GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – More than 200 people gathered inside the sanctuary of Westminster Presbyterian Church. But it wasn’t for a church service, it was a big community gathering.
Nearly 20 different religious congregations have come together to form GOAL, which stands for Greenville Organized for Accountable Leadership. It is the first organization of its kind in the department.
Over the past two months, several faith groups and churches have come together to identify key issues in Greenville County and then compiled a list of 4 priority areas.
“We come together to work together to find more just and equitable solutions for all members of our community,” said Reverend Jennifer Fouse Sheorn, pastor and director of the Triune Mercy Center.
GOAL is made up of different faith groups from various backgrounds and religions.
“Even if we have different doctrines or different approaches to our faith. We all come together to bring justice to our community,” Reverend Fouse Sheorn said.
The effort began months ago, through small gatherings neighbors shared their stories. Which led to 700 people voting and identifying the county’s top four concerns; Education, housing, mental health and criminal justice. They even heard personal testimonies on Monday evening.
“Education and poverty are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate them,” said Annie Leonard of Westminster Presbyterian.
“I have a full-time job and 3 part-time jobs. I’m tired. but it’s what I have to do to live in “yes, this Greenville,” said Faraja Smith of Valley Brooke Outreach Baptist, while talking about housing.
The goal for Monday night was to break into breakout groups, vote, and whittle those four focus areas down to two. They chose mental health, then housing.
“Then we will have groups that will research and find and narrow these two down to something doable,” Rev. Fouse Sheorn said of the next steps.
They plan to push for policy change and hold those in power accountable to make that change.
For more information on GOAL. visit their website here.
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