NW Arkansas Women’s Shelter
- Samaritan Community Center
- Cobblestone Project Initiatives
For more information about the quality of life and homelessness, please visit the University of Arkansas’s Dept of Sociology Community and Family Institute website.
In November 2009 a $5,000 collection was given during one service by the people present at The Well (part of Fellowship Bible Church). The money given was collected in order to support the on-going work through Faith Victory Kenya.
Today, not one water project, but two water projects have been completed, and there are literally thousands of people every day that now have clean water. Countless lives have been saved through something that most of us take for granted.
Here is the story & the result…
From Richard Cazell to the people of The Well
The two projects The Well made happen were:
- Provide a “spring well” giving a continuous clean flow of protected, non-contaminated water at the huge open-air marketplace in Kisii, Kenya. This source serves hundreds of people daily, and thousands of people at least twice per week when the full blown market with all the area vendors are there (Wednesday, & Saturday-Sunday). ‘
- Provide a second “spring well” giving a continuous clean flow of protected, non-contaminated water at a village 15 km from downtown Kisii, which supplies 2,000 people daily.
There were initially very focused hygiene training groups when both wells were opened, and continues to be weekly follow up training.
The impact of the money provided by The Well has so far surpassed what I initially expected to happen, that I can’t really describe adequately in words. To say God’s kingdom has expanded because of this is to cut it way too short, because there is simply no telling how far into the future the impact will continue. The people who have already been spared from water-borne disease are too many to even know about.
CONCLUSION: GLORY TO GOD FOR FELLOWSHIP’S FAITHFULNESS!
NOTE: Projects were completed through Byron Phillips, the “boots on the ground” guy from South Carolina for Grace-Connection (www.grace-connection.org) . Byron is the man we met in Kisii, and he is a “Kingdom Gorilla”… all about whatever needs to be done in a way to get others into the Kingdom.
Dated: Aug 12, 2010
I sent you our updated newsletter and wanted to add this information for you and the church.
Everything is coming together to start protecting the new source. Our plans are to begin next Wednesday August 18th. We have some initial things needed such as testing of water at the source. We will be doing this test before and after to confirm improved water conditions.
Yesterday Pastor Daniel and I meet with the local school board, chief of the community, and District Environmental Officer to discuss the source and come up with an agreement between them and us. They are working on the agreement and are excited to have the source protected as well as teaching of hygiene practices.
I will keep you updated on progress with photos as well as how much we will have for the other water project with Pastor Daniel. Daniel is and has been a tremendous asset to the advancement of the vision of providing clean drinking water.
Thanks and blessings,
ps: We hired Beatrice as a new hygiene trainer as you see in the photos. She is doing a great job.
Dated Aug 18, 2010
We began work on the new Kisii source yesterday. Here are a couple of photos of the drainage field being prepared. There is a lot of drainage around this source especially from another source at the primary school as well as drainage when it rains. We want to make sure that water flows quickly away from the source. Also this drainage water is used by ladies for washing clothes so we are working to make this a better area for washing.
We have also begun Hygiene Training that is being received well. Beatrice is doing an exceptional job.
Thanks and many blessing,
PS Will continue to send regular photos as we progress
Dated Aug 19, 2010
A couple of photos of the new source. The 3rd photo is of Pastor Daniel mixing cement. He is such a hard worker and tremendous blessing and a good friend.
Dated Aug 21, 2010
Spring is now protected so that people now have clean water. We are not finished as you can see by the photos as steps to be added, drainage to be deepened, pathway cleared. Many people coming to the source and asking loads of questions.
Dated Aug 26, 2010
Here is a photo of the newly completed spring. The only thing remaining is painting and will be done soon.
The numbers are increasing daily usage as the word gets out. The Hygiene Training team is also going around and announcing. Hygiene Training will continue for a few weeks. Pastor Daniel is so happy as this is an area near the church.
We also started on the new spring today. 17 volunteers worked all day (this is a record and miracle for us), cooks showed up and prepared meal on site. Choir from church began to sing before 2:00 which drew around 70 people for Hygiene Training. I will send photos of this project soon.
Blessings and many thanks for your assistance in making this possible.
Dated Aug 28, 2010
Springs are constantly flowing unless drought stops them or rains creates and increased flow. This one has been flowing strong for many years and never dried up
Dated Aug 31, 2010
Here are photos of the progress of the 2nd protected spring that will serve over 2,000 people
ps Great participation from the community
Dated Sept 2, 2010
New photos of completed source with Hygiene Training. Enjoy.
