Casa Grande Emergency Assistance Ministry
The United Way of Pinal County has facilitated the Casa Grande Emergency Assistance Ministry (EAM) for over 10 years as a way to help support clergy with resources as they in turn mentor individuals and family in crisis.
The EAM is a coalition of Casa Grande faith-based organizations, private social service agencies, and local government partners that band together to provide additional support for emergency food, shelter and other services through the community. For the past several years, EAM has coordinated the opening prayer at the City of Casa Grande City Council Meetings.
It also has addressed key community issues such as homelessness. The group hosts an annual blood drive which is reported by the Red Cross to be one of their largest events in Southern Arizona. The annual Mayor’s Pastors appreciation breakfast sponsored by EAM is a large and anticipated affair.
The reason this groups exists is because faith leaders want to spend more time addressing spiritual concerns but that is hard to do when patrons and community members are struggling to meet their basic living essentials. In their search for social service help individuals may turn to churches for support with food or other basic needs. The gaps that are created by public funding of social network programs lead many needy folks to be on the hunt for assistance. The EAM may be an additional resource.
A faith leader decides if they can help the individual with their own congregational resources or if the person needs to be referred to a “Center Point” for additional assistance. The Center Point for services in the Casa Grande area is the Salvation Army. There is an established referral process and back up documentation will be required by the Salvation Army.
The benefits of the EAM
- People in need can be referred from the place of worship to a central place that is better equipped to handle their needs and can connect them with additional resources.
- Limits the chance that people will go to multiple faith communities or agencies for help, resulting in more efficient delivery of services.
- Greater articulation between city government, faith-based organizations, and private non-profit agencies to resolve community needs
- EAM can provide an opportunity for our community’s faith-based organizations to gain better mutual understanding, acceptance, and fellowship.
The EAM accepts donations from all community members, including the faith
community. The United Way of Pinal County is the fiscal agent over these funds.