Peacebuilders, a branch of COMPASS Youth Collaborative in Hartford, works to reduce violence by connecting potentially violent and aggressive youth to formal systems and positive opportunities. Through conflict mediation, crisis intervention, and other counseling services, Peacebuilders helps rebuild the lives of this vulnerable population.
In February 2011, members of Immanuel began fifty one on one listening conversations with our Immanuel neighbors. After reflecting on what we heard, we decided to focus on the challenges and opportunities for some specific neighbors – the residents living on South Marshall Street, just two blocks from Immanuel.
Marshall House, serving as shelter for 60 homeless women and families for almost 30 years, is located on S. Marshall St. Lynn Naughton, the executive director, says their goal is to help people get back on their own and into apartments or into transitional or supportive housing that has a 6 month-1 year waiting list. Eighty percent of the residents are from Hartford. It is home to many children.
Loaves and Fishes Ministries operates a soup kitchen at Immanuel Church. Volunteers serve lunch to about 130 people daily, 5 days a week. They also provide groceries and clothing for people to take home.
In 2004, the Social Action and Mission Committee of Immanuel Church went to Noah Webster School and asked, “What can we do for you?” The principal described their need for a Family Resource Center, and within two years, with help from other congregations, we provided it.
In the 1960’s, the people of Immanuel Congregational Church felt it was time to begin a new venture. Making use of low-interest Government loans, they developed a not-for-profit corporation named Immanuel Church Housing Corporation and constructed a high-rise directly across the street from the church. The building was named Immanuel House, and it opened its doors in 1971.
In 1982, a small group dedicated to creating a society that is respectful of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities began meeting once a month at Immanuel. This was the beginning of PFLAG Hartford.