“In Sacramento we have something special. We have so many people who have a genuine heart, a genuine concern, a genuine love for their city. They have a worldview that says that God cares about people and he cares about cities and we have an impatience, or an intolerance even, for doing it independently.” -Jeff Kreiser, ACTS Group


“Years ago in our culture, people went to church. That’s not so much true anymore. Schools are the hub of family life in many cases.” -Donnell Riggins, Del Paso Union Baptist Church


“I think churches in the past have promoted overseas mission trips, but I’ve come to recognize that the schools are the natural place where community happens.” -Enoch Yeung, New Hope Community Development Corporation


“The school is really a microcosm, or you might say sort of even a “microscope is on” every societal problem that we have, it’s there. We have addiction, we have abuse, you name it, it’s there. When we look at kids in schools, we don’t count them as responsible for the issues that are in their lives. It really is a different thing, because we’re talking about students who are dealing with the same problems, but largely not of their own making.” -Jeff Devoll, Student Reach


“There’s a sense about a lot of our students that no ones cares and that they’re public enemy number one. I’m trying to amend or reconcile the relationships that a lot of kids have with adults and authoritative figures.” -Lamar Pringle, Sacramento Young Life

“The problems and possibilities of a local community meet in the local school/ Isn’t that where you would want to be? When I talk to local churches, nonprofits, and businesses, the question is, ‘how can we cooperate together?’ If we know that’s the place where this next generation is being raised that is going to live and work and lead in our community, That’s where we want to pour our resources.” -Jeff Kreiser


“So I set up a meeting with the principal and we just said, ‘we just want to know if you can come up with a list of needs that the school has’. We were going to say yes to everything on that list no matter what just to prove to them that we really were trustworthy and our hearts were ready to just serve. I remember the principal coming to us and saying, “hey, there’s a lot of gum and trash everywhere, but it’s going to cost us $15,000 basically to scrape gum off the concrete. We had 250 people show up on a Saturday with gum scrapers. After you are willing to do that, the principals and the school and the teachers were like, ‘Who are these people’?” -Jeff Pitnikoff, New Life Community Church


“These kids have so many things that they come to school with that they are struggling with. Hunger, neglect, they are coming to school disheveled, not really able to concentrate on academics because clearly there were things going on at home for them. To expect them to perform academically I think is unreasonable because their basic needs are not being met. We provide them with a place to be with people who love them and with the tools that they need to succeed academically, socially, relationally, in hopes that it will change the trajectory of their lives. -Salwa Kasabian, Folsom’s Hope


“Foster and adoptive youth need stability and love and nurturing and felt safety. Not just physical safety, but felt safety. Until they get those things as their foundation, they are not going to be able to succeed in school and not going to be able to catch up in school.” -Jessica Miller, Koinonia Family Services


“We all have responsibility to everyone else and know ‘what I do matters to people’. Whether it’s my vocation or whether it’s just something like, I have the ability to fish or woodwork and a kid who may never have held a fishing pole can be served. Everything we have can be tools to bring hope, encouragement, life skills, all those kinds of things.” -Rob Dirkse, Serve Partnerships Unlimited

“One of our big outreaches this year is to refugee students. In one school district alone, they have over 800 refugees that, as they are settling here, they’re also learning English for the first time. We need to connect people who have landed here in this community and we need to connect them with people so they’re part of their own community.” -Jeff Devoll


“When we think about young people experiencing homelessness, often times we think of street homeless but we don’t think about young people who are housing unstable. They live from pillar to post, from aunt’s house to grandma’s house to friend’s neighbor’s house. What does that mean in their interruptions of their educational experiences? When we don’t take care of young people who are experiencing homelessness, we have a decline in our tax base, and then you also have an increase in the number of people who are living vagrant on the streets. Youth homelessness is the pipeline into chronic homelessness and adult homelessness. They didn’t ask to be homeless. This was not their choice. As an adult, caring Christian, I have a responsibility to do something different for them.” -Addie Ellis, Koci Group


“I grew up as a fatherless person and I understand the impacts that it has throughout life. It has lifelong impacts, not just during childhood. As a result, I committed to studying the fatherless man and understanding what his plight was and what were the scenarios that contributed to his situation. Out of that study, I talked to Presidents of Universities all the way to members of gangs. We all spoke the same language. We spoke a language of neglect. We spoke a language of unanswered questions. We spoke a language of a need for closure.

When we look at Fatherlessness, many researchers before me have looked at it in terms of a quantitative nature and have related the issue of fatherlessness to many social ills that exist. They will give you the number and stats that relate fatherlessness to promiscuity, divorce, crime and incarceration. I took a different approach. I wanted to understand the people behind the numbers. Because understanding the person behind the numbers and their qualitative motivations gives me and ability to start to institute policies that reflect change. We go to coaches, we go to teachers, we go to administrators and we hope that they see it but sometimes they don’t. The impact to the public school is that you may have performance declines, behavioral issues because of performance need, or a disconnection socially. Training teachers, training administrators in that space, I believe is a good way to bring it to their peripheral vision so that the fatherless boy or girl are considered when decisions are being made.” -David Innis, Koci Group

“When kids are 30, they don’t look back on their lives and say, “hey, I didn’t have enough people, enough adults caring for me or rooting for me. An so in essence, we’re mentors, we’re leaders, we’re coaches, and I get to be fans of adolescents and cheer them on and give them more hope and encouragement in the areas of life they struggle in.” -Lamar Pringle

“We are the most integrated city in America. We are mixed up people in Sacramento. If we go down, we go down together, we’re not going to be lonely. If we succeed, we say, ‘how in the world did that happen?’ and we can rejoice that we have someone to share that with and we can say, “today was a good day.” -Jeff Kreiser

What the video here: