Volume 13, Number 14 | July 15, 2019 | www.citygatenetwork.org  


This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:


Our “Widen the Gate” Membership Campaign Is Still Going On
Are there other missions in your city that aren’t in membership with Citygate Network? Or, are there ministries in your city that don’t consider themselves a typical rescue mission but do some (or all) of the things you do? Chances are, they could benefit from the vision, education, training, resources, guidance, representation, and nexus that Citygate Network provides. And you will undoubtedly benefit from having closer relationship that can lead to positive collaboration. 

Email or call Director of Education and Engagement Sam Edwards in our office for a membership information packet: (719) 266-8300, ext. 110. He’ll send it to you, and you can add a personal touch by passing it on to them. Of if you want us to go to them directly, we can do that too. The campaign will continue into this fall. Be part of the growth of Citygate network.  

HUD Accommodations Rule Update
As we reported to you in May, HUD Secretary Ben Carson proposed changes to the agency’s Equal Access rule that would allow organizations like missions to consider a guest’s sex in determining accommodations. The current rule, established in 2016, gives the last word on placement to the individual seeking accommodations, regardless of facility limitations, safety concerns, emotional well-being of other guests, religious beliefs of shelter operators, and other factors. The proposed rule, which you can access here, can change this. 

Here is where things are now: Issues are still being negotiated and language is still being tweaked based on the input of interested parties (such as shelter operators, CoC leaders, etc.). Right now is when you can engage with a HUD administrator or a designee regarding the proposed rule and talk about your concerns. They are available to meet with you in person to discuss issues on this rule under review. We think this is a great opportunity for Citygate Network members to engage in the process and speak your mind about this proposed legislation. You can request a hearing here. The assigned “RIN #” for this proposed rule is 2506-AC53. If you are interested, do this quickly, as this phase of the process will end soon (although we do not have a deadline date).

Next will come the portion of the rule-making process during which the final language of the proposed rule is “published” in the Federal Register to solicit comments from the public on the regulatory proposal. This will be a 60-day period when written comments from anyone can be submitted. But this written comment period does not provide for in-person meetings. We will keep you informed regarding this. Plan to make your voice heard. Your feedback and engagement will demonstrate the importance of this ruling to government leaders who will make the final decision.

We Have a Great Program in Place for this Year’s CEO Summit!
Check out the details—including an updated schedule and speaker list—for Citygate Network’s CEO Summit. Make sure you don’t miss this year’s event, which will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, August 27–29. Indy is within driving distance for many of our members. Our venue is the Hilton Indianapolis, right downtown. We’ll also tour our local member, Wheeler Mission Ministries. The event includes plenty of time for discussion, interaction, and idea-sharing. Presidents and executive directors: Go to our online registration page and use the links there to check out the schedule and to see what special guests will be facilitating our discussions. Then get yourself registered today! We’ll look for you in Indy.

Registration Open for Fall District Conferences
Registration is now live for all of this fall’s district conferences. These events are packed with education, inspiration, and networking designed to enrich and connect mission and ministry staff from throughout individual districts. Each district meeting is loaded with opportunities to build relationships and to foster learning. Because each conference takes place within a particular geographic region, staff members unable to attend Citygate Network’s Annual Conference can benefit from interaction and education pertinent to them in a closer locale. Programming includes speakers and seminars, resource tables, and a certain number of meals, as well as plenty of opportunities to connect. A Citygate Network staff member will also attend and bring an update on the latest happenings with the organization.

The schedule for district conferences follows, along with the Citygate Network staff member who will be attending. Access your specific event at www.citygatenetwork.org>Events.

Rawhide District Conference
Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown 
Fort Worth, Texas 
Staff member attending: Lisa Miller

Great Lakes District
Blue Gate Garden Inn 
Shipshewana, IN 46565 
Staff member attending: John Ashmen

Bluegrass District
Ridgecrest Conference Center 
Ridgecrest, NC 28770 
Staff member attending: Justin Boles

Sierra District
Courtyard Long Beach Downtown 
Long Beach, CA 90802 
Staff member attending: Sam Edwards

Liberty District
Spruce Lake
Canadensis, PA 18325 
Staff member attending: Sam Edwards

Evergreen District
Union Gospel Mission, Coeur d'Alene 
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83815 
Staff member attending: Malcomn Mitchell

Heartland District
Stoney Creek 
Johnston, IA 50131 
Staff member attending: Lisa Miller

Deep South District
Callaway Resort and Gardens 
Pine Mountain, GA 31822 
Staff member attending: Selena Hayle

Note: Northern Lights district members met during Citygate Network’s Annual Conference but are still encouraged to participate in a district event by attending the one nearest or most convenient to them. 

New Orleans Mission Doing Fine 
CEO David Bottner at New Orleans Mission (New Orleans, Louisiana) let us know this morning that the mission was “crazy full” prior to Hurricane Barry making landfall this weekend; the facility did experience some water intake, but work crews did a good job of getting it out. Everyone is safe and all is well. The prayers of fellow Citygate Network members were appreciated.


