Trinity Church Wall Street convened a day-long event in April of 2016 called “Church Meets City.” The collaborative roundtable aimed to help some of Trinity’s neighbors better navigate and access the human services, such as SNAP and HomeBase, offered by New York City.
Below are some video highlights of the day, and you can view the full Church Meets City program here, including a reflection from the Rev. Winnie Varghese, Trinity’s Director of Justice and Reconciliation.
Community members learned about who is homeless in our neighborhood, some of the barriers they face, what to say and how to help. Download the PDF to learn more.
Tutu Inspires NYC
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is a Nobel Laureate whose life has inspired millions and whose legacy was recently celebrated in a photo exhibit at St. Paul’s Chapel. And some New York City high school students who were not even born when Tutu was publicly and peacefully fighting oppression are learning how to combine a love of art with a passion for social justice.
Public Housing Access
With significant national attention to ending mass incarceration and more and more people returning home from prison and jail, now is the time to dramatically reduce barriers to successful reentry.
Trinity, in partnership with the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, presented Public Housing Access: A Convening on Innovative Reentry Practices, featuring public housing authorities, law enforcement agencies, government officials, practitioners, and researchers, to discuss and highlight innovative reentry practices in public housing. The event included discussions on the importance of public housing for people with conviction histories, lessons from the field, best practices, and opportunities for changes in policy.
Speakers included public housing authorities including the Chair of NYCHA, key criminal justice leaders, and officials from HUD, including Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramirez.
Video Thumbnail Image: “I Just Want to Come Home” Groundswell © 2015, courtesy of the Vera Institute of Justice
Food and Justice
Manhattan is the wealthiest of the five boroughs of New York City, and home to almost a quarter-million people who are “food insecure,” according to the U.S Department of Agriculture. So it’s not surprising that the topic of food insecurity came up at Church Meets City.
Families in Need: The Importance of the Ordinary
A family without shelter, without a paycheck, and without food is not such an unusual story today and, sometimes, the only place to go is the back pew of a church. The Rev. Winnie Varghese, a priest at Trinity Church Wall Street, recalls an experience from last summer, and how maintaining as many “ordinary” routines as possible is a gift any church can give to people in crisis.
Food Insecurity and Homelessness: An NYC Snapshot
Among the most persistent problems in New York City are food insecurity and homelessness and, as the Rev. Winnie Varghese points out, recent statistics paint a very challenging picture.
Charity and Justice
Educational inequity, homelessness, and food insecurity are all critical problems in New York City, but also in many other communities throughout the nation. The Rev. Winnie Varghese of Trinity Church Wall Street poses the question: How can churches and other faith communities best provide equal effort to the values of both charity and justice?