Over 1,000 Citizens Packed a Church on a Wintry Night to Participate in Call for Crisis Centers
The outside may have been windy, cold and snowy, but the inside of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church was bursting with energy as 1,038 citizens loudly called for the creation of two offsite pre-booking mental health and addiction crisis diversion centers.
The evening was packed with action, including voting in two new GCC member congregations -- Lakewood Congregational UCC and Lee Road Baptist; viewing a gripping video about the impact of the lack of crisis centers on the community; powerful testimonials by two mothers, Anita Arrington-Bey and Cantor Laurel Barr; and the endorsement of GCC's roadmap for the crisis centers by the assembled gathering.
In one of the many highlights of the evening, Bill Mason, chief-of-staff for Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, confirmed the county's intention to build two offsite pre-booking crisis centers, one on the East Side and one on the West Side of Cleveland.
The Rev. Dr. James P Quincy 3rd, pastor of Lee Road Baptist Church, and the Rev Joanna D'agostina, pastor of Lakewood Congregational Church, UCC, greet the assembly as new members of GCC.
Mrs. Anita Arrington-Bey speaks about the death of her son Omar while in County Jail as Cantor Laurel Barr listens to Mrs. Arrington-Bey's powerful testimony. Cantor Barr then spoke about her son, who has been in and out of incarceration due to his drug addiction.
Rev Jawanza Colvin of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church asks assembly attendees to vote to endorse GCC's roadmap for making the offsite pre-booking mental health and addiction crisis diversion centers a reality.
Former Cuyahoga County Administrative Judge Russo, County Prosecutor O'Malley, Administrative Judge Sheehan, and County Executive Chief-Of-Staff Mason listen to presentations at the assembly.
Rabbi Stephen Weiss of B'nai Jeshurun Congregation congratulates GCC leaders on turning out 1,038 attendees on cold, wintry evening.