United Power for Action & Justice

How do we put our faith into action? How do we go from frustration about the difference between how things should be and the way things are to effective action to put things right? A major part of our answer is our work in Community Organizing through United Power for Action and Justice. UPAJ is a broad-based organization made up of dues-paying members, city and suburban, including 300 churches synagogues, mosques, unions, hospitals, businesses, community health care clinics and local community organizations. Major accomplishments include full funding of FamilyCare Illinois, making a total of 400,000 parents in Illinois eligible to receive healthcare coverage in 2006. Coverage was extended to families at up to 185% of the poverty level, or about $35,000 a year for a family of four. Funding was also included for the Gilead Outreach and Referral Center. UPAJ was also involved in obtaining passage of the Rental Housing Support Program. This bill helps provide rent support for 5,500 additional families. An ongoing project is Ezra Community Homes (also supported by $1 million in funding from Episcopal Charities and Community Services) providing affordable homes in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago.