Volume 14, Number 7 | April 1, 2020 | www.citygatenetwork.org  


This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:



A Message from Citygate Network President John Ashmen



Member Call Set for Today (Wednesday) at Noon Mountain Time
We are inviting all of our members to get on a Zoom call with John Ashmen and our U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) liaison, Joe Savage. Others have been invited to join the call, including officials from FEMA, HUD, and the CDC. Click here at Noon MDT on Wednesday to join the call . Be sure to mute your microphone when you join. And please email any major concerns or questions you have regarding your current situation to Alice Gifford so that we can address them.


White House Requesting Data
USICH is currently making a strong case with the White House that rescue missions and similar ministries that shelter and offer client housing are the last line of defense in fighting the Coronavirus. If a medium-sized mission in a city gets widespread COVID-19 infections, it could take down two or three local hospitals because they would not have emergency bed capacities to meet the need. Officials very high up in the government are now realizing what the implications might be should there be a major outbreak in the homeless population—and they want data ASAP!

We want to provide this data to help our government at this critical moment in time. But we also want to respond because Washington is suddenly recognizing that there is a very large network of missions and ministries standing—that would be us—in the gap that they haven’t paid attention to before now. Since the Coronavirus outbreak, Citygate Network President John Ashmen has been averaging four conference calls a day with agencies, entities, and NGOs that include the CDC, FEMA, HHS, HUD, DOL, DOE, OMB, the VA, the White House, the Red Cross, and the Salvation Army. It is starting to be understood just how many people Citygate Network members are serving, and now they want to know more facts.

We need all of our member organizations to respond to a survey we sent to CEOs yesterday morning. If you are a CEO or the person who responds to request like this and did not see or have not yet filled it out, please follow this link to the survey. We need Canadian members to fill it out, too. We are hoping to get this information to Washington by EOB on Friday. Thank you in advance for your rapid participation.We are hoping to get this information to Washington by EOB on Friday. Thank you in advance for your rapid participation.


San Antonio “Fortify” Conference Officially Cancelled
We moved up our reassessment date and made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 Annual Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio. Even though it was scheduled to take place at the end of May, we recognize the incredible strain—physically, mentally, financially—our members are carrying in order to deal with the repercussions that the global pandemic has wrought.

HOWEVER: We know how much our members love to be together to network, learn, and celebrate what God is doing in each other’s lives and ministries, even when times are tough. And we’ve been hearing that with the strain the Coronavirus has brought to everyone—the crazy hours and the precarious conditions—having such a time together would be very important, as soon as it’s safe to do so. For that reason, we’ve decided to plan something else for the Citygate Network family later this year—something to look forward to.

We’ve talked to the Naples Beach Hotel in Naples, Florida—the place where we were scheduled to hold our CEO Summit at the end of August. They have given us four days at the very beginning of September—September 1 – 4, the week before Labor Day—to hold a very unique event we are calling REVIVE! You will receive more information about this is a couple of weeks.


CARES Act Webinar Has Valuable Info Regarding Available Loans and Grants
The bill recently signed into law by the president makes money available to nonprofits, including faith-based organizations. If you missed our Monday webinar from Envoy Financial explaining how to apply for some of these funds, you can still watch it on our members-only website, which requires you to log in.


Can a Nearby Christian Camp Help You Out?
Last week we made the suggestion that a Christian camp or conference center—which has beds, kitchens, dining rooms, classrooms, etc. and is sitting empty right now—might be able to provide the facilities you need to spread out for social distancing, and reorganize your facilities for possible quarantine. For more information on how to connect with a nearby camp, see our previous posting here.


A Possible Solution for Thrift Stores Mandated to Temporarily Close
If your microenterprises have been shut down because of the current Coronavirus pandemic and your bottom line is taking a hit, you might want to take a look at a new opportunity available for your thrift store. ThriftCart's developer Michael Nehring programmed an online selling module in response to the shutdowns. It has been put in place by some Habitat for Humanity stores and may be a way for missions to continue running their thrift stores to regain some revenue and even keep some staff employed. Corbin Ruseler is available to answer questions and think about possibilities with you. 


