By Prerana Sannappanavar
Hope East Church Senior Pastor David Jung inaugurated a new forensic interview, observation and recording room for The Safe Center’s Child Advocacy Center on Sept. 12. The CAC in Bethpage is designed to provide a safe, child-friendly environment to help child abuse victims safely discuss their mistreatment and receive healing support and services.
The addition was made possible after the Manhasset church donated $12,000 to the center and is expected to decrease wait times, increase efficiency, and expand services to more families.
Associate Executive Director Debra Lyons noted the importance of responding immediately to child abuse allegations, helping the child and non-offending family members, while also coordinating with detectives investigating the case.
“Expanding our service capacity by creating a second observation and recording room will help us meet our goal of keeping all children and families safe,” said Lyons.
The Safe Center was created in 2014 with the merger of two non-profits, the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Coalition Against Child Abuse & Neglect, both having served victims of abuse for over 30 years.
The CAC today collaborates to investigate and prosecute almost 1,000 allegations of child abuse annually.
Jung, who founded and established the church in 2014 with his wife Jany Jung, recognizes how critical the center’s work is in protecting children who have been abused.
“Our congregation has once again risen to the challenge of making a true difference in our community and across Nassau County,” he said.
The church strives to be an authentic and diverse Christ-centered community in Nassau County.
Jung and his wife formed the church with the idea of a diverse Christian church located in New York that would grow through knowing God intellectually and experientially.
They said their mission is to create a multi-ethnic, multiracial and multicultural Christian community, reflecting their belief in working for the universal good.
The church’s outreach contributes to tackling homelessness, poverty, starvation and disabilities.
They work with organizations like LifeRice, a humanitarian food aid non-profit whose goal is to reduce the number of undernourished children in the country and the world and Do For One, an organization committed to solving problems that people with disabilities face.
They also spearhead the Spark Packs initiative, creating relationships between volunteers and the poor by assembling homeless care packages.