Eastern Nazarene College Enters Partnership Responding to Humanitarian Emergency

Aug 16, 2023

Eastern Nazarene College’s (ENC) mission is ‘to provide a transformational education that equips diverse students to lead and serve our world as agents of Christ’s love and truth.’ And our vision carries that further saying we strive to be renowned ‘for excellence in student achievement, vibrant intercultural community, and global impact.’ Taken together, our desire is to become a vibrant intercultural community, having global impact while serving the world in Christ’s name.

Bearing in mind our mission and vision, our community has a profound opportunity to answer the call of Jesus in Matthew 25:35-40 to assist others in need. After prayer and careful consideration, ENC has entered an agreement to provide qualified displaced families with basic needs, including temporary emergency shelter, healthcare services, and infant supplies. ENC is in a unique position to be part of the solution to a humanitarian crisis – a response that is integral to our mission and identity.

The effort to respond to the crisis involves two separate operations: a Family Welcome Center operated by Bay State Community Services, a local Quincy MA provider, and a Temporary Family Emergency Shelter operated by AMI Expeditionary Healthcare, a state-contracted shelter management firm. ENC is a host site where these organizations’ skilled professionals operate.

The displaced families being served in the facilities consist of pregnant women, mothers with young children, and small family units. Each family unit is screened for shelter and services eligibility. Screenings include health, drug, criminal background, and registered sex offender.

Even as we meet this moment with the compassion of Jesus, we recognize that our primary purpose is to provide a student-centered, transformational education. Our team has met daily for several weeks to map out ways to protect and enhance our students’ educational and co-educational experiences. We will be launching service and ministry opportunities; we are strengthening campus security systems; and we are opening doors for internships with local and state-level organizations.

ENC has enhanced campus security, increasing the number of security personnel, installing cameras throughout the campus and additional lighting, and is also working closely with local law enforcement (Quincy Police Department) to ensure the safety and security of our students and family guests. Churches and para-church organizations are contacting ENC to show support and other community partners are joining alongside to provide donations. ENC has expanded the role of Rev. Lisa Michaels (lisa.michaels@enc.edu), Associate Chaplain for Mission and Engagement, to give leadership to the various educational and service opportunities for students along with the larger ENC community, local agencies, and churches to engage.

You can read more about our efforts to ensure the educational experience of students is enhanced by this partnership on our FAQ page.

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