The Berrien County Association of Churches (BCAC) founder of Benton Harbor Street Ministry was first organized as the Berrien County Sunday Association in 1878. In 1942 the association merged with an ecumenical church group, becoming the Council of Churches and adopting their current name in 1983. The Association has sponsored many different ministries over the course of its history. In addition for training Sunday school teachers, the Association operated a summer camp for children and youth, sponsored the building of Berrien Homes, a 160 unit low income and middle income housing project, operated schools for the children of migrant workers, worked with homeless people in Benton Harbor and established the Benton Harbor Street Ministry, an educational and social service agency.
- Pre GED classes
- GED classes
- Adult education program
- After school tutoring
- Computer training
- Life skills
- Nutritional programs
- Spiritual counseling
- Food pantry
- Summer programs
- In House Library
Help Battling Addiction
Do you know the warning signs of opioid abuse or addiction? Are you holding onto pain medication or noticing some Is missing? Do you know how to get help or talk to someone who is fighting the same battle? How can you save someone’s life if they are dying from an opioid overdose? Do you need to properly dispose of old medication and do not know where the nearest medication disposal bin is? www.voicechangehope.org or is the resource you need to get that help. (Also on Facebook and Instagram).
The Voice. Change. Hope. Alliance is a community member organization developed in 2015 to eliminate prescription drug abuse and heroin addiction while combating the stereotypes and stigma associated with this opioid epidemic. The volunteers are parents from the addiction community, law enforcement, medical personnel, health department personnel, and addiction specialists. The Alliance provides community members free resources and education related to this epidemic, and members are available to speak to a few people or large groups. Contact Lt. Melinda Logan at 269-921-5741 or Kerri Teachout at 269-927-5668.
Berrien County is not a stranger to the effects of addiction. The number of drug overdose deaths has doubled in Berrien County from 2011 to 2015 with 2016 expecting to drastically increase. Locally and nationally, there are more drug over dose deaths than people who die in car crashes and legislation is focused on helping the addicts receive the treatment needed to be successful in recovery. Thais is a public concern effecting many family members within religious organizations, but many times they are afraid to speak about their problems due to the stigma associated with addiction. This is not someone else’s problem any longer. It is effecting all demographics throughout Berrien County.
The feedback from community educational events was to hold a program developing healthy communication skills for families. In response, on February 15th from 5 pm to 8 pm, the VCH Alliance will be partnering to hold a Family Connection Night “Do You Know?” program at New Buffalo High School Cafeteria. It is open to all middle and high school aged families to attend. Individuals attending will receive guidance on effective communication, but cannot participate in the evenings exercises. RSVP with the high school secretary, Devinnie Wysocki, at email@example.com or 269-469-6001.
Available to the public and addicts is free, easy, 1.5 hour training for an opioid overdose reversal drug known as Narcan. The VCH Alliance has partnered with the Southwest Michigan Families Against Narcotics (FAN) to provide the training and free kit for those that attend. As important are meetings to help family members of addicts and recovering addicts with support. These meetings are hosted by community members who have been in “your shoes” and is held at the Tryon School Community Center (910 E. John Beers Rd., St. Joseph) on the third Thursday of every month at 7:00pm.