Volume 14, Number 2 | January 15, 2020 | www.citygatenetwork.org  



This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:


L.A. Mayor Asks President for Help with Homelessness Crisis

Last week we let Citygate Network CEOs know (through our Connect Group) of a real breakthrough between the city of Los Angeles and the federal government. Instead of city officials again asking for money, they instead asked for guidance on how to deal with an unsheltered homeless population that increased roughly 16 percent this past year. Iran and impeachment (and some political pride) kept this from being a lead story, but make no mistake—this is big news. We finally have collaboration, despite philosophical differences. Citygate Network confirmed yesterday that negotiations are still ongoing. Naturally, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson is a key player. Carson and other officials have made repeated trips to Los Angeles in recent days, consulting with many frontline leaders, including Andy Bales at Citygate Network member Union Rescue Mission. This story will continue to unfold in the days ahead. We’ll keep you posted.


2020 Snapshot Survey Coming January 27
ATTENTION CEOs: A week from Monday you will be receiving Citygate Network’s survey asking for important data regarding who is in your facilities. Several years ago, we changed the timing of this to follow closely on the heels of the U.S. government’s Point in Time (PIT) count, keeping both of these initiatives as close together as possible for your convenience. We will ask many of the same questions the government asks, but will also ask for several things that are specific to faith-based organizations (missions and similar ministries). Once your data is returned to us and tabulated, we will send you (and all participating members) the association-wide numbers, side by side with your numbers for ease of comparison. We will also send a “Swiss cheese” press release you can use when talking to reporters, donors, and more. This is an excellent way spread the work locally about what you’re doing. You will have from January 27 to February 7 to gather the data and return it to us. Thanks in advance for your participation. 


DC Forum Schedule and Registration Goes Live Monday 
Speaking of government affairs, Citygate Network’s annual event for members in Washington, D.C., is March 9–11. We’ve been doing this for the past eight years—and none have been more important to attend than this one! There are several reasons for that, including new appointments to key positions, a change in direction for some major government programs, some brand-new proposals, and an upcoming national election. HUD Secretary Ben Carson, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) Director Robert Marbut, White House Faith-Based and Opportunity Initiatives Special Advisor Paula White, and many others are scheduled to be with us. If you’re interested in knowing what’s going on behind the scenes in government—and how it will affect what you do—you need to be there, too. Watch your inbox for a special reminder on Monday.

Exhibitor Registration Opens This Week
ATTENTION BUSINESS PARTNERS: Later this week you will be receiving information on exhibit and sponsorship opportunities for Citygate Network’s Annual Conference and Exposition in San Antonio, Texas.

  • Exhibit Hall: We’ve planned four meals and one dessert in the Exhibit Hall this year, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to interact with our ministry members. Prime spaces are available, but you’ll want to register quickly to select your preferred booth.
  • Sponsorships: To offer the best exposure, we have a number of sponsorship opportunities for you to consider. Whether you desire to support the entire conference or one of the limited engagements within, we have a number of ways you can make a splash.

Be on the lookout for an email packed with detailed information and links to the conference registration site. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek.

February Event Seeks to Unite Women Across the Country
Citygate Network is one of several co-sponsors for the She Loves Out Loud event, being streamed everywhere on February 15. It will target women gathered in churches, pregnancy centers, rescue missions, colleges, and homes from coast to coast. The program will feature live interviews sharing true stories of hope and healing. There will also be worship and designated prayer times addressing specific themes. The goal is to draw a diverse group of women of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities to “love out loud” together. The only requirements to join are a computer, a screen, and a stable internet connection. Participants can join through Facebook Live, or via a link at She Loves Out Loud, or by signing into Lifeway Digital Pass. Consider: Why not have all of the women in your women’s program participate for the day and be part of a continental connection? Register here to receive details and updates.

IRS Lowers Standard Mileage Rate for 2020
The 2019 rate for business mileage reimbursement was 58 cents per mile. For 2020, the rate drops one half of a cent to 57.5 cents per mile. The IRS bases the rate on an annual study of fixed and variable costs for operating an automobile. Please note that the charitable mileage rate (miles driven in service of charitable organizations) remains reimbursable at the fixed rate of 14 cents per mile and can only be changed by Congressional action.

New Overtime Rule Began January 1, 2020
In September, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) passed legislation raising the salary level for employees who are counted as “exempt,” or ineligible for overtime pay. The threshold changed from $455 per week (since 2004) to $684 per week, or $35,568 per year. This ruling took effect on January 1, 2020 and will make approximately 1.3 million more employees eligible for overtime pay. Note: Salary is not the only factor determining eligibility for overtime. An employee must also perform duties that fall into one of these categories: executive, administrative, professional, computer, or outside sales. For more details, to see about exemptions, and to make sure you are in compliance, click here. If you have questions, contact Citygate Network.