Dated Sept 3, 2010
Photos of completed GC source #2
I asked today when taking photos, “do you notice a difference in the water?” The people said the water has never tasted this good as it taste sweet
Few more details re: these two wells…
Does this spring well consist of any underground piping?
No, there is no underground piping. There are what we call eyes of water that are pressing from water storage tanks that are either rock
or sand being forced our by pressure or gravity.
Is there any sort of filtration that occurs?
Filtration normally occurs naturally in the ground. The problem that exists above ground is contamination from sewage, fecal contamination
by either human or animal. Unless a open spring is closed and protected then humans and animals will contaminate most often through
lack of knowledge. Our filter system is concrete/stone constructed tank. All materials are cleaned out such as mud, small stones, roots,
grass and any other contaminants. We then place small and large stones filling the entire tank. Then we shock the system with
chlorination for proper killing of all disease and bacteria. Then the top is closed with plastic and a 6 inch soil covering. When this is
done properly and regular inspections disease such as typhoid, amoeba, cholera and dysentery cease to exist. Unprotected sources always have evidence of the above especially typhoid.
Does protection from animal contamination exist through its positioning/location?
We install steel post and barbed wire to protect the source as well as ongoing Hygiene Training to give emphasis of protecting your clean
water source as well as regular check ups. Also we have dug drainage all around especially at the top of the source so that rainwater will
flow away from the source as this can be a major source of animal contamination.
What exactly is the fencing about in the left-hand picture?
Explained above as well as keeping animals and humans from steeping on the tank as the tank can be damaged. Some organizations seal the top of the tank with concrete. We do not so as to be able to do maintenance when needed as sometimes roots enter the source and it
must be cleaned out. The top portion of the tank is heavy poly plastic covering with about 6 inches of soil.
A 6 gallon bucket will fill up within 20 minutes at this source.
People are hearing about this clean drinking water source and flocking in from all over. 1,000′s will use this source daily. Many are now
healthy and not suffering from preventable water borne diseases. Most important uncounted numbers have not died from preventable water borne disease in the short period of time the source has been protected.
Thanks so much for allowing Grace-Connection to serve you and the people of Kisii
If you would like to learn more about how you can support Faith Victory Kenya, please visit the intiative page for more information.
On Nov 2nd, the Cobblestone Project is hosting our second “Present in the City” evening together. For this gathering, we have chosen to focus on the issues of Fatherlessness and have invited Dr. John Sowers, author of “Fatherless Generation” & President of The Mentoring Project, to be our guest.
But some may ask,
“Why a night to focus on the issue of fatherlessness?”
“What does this have to do with serving the under-resourced in our community?”
“What kind of impact could this make?”
“Is this really an issue in our community?”
These are all honest and much needed questions. These are the exact same questions that we have asked of ourselves in preparing for this gathering together.
Here are our thoughts…
Within the framework of the Cobblestone Project it is our desire to work towards “a community without need” by “identifying needs, connecting needs with resources and fulfilling those needs with sustainable solutions“. In this pursuit, many initiatives have come to life to meet the physical needs of the poor in our community by creating spaces and opportunities to meet those in need on equal footing in a very personal way. And, they are truly beautiful spaces.
In these spaces and in these initiatives, it has been impossible to deny that the breakdown of support structures and the breakdown of the family has an devastating impact on a person’s ability to provide for themselves, stay in school, hold down a job and ultimately lift themselves out of their circumstances. In fact, within all four of our Our Step cases so far, there has been one common story. It has been the breakdown of family support structures that have led to domestic violence, poverty and homelessness. In each case we have worked to place single parents into homes.
While we must continue to work in our efforts to alleviate the symptoms of poverty, we must also work towards breaking these cycles leading to poverty, domestic violence and homelessness. So, where do begin in the effort to truly break these cycles?
Consider these statistics referenced in John Sowers’ book “Fatherless Generation”
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children come from a fatherless home
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from a fatherless home
- 85% of all youths in prison come from a fatherless home
- 75% of all adolescents in chemical abuse centers come from a fatherless home
- 80% of all rapists motivated with displace anger come from a fatherless home
- 85% of all youth who exhibit behavior disorders come from a fatherless home
- 70% of all juveniles in state-operated institutions come from a fatherless home
- 71% of all pregnant teenagers come from a fatherless home
- 63% of all youth suicides come from a fatherless home
To say that there is a strong connection between the issue of fatherlessness and the effects of poverty is a huge understatement. Take a minute to consider this video…
Therefore, we are inviting our community to come, gather together and begin to learn how the issue of fatherlessness is having an impact on our community.
