“The insight this experience has brought to me is the importance in listening and evaluating what a person says or does before responding in any form or fashion. I believe this skill all by itself would make a difference in our communities, jobs, churches, schools, etc. It would have a tremendous positive impact in our lives, period.” Marilyn Layton, Participant
Don Ivans, Community Mediation Center (CMC) Mediator and School Services Specialist, and I spent 5 intense and enjoyable Wednesday afternoons with staff, volunteers, social work interns and friends of the True Light Family Resource Center (TLFRC). TLFRC serves the working poor and homeless individuals with a food pantry, clothes closet, household items and occasionally monetary support. In addition to serving clients with basic necessities, TLFRC has a case manager and a volunteer client services coordinator who refer clients to housing options and emergency assistance. The Emancipation Station, a day shelter for women, coordination with other agencies to meet basic needs and Saturday morning breakfasts round out the services for an increasingly urban, high-risk, multi-ethnic and impoverished population.
The Founder of TLFRC, Pastor Alice Piggee-Wallack, participated in a neutral third-party mediation process facilitated by CMC. When she learned about Restorative Justice and Conflict Resolution Training made possible by the Community Capital Fund (CCF), a new initiative by the KCMO Community Development Entity (CDE), she was eager to participate. At the end of our time together, participants were asked to respond to the training. Alice wrote, “I have wondered why individuals with whom I work did certain things—positive and negative. I now have so much insight into, not only their interactive style, but also my own and my response. This transcends.”
True Light Family Resource Center, welcome to the Peace Party!