'Do something,' that's what members of the group C.A.J.E ask city officials and community leaders to do, at the Coliseum in downtown Evansville. Hundreds gather for the group's annual meeting to hear their wish list.
Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment is what C.A.J.E stands for. Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, County Councilman Tom Shetler, fire, and police officials, they were all in attendance, and ready to show their support.
The faith based group C.A.J.E calls themselves an action group. "I think they've made a difference before, and I think they will make a difference again," says Jan Carpenter. Since last fall, members say they have been trying to find what's important to their community. They say better access to mental and dental health are what people need. "I think it's great. I think it's really going to help the ones that need help," says Linda Shoultz.
C.A.J.E. says the area's overwhelming suicide rate has them asking every emergency provider to carry a narcan dose, to help suicides from drug overdoses, decrease. "If every emergency service provider had narcan on them, they could save somebody's life," says Paul Leingang with the group.
They ask leaders to support the ECHO Health Care Center's referral program for dental care. They say as many as two-thousand people can be referred to a dentist, at a cost they can afford. "They want to hear, yes," says Leingang.
In front of a crowd of hundreds, community leaders and elected officials say, yes. "What will make this happen is this agreement, and this partnership to make this work. It takes that kind of an agreement."
Answering two questions, will you participate, and will you report the progress, gets the group known for taking action, closer to their goals. "To be able to assemble as many folks as C.A.J.E. can, with the same interests, and be able to go forward in that manner, is awesome," says Gerald Arnold with C.A.J.E.
C.A.J.E.'s Annual Assembly will be October 27th. They will report the progress on the health and dental care advancements at the assembly.