Pastor Jack’s Weekly Message (March 5, 2021)

City of St. Pete News Too Important Not to Put in Our Newsletter: Last week at Police Chief Holloway’s monthly report to local clergy, his team announced a new public safety program – the Community Assistance and Life Liaison program (CALL). In response to mental health emergencies, a CALL team of two mental health professionals will be sent to stabilize and resource those in need. During the initial six-month pilot project, a police officer will be posted near the site, but not involved unless requested by the CALL team.

CALL will be managed by Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services, known for its excellence in the key areas of mental health, substance abuse, neighborhood issues, youth, and poverty. Initial contacts can be made via 911 or through Pinellas Wellness Connection at 727-791-3131.

The program is based on several models from cities successful in providing services and avoiding police contact, arrest and reliance on the Baker Act. Our mayor and city council have approved the pilot project, with plans for budget continuation. This is similar to what UUSP as part of FAST is asking from Pinellas County.

I think it will be very helpful for the spirit of St. Pete. 

Appreciate hearing your thoughts. And, fittingly, a wonderful Women’s History Month to all,

 Pastor Jack