Over the past three decades the New Life Advocacy Council, commonly referred to as Council Projects deployed both faith oriented and social innovations to meet the needs of the underserved in a nurturing and life affirming environment. The New Life Advocacy Council (NLAC) established the first faith oriented transitional housing project in the greater communities of Charles County advancing an independent housing authority engineered to provide crisis care and transitional beds for at risk populations. Over an 18-year period NLAC deployed 5 transitional facilities in the National Capital Region and assisted affiliate organizations with residential supports in Delaware and Pennsylvania. This service offering provided residential supports and developmental care for more than 200 recipients.
At the turn of the century the founders recognized that changing trends in social development and evolving public policy called for adaptations to meet the growing needs of communities where both social and public safety considerations demonstrated new challenges. The formation of a specialized Field Chaplaincy Unit with independent emergency response training and equipment. DayStar Advanced Response Missional Operations (DARMO) was established to meet the demand of addressing both public safety and social issues in challenged and at risks communities. With an ever increasingly hostile social climate the DARMO Field Chaplain established presence and effective response when critical incidents called for action and when the dust settled NLAC and other Task Force collaborators were on hand to provide ongoing supports. NLAC-DARMO has become the acronym to describe the evolution of a vision for service on demand and ministry producing life change. A reputation that earned us the slogan, “We are the point of the sword!” This distinction was granted by a community Pastor that acknowledged our ability to mobilize supports that were right ready!
Today NLAC-DARMO provides emergency response and services alongside a network of affiliate service non-governmental organizations and churches that now comprise the DARMO Task Force (DTF). Services and supports are actively deployed throughout the District, Maryland, and Virginia and responses vary from critical incident support to ongoing services in addressing the needs of varied populations, inclusive of returning citizens, SUDs and recovery care recipients, chronic homeless persons, mental health and trauma populations, etc.
By necessity NLAC-DARMO has learned to adapt and adjust service offerings over the years to effectively meet population needs. The Agency, Unit, and Task Force advance a model for grass roots collaboration, response, and care for the underserved and our motto, “Reaching Beyond the Walls of the Congregation” where “Public Safety Is Not Just A Matter For The State; Rather A Matter Of Righteousness!” demonstrates that adaptive ministry and social innovation can effectively and holistically serve and established an enduring legacy for such a time as this.