Liberty District Re-election Results Are In
Due to a change in personnel at a Liberty District member organization (back in December), we had to seek new nominations and run a a second election for that district’s representative to the Citygate Network Board and for the district president. Jack Crowley, Water Street Mission (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), was elected to the board by the members; Kevin Green from City Rescue Mission (New Castle, Pennsylvania) was elected to serve as the Liberty District president. Kim Cook at Open Door Mission (Glens Falls, New York) remains the district vice president.

Looking Down the Street

  • On December 21, 2019, Citygate Network member Operation Care (Dallas, Texas) held its annual birthday party celebration for Jesus at the convention center in downtown Dallas. It drew 11,000 guests and volunteers. In 2020, Operation Care hopes to include similar celebrations in all 50 states and numerous international countries to commemorate ONEDAY2020. If you want to take part, check it out here.

  • Mel Trotter Ministries (Grand Rapids, Michigan) recently held their annual Season of Hope Gala, featuring Just Mercy author Bryan Stevenson. The movie version of Bryan’s book will open nationwide in January, with Mel Trotter Ministries hosting two local premieres.

  • The Welcome Hall Mission (Montreal, Canada) was featured on a recent CTV Montreal segment applauding their microenterprise kitchen and catering program where they train struggling young adults to reintegrate into society. Click here to watch the two-minute news piece.

  • CEO Yvonne Grant, a British citizen who co-founded and administrates the Open Arms Development Centre (Kingston, Jamaica) has been honored in the United Kingdom with an appointment as Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). She has particular expertise in the field of community mental health and was recognized for her work and service to the disenfranchised.



Formerly Homeless Pro Athlete Gives Back
ESPN reports that Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs—who experienced stints of homelessness as a child in Tulsa, Oklahoma—just bought his dad a house after completing his first year in the NFL. A leading candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Jacobs and his four siblings occasionally lived out of their car with their father. This young man’s journey from homelessness to high school success in Alabama, followed by a first-round selection by the Raiders in the NFL draft was documented in an ESPN SportsCenter featured piece in the spring of 2019. "Sleeping in the car, I always look back on it," Jacobs said. "It's always going to be something that molded me into who I am. It might have been rough, but, I mean, it's my life."
Consider: When formerly homeless people attain success, it sets an inspiring example for those stuck in desperate circumstances to realize that transformation and change is possible. Never stop telling their stories.

National Pharmacy Chain Developing Partnerships with Faith-based Organizations
A Religious Freedom and Business Foundation article reported that CVS has announced a Faith Colleague Resource Group (CRG) for “better health by building awareness and educating about religious diversity, increasing employee engagement by demonstrating the value of diversity, and supporting faith-based partnership opportunities that advance enterprise growth initiatives.” According to Olivia Lang, director of workforce initiatives for CVS Health, this outstanding initiative started from a conversation between CVS Health and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Churches in an attempt to identify their shared mission of breaking the cycle of poverty and assisting those in challenging situations who are not capable of accessing the healthcare system.
Consider: Collaborations like this give faith-based organizations and ministries opportunities to expand their reach and influence in communities around the country. Explore your eligibility to be part of the CRG or something similar.

Disability Certification Forms Should Not be Purchased Online
The Fair Housing Act (FHA) prohibits housing providers from discriminating against disabled persons by refusing to provide reasonable accommodations or making reasonable modifications to their properties in order to approve the disabled for housing. Generally, those requesting accommodations provide a letter from a doctor, therapist, or other mental health provider explaining the need for special dispensation. According to a HUD letter to the FHA, housing providers need to be aware of requesting unreliable and unnecessary documentation and warned the FTC to take a closer look. Letters should not be initiated from an online questionnaire or brief telephone call in order to provide reliable verification and personal knowledge of a disability.


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Division Street

Opinions Change
Over the course of the decade that just ended, American opinions have changed drastically on a number of notable issues, according to Gallup Poll results released on the last day of 2019.

  • Ten years ago, at the beginning of 2010, only 9 percent believed it was a good time to find a quality job. At the end of 2019, that number had risen to more than 66 percent.
  • When the decade began, most Americans opposed same-sex marriage, but in the last few years, support has been in the 60 percent range.
  • In 2010, no state had legalized recreational marijuana, but by the end of the decade, 11 states, plus Washington, D.C., have passed laws legalizing it, and many others have decriminalized it.
  • The number of Americans who describe themselves as having no religion has jumped from 14 percent in 2010 to the current 21 percent.