David Blankenhorn (author and researcher) states it this way…
“Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend of this generation. It is the leading cause of declining child well-being in our society. It is also the engine driving our most urgent social problems, from crime to adolescent pregnancy to child sexual abuse to domestic violence against women. Yet, despite its scale and social consequences, fatherlessness is a problem that is frequently ignored or denied.”
For more information including time and location of “Present in the City – the Fatherless“, please visit the Cobblestone Project website and please consider picking up “Fatherless Generation” by Dr. John Sowers.
Like so many in our community, we are saddened by news of the closing of World Garden in Bentonville.
Over the past year we have had the privilege of coming alongside their mission, their staff and their family to be a part of a story that goes to the core of what drives the Cobblestone Project forward. World Garden’s story of creating a space in our community that allows those in need to have their basic needs met is actually only a small portion of their larger story.
Their larger story is one of leaving behind the comforts and security of this world to pursue a higher calling of loving their neighbor and serving their God regardless of their personal cost. This is a story that speaks to our human condition in a way that allows us all to move past the temporary comforts we may enjoy in order to find greater purpose in loving and serving our neighbor.
Desmond Tutu is quoted as saying
“My humanity is wrapped up in yours, for we can only be Human together”
We want to thank Rick, Cindy and their children for showing our community what a tangible expression of living a life in the service of others can truly look like. Their vision, their heart and their labor has created a better community for us all, and for that we are forever thankful. In short, they have allow us to “be Human together.”
While the physical World Garden may be closing, their story and their efforts will continue forward with great energy. Over the past year, their efforts have begun initiatives such as The Garden, food Gathering & Distribution operations and The Farm. These initiatives will continue forward and their impact in the lives of those in our community will remain strong. If you had the opportunity to spend anytime with Rick and Cindy, you will know that their mission behind World Garden was a desire to serve those in our community. Let us rededicate ourselves to these efforts and continue forward in the spirit of what began all of this.
We are thankful for the Boosey family and we know that this is not the end, but rather another opportunity to re-imagine a new tomorrow. A better tomorrow.
For more information on the initiatives that have begun as a result of World Garden’s efforts, please spend some time on the Cobblestone Project website to find out how you can help.
- The Garden @ Samaritan Community Center (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Food Gathering and Distribution teams (email@example.com)
- The Farm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here are some of our memories & the impact that World Garden has made…
Mark Horvath, founder of InvisiblePeople.tv, has been a visible face in our community for the past two years helping bring awareness to the issue of homelessness. Through the 1,287 Homelessness Awareness Efforts, Mark has been able to break down our stereotypes, exposure the true face of the homeless and create dialogue towards change.
However, he hasn’t just been a face in our community, his time spent with us in NW Arkansas has lead to real change & the creation of some new initiatives that are making substaintial differences in the lives of people in our community. Initiatives such as Our Step, The Farm and The Cafe that are responsible for providing permanent housing, food and support structures to those in our community without.
In an effort to continue to empower those without a home, Mark is launching WeAreVisible.com to connect homeless people online and reconnect them to the world again.
WeAreVisible.com‘s mission is to give people dealing with poverty and homelessness the tools they need to get online and have a voice. The site teaches them how to sign up for email, open a Twitter account, join Facebook, create a blog and, in general, take advantage of the benefits of online social media. It also has the potential to become a model for virtual case management as it helps build a community among homeless people and support service providers.
WeAreVisible.com is a complement to the InvisiblePeople.tv video blog (vlog), which was launched in 2008 to make the “invisible people” in society more visible. Together, the two sites offer homeless people a unique opportunity to take part in the Internet revolution.
Take a few minutes and watch the WeAreVisible.com video…
Mark has made a real difference in our community and his support has made permanent changes in the lives of many. Take a few minutes to learn about WeAreVisible.com and find ways to use this tool to help strengthen relationships and connect our neighbors to services and support structures.
As a first step, Cobblestone Project will begin including WeAreVisible cards & resources to those we serve at our Laundry Love, 3 Bags in 2 Days, The Garden and Shear Kindness initiatives. We believe that these initiatives are just a first step in working creating change.
Thanks to Mark for providing us with these tools as we pursue our dream of “a Community Without Need”.