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Ted L.

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COMMUNITIES OF SHALOM INC
February 25, 2011

I have been involved with the Marion County Communities of Shalom since in conception in 1998. This small organization has achieved many accomplishments in its brief history. There are five strategic areas we concentrate in: Health and Wellness, Community Spirituality, Re-newing and Rebuilding Community life, Housing and Economical Development. The goal is to empower the community to bring systemic change by recognizing strengths and to build upon those strengths to empower others to make a positive change in the community.

When we first organized as a group, we looked at what were some of the strengths in Marion County. We found from surveys that were taken through out Marion County, that our youth was one of our most important assets. At that time there was a severe problem with the judicial system with youth offenders and how the system was dealing with punishment for these young individuals. We were able to make a change with the system by initiating the Teen Court program here in Marion County. The program was started in 2000 and has become a non-profit 501 (3) organization that is an active court system run by the youth for first time juvenile offenders. This organization that was started by the communities of Shalom has made a positive impact on the youth and the court system to bring systemic change in Marion County.

Another area Communities of Shalom has made a difference is in housing for low income families. In early 1999 Marion County Communities of Shalom recognized the need to reorganize the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate due to lack of proper leadership and funding. The Shalom site took the leadership over and built partnerships to strengthen the organization. We are very pleased to have succeeded in this endeavor to have built ten houses for needy families in Marion County. These are just two examples where the Communities of Shalom have made a difference in Marion County West Virginia.

Marion County Communities of Shalom can be more effective when funding is secure for a full time or part time director. We are a 501 (c3) organization and have qualified persons on the team to write grants and provide leadership but we need to have a person who can take on the daily responsibilities of runing the organization to reach out into the community effectively in doing more to make a difference in Marion County.



The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have personally seen the results of Communities of Shalom by seeing the youth in Marion County empowered to help solve some of their problems and also witness how families who receive adquate house can improve their lives and beocme productive citizens.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hire a full time director!

MY ROLE:
Board Member & I have personally been involved with youth mininstries, treasure of Marion County Teen Court and President of Marion County Habitat for Humanity. I have been instrumental in helping to secure grants and funding to build 10 houses in Marion County for nee.

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