Census 2020 Needs Your Participation
The NonProfit Quarterly is advocating for nonprofits around the country to step up and help ensure a greater accuracy for the upcoming U.S. Census. Surveys will hit mailboxes beginning April 1, 2020, and a lot rides on getting the numbers right. States fear funding cuts if their numbers are underreported, because each individual who is not counted decreases the amount of funding they receive, resulting in resources being spread thin. Shelters and similar organizations have been asked to help the government get the numbers as exact as possible to facilitate accurate assessments of transient populations. The government believes the trust that nonprofits have built up in their communities will be beneficial to the effort.
Consider: Citygate Network has been working with the Census 2020 team to facilitate communication with organizations like the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul, and Catholic Charities. Many programs and policies rely on these numbers.

New Insights Found to Understand Addiction
According to a new article published by Science Daily, researchers at Harvard University have gained fresh understanding about addictions based on a study of more than 10,000 people over a 20-year span. Evidently, sadness plays an especially strong role in triggering addictive behavior. Four different studies concluded that sadness, more than other negative emotions, seemed to increase people’s cravings to engage in addictive behaviors. The research could have useful public policy implications, as well as influence recovery and rehab approaches.
Consider: Do you consider your mission or ministry a “happy place”? Talk about this in your next staff meeting.


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Market Street

Admin Assistant for Student Services (from Home), City Vision University, Kansas City, MO 

Business Director, Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, Indio, CA

Camp Bennett Maintenance Manager, Central Union Mission

Camp Director, Central Union Mission

Care Support Specialist, Light of Life Ministries, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA 

Chief Administration Officer, Rockford Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc., Rockford, IL

Chief Executive Officer, LifePath Christian Ministries, York, PA

Controller, Light of Life, Pittsburgh, PA

Cook, Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Development Director, Home of Grace, Vancleave, MS 

Development Manager, Bread of Life Mission, Seattle, WA 

Director of Administration, Lexington Rescue Mission, Lexington, KY

Director of Development, City Mission of Schenectady, Schenectady, NY 

Director of Men's Shelter Services, Union Gospel Mission, Spokane, WA

Director of Operations, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Distribution Center AssistantSeattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

DriverSeattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Executive Director, The City Mission of Findley, OH, Findley, OH

Executive Director, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Executive Director, Geauga Faith Rescue Mission, Chardon, OH

Guest Services Associate (FT, PT, On-call), Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Human Resource Manager, Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, Indio, CA

Major Gift Officer, The City Mission, Cleveland, OH

Major Gifts Officer, Union Rescue Mission, Wichita, KS

Men's Case Manager, Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, Shreveport, LA 

Nonprofit Management Department Chair (online), City Vision University, Kansas City, MO

Outreach Specialist (Mental Health), Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Part-Time Counselor (Youth-Focused), Seattle's Union Gospel Mission

Program Administrator - Bridge Street Mission, Bridge Street Mission, Inc., Wausau, WI 

Residential Coordinator_Cornerstone Manor Facility, Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo, NY 

Safety CoordinatorSeattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Shelter Supervisor, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY 

Safety TeamOpen Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY 

Social Work/Clinical Manager, Denver Rescue Mission, Denver, CO

Vice President of Development, Career Cross Training, Colorado Springs, CO 

Vocational Training Manager, Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, Shreveport, LA 

Welcome Center Supervisor, Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA


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Steet Light

Enduring Suffering

Luke 8:43–48

The compacted crowd in Luke 8 would have made a claustrophobic hyperventilate. Despite the congestion, a woman with a chronic condition wormed her way through the throng and reached her intended target: the garment of a rabbi whose authority was to be her remedy. Instantly, he felt a discharge of power. Immediately, she felt years of hemorrhaging and hardship end.

The story of the afflicted woman is certainly one of faith and determination. But it goes deeper. Knowing what we do about her condition, and factoring in Jewish law, we likely have the saga of a woman who suffered in silence, living more than a decade in a culture that would have considered her unclean.

In this life we will have suffering, be it related to physical pain or mental anguish. It’s hard enough to endure when you have friends to fall back on, but suffering solo amplifies the agony. We need to cast our cares on Christ, but we also need to be in community where we can seek solace and share the hurts of our heart. Ephesians describes this as “bearing with one another in love.”

I find it interesting that Jesus did not let the woman be cured incognito. He called her out from the crowd so she could tell her story. I’d like to think that she was quickly surrounded by peers with whom she could lose her cares and find her voice.

Christians should never suffer in silence—or allow others to do so.

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.

—Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)

Written by John Ashmen, Citygate Network, and previously published in a M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust devotional book.

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

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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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