Business Owners Put Up Thorny Plants to Deter Homeless
Amid the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles, home and business owners are reportedly planting cacti, thorny rosebushes, and other deterrents to keep the homeless from sleeping in front of their property. The homeless population rose from 16 percent from last year, according to The Los Angeles Times. According to an article from Fox News, the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion recently to investigate and remove illegal fencing that “restricts free passage in the public right-of-way and report to council on these efforts” but nothing has been done as of yet. Chain-link fencing on sidewalks is illegal but rarely enforced, some business owners noted. They say homeless people deter customers and clients from their businesses, leave the streets filthy, and can be dangerous to their property. The barriers are a temporary solution to the more complicated problem of stemming homelessness in the city. “You can’t address [homelessness] by pushing people around,” a resident who does homeless outreach told The Los Angeles Times. “These issues go unaddressed and allow property owners to do what they want to get people out of sight. That’s a problem.”

ICE Has Begun Raids to Round Up Undocumented Immigrants
Immigration authorities have begun conducting raids in an operation expected to target about 2,000 undocumented immigrants ordered by courts to be removed from the country. The raids, which will focus on recent arrivals to the country, are slated for Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco, a senior immigration official said. New Orleans is also on the list, but the city tweeted last week that US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it would suspend operations through the weekend in areas hit by Tropical Storm Barry. According to a report by CNN, as of early Sunday evening, there weren't any confirmed reports of migrants being apprehended in Baltimore, Chicago, or New York.

Police Chief Vows to Erase Homeless People’s Warrants
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said he is working to eliminate thousands of homeless people’s old warrants for minor offenses in the coming weeks as part of a solution to help get people off the streets. Moore has been considering a plan to eliminate so-called bench warrants more than five years old for minor offenses such as drinking in public, blocking a sidewalk, and failure to appear in court. According to an article in The Washington Post, his plan calls for dismissing old quality-of-life warrants that can rack up hundreds of dollars in fees and often plague homeless people who can’t pay or show up for court. Moore said he would prefer police to focus on criminal behavior rather than low-level offenses “that get in the way of people’s recovery because they were cited for something one, two, three, four years ago.”

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Division Street

Soda and Fruit Juice Linked to Cancer in Major Study
Consuming sugary drinks could raise the risk of developing cancer according to scientists, who say policies to crack down on such products could cut rates of the disease. A study published in The BMJ found products like sugar-sweetened drinks and 100 percent fruit juices were linked to the disease, which 1.6 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with in 2016. Drinking sugary drinks—defined as sugar-sweetened beverages and 100 percent fruit juices—was linked with an overall risk of cancer or breast cancer, the authors wrote. A 100mL per day increase in the amount of sugary drinks an individual consumed was linked with a 22 percent increased risk of breast cancer from the baseline, and an 18 percent increased risk of cancer overall. According to an article in Newsweek, the team found no link between artificially sweetened drinks and the risk of cancer.

Spam Costs Nonprofits Up to $100 Million
The nonprofit sector could be losing out on nearly $100 million in donations through email appeals because of spam, according to an annual study of email. The EveryAction 2019 Email Deliverability Benchmarks Study estimated that the average email spam rate for nonprofits fell to 20.18 percent last year, from a high of 24.16 percent in 2017. Although it was down from the previous year’s peak, the average spam rate was still well above the 7.03 percent reported in 2015. Spam could be costing the average nonprofit almost $21,000 in revenue each year, or more than $1,000 for every percentage point of email that went to spam. According to a report in the Nonprofit Times, the $20,833.88 lost to spam is based on three hypotheticals around a 100,000-subscriber email list that sends two emails per month. An average spam rate of 20.18 percent would yield $82,604.12, compared with $102,453.12 based on a spam rate of 1 percent. In an ideal world for nonprofits, a 100 percent deliverability rate would raise $103,488.

Weekly Jobless Claims Fall to Three-Month Low
The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a three-month low last week, suggesting sustained labor market strength that could help support a slowing economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 for the week that ended July 6, the lowest level since April, the Labor Department said. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported. According to a report by CNBC, economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 223,000 in the latest week. The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,250 to 219,250 last week.              




Steet Light


Trusting God

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:7).

This world does a great job of teaching us to be skeptical of all things. We live in an age of online scams, empty political promises, conspiracy theories, and more. And we grow up hearing phrases like, “seeing is believing.” But is it?

Christians profess their faith in the unseen. Academia defines this faith as complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Complete trust? Do we really trust God as he deserves?

Many of us agree with what Jesus teaches, but only on an intellectual level. We enjoy a good sermon on Sunday morning, but then live life on our terms the rest of the week. Need proof? Audit what you consume with your eyes and ears. Take note of the food you eat, and how well you treat your body. Revaluate how you treat others, how content you are with what you have, and how you spend your money. These are all areas of life where God has something important to say. And while no one is perfect, the truth is, too many of us live like we don’t trust God with these issues, and it’s preventing us from living fully in His Spirit.

In James 1:22–25, we’re reminded that when it comes to God’s Word, there’s a difference between listening and doing. It’s important to hear (or read) what God says, but it’s more important to put those words into action and let them guide our everyday thoughts and behaviors. When we choose to fully and authentically trust Jesus with every aspect of our lives, we come alive!

So what are you doing that qualifies you as a true believer of God? Is your skepticism holding you back from living fully in Christ? Today, take one small and practical step that requires trusting God. Tomorrow, take another.


Devotional by Mark Henderson; used with permission of Daily Devotionals, shortdailydevotions.com.  

To contribute: If you would like to write a devotional thought for StreetLight, please make it about 200 words and include at least one Bible verse or passage, and submit via email.

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All Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, unless otherwise noted. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

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