FOX RIVER VALLEY INITIATIVE
WE ARE 18 religious and civic institutions organized across Kane County Illinois. We are an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), part of the oldest and largest network of broad-based citizen organizations in the country. Primarily funded by member institution dues, we do not accept public money. We are fiercely non-partisan, neither running nor endorsing any candidates for political office and work with all public officials of good will. However, each affiliate organization is also unapologetically dedicated to building relational power (organized people, organized money) to address issues impacting the people within its institutions and local geographic area. FRVI is affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the oldest organizing network in the country with over 65 organizations in the USA, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Australia.
2018-2019 KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS
EXERCISE IN TRUE DEMOCRACY: WON COMMITMENT TOWARDS ONGOING RELATIONSHIP WITH NEXT ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ILLINOIS.
On March 11, 2018 the IL Metro IAF member congregations and organizations assembled 1257 people with the 10 candidates for Attorney General winning a commitment from each candidate to meet with the groups within 30 days, if elected. All candidates agreed to do so. (Video of candidates’ commitment). Daily Herald Letter to the Editor about the event
ENDING THE INCARCERATION OF PEOPLE EXPERIENCING MENTAL ILLNESS AND/OR ADDICTION.
Over the next 5 years, recidivism will cost Illinois over $16.7 billion if trends continue.
Increased Crisis intervention training for law enforcement
A robust network of properly trained law enforcement officers to identify and de-escalate encounters with people who are suffering from mental illness and/or addiction. Since receiving a commitment from State’s Attorney Joe McMahon and then Sheriff Donald Kramer over 4 years ago Kane County created their own Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) certified training. Since October 2017 170 officers from 26 Kane County Police Agencies have been trained. Sheriff Ron Hain has also committed to FRVI to continue CIT training.
Expanded and Increased availability of Crisis Stabilization Units (CSUs) where police, EMS, family or friends can quickly offer people treatment and not incarceration or costly emergency department stays. We have researched and related to eight hospital networks throughout the region to better understand their emergency mental health responses and identified key allies interested in crisis stabilization services. FRVI leveraged a commitment from Presence Mercy in Aurora to establish a CSU and raised $500,000 dollars to cover half of the capital costs.
FRVI along with our sister organizations are working to address the medicaid reimbursement rate to help hospitals cover the costs of a CSU. On March 21, 2019 we met with Governor Pritzker on this issue. On April 25 we met with Deputy Governor Flores and HFS Director Eagleson who made a commitment to address the medicaid issue by July 1. This change will allow CSUs across the state to open up. Daily Herald Letter to the Editor about this change.
We helped create and coordinate a Kane County Jail re-entry program to link ex-offenders who have mental illness with appropriate treatment and housing resources once they leave jail.
BUILDING AFFORDABLE AND ACCESSIBLE HOUSING FOR INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, AND YOUNG ADULTS. Throughout Illinois, our sister organizations have led efforts to create a mix of rental and single family homes, some including supportive services for people with a variety of disabilities. In 2009 we leveraged over $147 million and in 2019 $200 million of state resources for the construction of affordable housing. In February 2019 FRVI fought and won 48 units of permanent supportive affordable units in Elgin. To expand this effort we are working to:
Create the base of support for housing through our member institutions and allies
Identifying land and other resources
Cultivating relationships with potential developers to create more housing in both counties.
DEMANDING GUN MANUFACTURERS DO THEIR PART TO PREVENT “CRIME GUN” SALES AND CREATE NEW GUN SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES.
Our tax dollars buy 40% of the guns in America, which are used by the military and law enforcement. This means we have enormous market power. Since 2013, United Power for Action and Justice (our sister organization in Cook County) and other Metro IAF organizations have led a market-based campaign called Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB) to reduce gun-violence.
Together, we have the power to reshape the gun industry to sell its products through a first-rate network of dealers and utilize “smart" technology, reducing stolen guns, suicides and accidental shootings. Faith based pension funds, municipal funds, and individual investors of American Outdoor Brands Corp (Smith & Wesson) and Sturm, Ruger & Co., passed a shareholder resolution May and September of 2018 that hold these gun companies accountable to the principles outlined above.
We have commitments from 135 public entities across the country, including Kane County State’s Attorney Joseph McMahon and Sheriff Ron Hain, who are willing to leverage their purchasing power to change this industry. http://donotstandidlyby.org, twitter @DontStandIdlyBy
EDUCATION & TRAINING
Published and distributed 1,000 brochures on crisis stabilization for education and discussion on mental health and crisis stabilization in member organizations.
Sent leaders to two 3-day IAF trainings
Presented mini-trainings to member and potential member institutions.
Become a Friend of the Fox River Valley Initiative. Please indicate in the "Add special instructions to seller" box that your donation is for Friends of FRVI. DuPage Sponsors is the fiscal agent for the Fox River Valley Initiative.
Adrienne McCauley, Organizer, IAF
Episcopal Charities & Community Service
ELCA Disability Ministries Grant
Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ Mission Support Grant
Presbyterian Church USA Hunger Fund
Current Member Organizations
Association for Individual Development
Bethlehem Lutheran, St. Charles
Christ the Lord Lutheran, Elgin
Congregational Church of Batavia
Ecker Center for Mental Health, Elgin
First Congregational Church of Geneva
Full Circle Communities
Hesed House, Aurora
Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, Elgin
Illinois Education Association
Mercy Housing, Aurora & Elgin
NAMI Kane DeKalb Kendall
Northern IL Conference of the United Methodist Church
St. Charles Episcopal, St. Charles
Tri-City Family Services
Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva
How do I participate?
Individuals participate through organizations to which they belong. Current member organizations include: congregations, non-profits, and professional associations. Also eligible for membership are business associations, parent-teacher and student organizations, labor unions, health care and educational institutions and other civic community organizations.
Member organizations provide the leaders that create and shape our issue campaigns. Each member organization has an organizing team of people that are invested in the FRVI’s vision. Organizing teams are encouraged to participate in FRVI activities in a variety of ways, depending on their interests, talents and passions. Member organizations can call on the FRVI staff to help them develop strategies to address issues and help build organizing teams.
Member institutions pay annual dues to the FRVI based on a scale used by other IAF organizations. We believe that power is demonstrated two ways: organized people and organized money. A strong dues base creates ownership among participating organizations and leaders, access to organizer time, professional leadership training, strategy development, and access to a national network of broad- based organizations thru the IAF.