Focus, Act, Connect Every-day (FACE) is a group of about 20 people, many of whom have experienced significant life disruptions due to mental illness, substance use, trauma, homelessness, and incarceration.
FACE members come together on a semi-weekly basis to support one another in engaging with the community, including planning activities and events with community partners. These events have included leading mural-making at neighborhood festivals, packing groceries for people in need, and facilitating conversations with community groups. FACE’s agenda and engagement with the broader community are decided by all group members equally.
Recently, several FACE members have joined forces with the New Haven chapter of Witnesses to Hunger, a coalition of people who experience food insecurity. Together with other chapters, FACE members have recruited new members, attended planning meetings, spoken at roundtables with federal elected officials, and organized rallies and other events to advocate for policies to better address the upstream causes of food insecurity and economic struggle.
Additional projects include partnering with the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation (WRNSC) and other local partners to participate in grassroots activities:
- Cleanups in local neighborhoods, parks, and gardens
- Attendance at neighborhood association meetings
- Canvassing in neighborhoods
- Participation in local festivals to provide reliable information about mental health
- Relationship-building at the grassroots level