The United Methodist Church’s General Board of Church and Society is “dedicated to the work of living faith, seeking justice and pursuing peace.” To that end, the North Texas Conference Board of Church and Society began the process of identifying an area of need that we could rally around and bring to the attention of the North Texas Conference. Since the NTC was already invested in partnering with public schools through the One + One program, we began discussing how we might find a way to align our mission with the focus of the conference.
Because of those conversations, we discovered that in 2016, there were more than 4,600 youth experiencing housing insecurity in the greater DFW area; most of those youth are identified through their public school. Many of our local churches already have relationships with school administrations as a result of our mentoring and tutoring programs, which allow us to explore how we might further those relationships through assisting with older students who face housing insecurity.
As the NTC Board of Church and Society, it is our vision to eradicate youth homelessness in the North Texas Conference by 2024. We believe this can be achieved through the ministry and advocacy of our local churches through educating and equipping church members who will meet the needs of homeless youth in their local context. While every local context offers unique opportunities to serve this population, the Board is committed to finding and offering educational opportunities to those interested in pursuing this vision.
The Board continues to administer the Peace with Justice Grants. In the spring of 2018, we awarded six grants to various ministries that stretch from the North Texas Conference to the Eurasia Conference. We look forward to continued partnerships with those who seek to bring the peace and justice of Christ through ministries that transform lives.