Project Trust

An Initiative of the Center for Innovation Ministry at SFTS
In many minority communities, the trust linking the care of our bodies, psyches, and souls to the institutions designated to provide this care is broken and in need of repair. In these situations, it is best to shift the focus slightly from trust to trustworthiness. Rev. Byron Bland

Strengthening Collaboration: Spiritual and Healthcare Providers

Project Trust addresses the central challenge of distrust amongst marginalized communities.  Mistrust hampers help-seeking, honest disclosure of symptoms, willingness to comply with medical regimens, recovery rate, and satisfaction with care. The issue of mistrust interferes with the patient-doctor relationship. It also impedes multidisciplinary collaboration among those seeking to provide help to marginalized people.  We aim to strengthen collaboration with spiritual leaders, healthcare providers, and community activists in their provision of culturally sensitive approaches. Kaiser Permanente Northern California is supporting the program through a grant provided to the Alexander Montgomery Foundation.

Project Trust:  Pilot Study

  • Seeks to first understand the barriers unique to underserved communities, and then find ways to overcome gaps in understanding among healthcare and pastoral care practitioners in order to increase effectiveness of mental health services.
  • Pilot will focus on African American individuals in faith communities throughout Oakland and San Francisco, including sexual- and gender-minorities (LGBTQ+) in Christian congregations.
  • If Pilot is successful, will expand to other marginalized groups in select locations.

Project Trust: Pilot Outcomes

  • Create a prototype and procedural manual for the development of a training model for pastoral and mental health care by individuals with histories of cultural trauma.
  • Create a prototype of a Trust Network, consisting of community activist, pastoral care providers, and mental health professionals who have training and expertise in collaborative, culturally sensitive care.
  • Create a prototype of a searchable database that can be used by individuals in the network to identify resources that aid in the collaborative efforts by its member to increase the effectiveness of care for individuals with histories of cultural trauma.

Rev. Floyd Thompkins

Director of Center for Innovative Ministry San Francisco Theology Seminary

Peter Goldblum, Ph.D., MPH

Professor Emeritus and Co-Director at the Center for LGBTQ Evidence-based Applied Research at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University

Amanda Houston-Hamilton, DMH

Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine

Rev. D. Mark Wilson, Ph.D.

Past Assistant Professor of Congregational Leadership, Pacific School of Religion and Former Pastor of McGee Avenue Baptist Church, in Berkeley California