Photo by Matt Collamer

About a year ago, Fuller’s Dean of the School of Psychology and I had lunch with the senior pastor of Bel Air Presbyterian Church, Mark Brewer. Mark is a Fuller alum and a good friend of Fuller and I was delighted to meet with him and tell him more about FYI. I was so pleased this past weekend to read in a recent Christianity Today article about Imagine LA, a ministry that Mark helped found to address the root causes of homelessness, such as unemployment, domestic violence, and substance abuse.

Imagine LA unites faith, government, education, housing, and business together. The program matches homeless families with a sponsoring team of volunteers from a church, synagogue, or mosque. The team helps the family develop a budget and a two-year independent living plan, and find a permanent home. Sponsorship money helps a family rent an apartment and outfit it with household supplies and donated furniture. The team works with the family to make sure that they are receiving all the homeless and government services available to them. They also help provide the family with transportation, life skills coaching, childcare, and regular mentoring. It’s a two or three year process in most cases.

This is far more than a shallow Band-Aid. It’s deep justice, and I love how holistic the response is, as well as that it’s long-term. I know other churches/ministries who offer the same type of Kingdom response, and I hope and pray that number multiplies dramatically in the future.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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