Salute Our Heroes: A man who is taking strides to turn a Topeka community around
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - In 2017, Johnathan Sublet answered the call to turn around a Topeka community.
“They said they are doing some work in this neighborhood called Hi-Crest and said when we called around to some of our friends around the country, they said you were the one to come lead it,” said Sublet.
Sublet agreed to take on the leadership role at Fellowship Hi-Crest Church, but there was a catch.
“I said I wouldn’t come to Topeka if I couldn’t start SENT, which is a religious community development non-profit. I wanted to do something that was a holistic approach, I wanted to show that there were other things needed to become healthy,” he said.
He says SENT has identified problems within the Hi-Crest community, and works day and night to fix them.
“One, we have our community health and wellness umbrella and with that we have a farmers market on every second Saturday of every month, where people can come at stretch their dollars to bring whole foods into their home.”
Along with additional food resources, there are mental health resources and SENT has created an early childhood education program in the neighborhood.
Currently, SENT is working on providing more housing for those in need.
“In four and a half years, we have developed over 20 properties and next year alone we are probably going to touch 23 including the first full net zero houses including the first house in topeka that reduceS water consumption.”
Recently, SENT joined the Topeka Chamber of Commerce to celebrate their role in the community.
It’s a long way from when Sublet was the only staff member of Fellowship Hi-Crest and SENT. Now, he walks alongside a group whose efforts are being recognized throughout the city.
“This year, we are also honored as the public health organization of the year for Shawnee County. Then, getting the Peace Award was a tremendous honor for us and it shocked us. To have your peers recognize the work that you are doing and transformation going on... and more than that..to hear someone in that room say not only are you doing good work, but you are doing it the right way that matters more to us, ” he said.
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