Leadership Transition at ECFA
The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) has bestowed the title of President Emeritus on Dan Busby. His successor, Michael Martin, will take over the reins, stepping up from his most recent role as executive vice president for the nonprofit. Martin has been with ECFA in varying capacities for nine years and comes into his leadership role with a reputation for humility and integrity. Busby began his relationship with ECFA 31 years ago and has served as president since 2008. Under his leadership, the organization more than doubled its membership, substantially increasing their offerings and enhancing their reputation. Dan has been a good friend to Citygate Network.


Looking Down the Street

  • We welcome the following organization into membership:
    The Light-House Recovery Program (Fresno, California)
    Executive Director: Vikki Luna, thelight-house@sbcglobal.net
  • The Rescue Mission of Salt Lake (Salt Lake City, Utah) experienced an earthquake on Wednesday, March 18, which, collapsed a 50 square-foot section of wall in the mission’s main building. When the building was deemed uninhabitable by inspectors, and the fire marshal nixed sending guests up to their partnering Ogden Rescue Mission, Salt Lake County stepped in to provide a temporary facility until repairs can be completed. Executive Director Chris Croswhite is thankful no one was hurt.
  • Denver Rescue Mission (Denver, Colorado) CEO Brad Meuli shared that they received 300 applications for 35 temporary positions to fill vacancies for at-risk staff and volunteers who are no longer able to come to the mission to serve because of the Coronavirus situation.
  • Just last week, City Gospel Mission (Cincinnati, Ohio) opened up a new $11M facility in Middletown, Ohio, called Hope House Rescue Mission. To give you an idea how ancient the old building was, it used to be a hotel on the stagecoach line, one day’s ride from Cincinnati.
  • Charlotte Rescue Mission (Charlotte, North Carolina) CEO Tony Marciano was only halfway through reading John’s email about collaborating with camps to help manage the logistics of social distancing, quarantines, and increased numbers of homeless arriving at shelters, when he picked up the phone to call his local YMCA and discuss a partnership. They are well on their way to working together to meet the needs of their cities’ unsheltered in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis. Way to go!

TELL US: Do you have news to share with other network members? Send a blurb to Alice Gifford. Include as many details as possible. We’ll handle the editing.

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Parking Lot Accommodations Set Up for the Homeless
Approximately 500 homeless people in and around Las Vegas were moved to an open-air parking lot when an individual at a local Catholic Charities shelter tested positive for Coronavirus. The CDC suggests outdoor spaces could offer more social distancing and lessen the risk of spreading infection. City officials set up a grid in a downtown parking lot, marking out safely spaced places for individuals to sleep on a carpet, or directly on the asphalt. Medical students and professors from a nearby university have volunteered to screen those who enter the parking lot, and mobile showers have been set up for the occupants to use. The facility opens from 6pm to 8am and will be available until the Catholic Charities shelter reopens.


Baseball Team Pitches in To Provide and Distribute Food
The MLB Pittsburgh Pirates made a $50,000 donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, and players teamed up with food bank volunteers to host a drive-up food distribution event in city parking lots. They supplied hundreds of vehicles with three boxes (about 75 pounds) of food to help families in need during the coronavirus pandemic. The donation will fund 250,000 meals through the Food Bank and is part of baseball’s efforts to make a difference during this national emergency. Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced a $1 million donation to Feeding America and Meals on Wheels America.


Educating Potential Donors
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy reports they have received a surge of requests from would-be donors asking about the best ways and places to give in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. They warn donors to thoroughly research a charity before making gifts in order to thwart misinformation. The Center has been pointing benefactors toward companies that provide urgent medical response supplies, those who do long-term medical research, and those who assist vulnerable people around the country.

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Nonprofits Receive Vote of Confidence from Younger Donors
A survey released by the Chronicle of Philanthropy indicates that 60 percent of American adults ages 18 to 30 trust nonprofits’ responses to the Coronavirus pandemic, more so than the 57 percent who trust local governments and 49 percent who trust the federal government. The data suggests that younger donors will be particularly receptive to messages from nonprofits during this crisis. The survey will be repeated monthly for at least three months to track how attitudes change as the situation evolves.


How Well Are You Complying with Mental Health Accommodations?
For 30 years now, mental health conditions have been covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which mandates that companies with 15 or more employees must make “reasonable accommodations” for those who need them. But, according to a SmartBrief article, the number of anxiety-disorder-related complaints being filed (up from 65 in 2006, to 371 in 2019), indicate that follow through is not automatic. Mental illness can be more difficult to accommodate than physical illness mostly because everyone is affected differently. Stereotypes and stigmas about mental illness, as well as concern about job security may also prevent people from requesting the accommodations they’re entitled to. Check out how well your organization complies with recommendations.


Survey Reveals Nonprofit Reactions to COVID-19
The Nonprofit Alliance conducted a five-question survey of 600 of its direct-marketing and nonprofit members, and shared the following statistics:

  • 75 percent of nonprofits have adjusted fundraising appeals to acknowledge the coronavirus pandemic
  • 44 percent of participants said they did not have a clear plan in place to mitigate losses from canceled fundraising events
  • 18 percent of respondents said their organization was considering a hiring freeze or temporarily stopping recruitment and hiring during the crisis
  • 51 percent were still unsure of the impact the pandemic is having (or will have) on their work force
  • When asked what impact the Coronavirus was having on the organization’s direct program or mission delivery, 16 percent said they were doing more, 25 percent reported no change, 35 percent said they had stopped some activities, and 5 percent said they had ceased their programming altogether. The remaining 18 percent were unsure.

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Market Street

AOH Counselor- Client Manager, Union Gospel Mission, Spokane, WA

Business Director, Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, Indio, CA

Camp Bennett Maintenance Manager, Central Union Mission

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

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

Chief Philanthropy Officer, Helping Up Mission, Baltimore, MD

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

Counseling Program Manager, The Rescue Mission Tacoma, Tacoma, WA

Development Director, Home of Grace, Vancleave, MS

Development Manager, Bread of Life Mission, Seattle, WA

Director of Administration and Operations, Light of Life Ministries Inc, Pittsburgh, PA

Director of AOH, Union Gospel Mission (Spokane), Spokane, WA

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

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

Director of Operations, Brunswick Christian Recovery Center, Ash, NC

Director of Operations, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

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

Executive Director, Hospitality Ministries, Wenatchee, WA

Executive Director, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Executive Director, Geauga Faith Rescue Mission, Chardon, OH

Executive Director, Klamath Falls Gospel Mission, Klamath Falls, OR

Food Service Support, LifePath Christian Ministries, York, PA

Gift Processor, Kalamazoo Gospel Mission, Kalamazoo, MI

Guest Relations, LifePath Christian Ministries, York, PA

Guest Services Manager, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

Lead Recovery Coach, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

Major Gifts Officer, St. Matthew's House, Naples, FL

Major Gifts Officer, Union Rescue Mission, Wichita, KS

Mental Health Counselor, The Rescue Mission Tacoma, Tacoma, WA

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

Operations Director, Salina Rescue Mission, Inc. ,Salina, KS

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

President/CEO, Career Cross Training, Colorado Springs, CO

PRN Residential Care Mentor, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

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

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

Safety Coordinator, Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Safety Team, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Short-Term Living Coordinator Men's Ministry, Lebanon Rescue Mission, Inc., Lebanon, PA

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

Transitional Living Coordinator, Lebanon Rescue Mission, Inc., Lebanon, PA

Vice President of Ministries, Rescue Mission Alliance, Oxnard, CA

Vice President of Programs, San Diego Rescue Mission, San Diego, CA

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Repentance and Intimacy

Psalm 51:10 (TPT)
Create a new, clean heart within me.
Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please you.

In Matthew 4:1-11 we are reminded that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness where he spent 40 days and 40 nights and was tested by the devil. Let’s focus on being led by the Holy Spirit. As we spend intentional time with the Lord during these days of Lent, repentance is a good place to begin our journey into deeper intimacy with God.

In Psalms 51:1-12, the Psalmist understands that sin has caused a disconnect in a right and meaningful relationship with God (verses 3-4). For forgiveness to be effective in building a strong enduring relationship with the Lord, there must be repentance; a willingness to turn away from that which causes your relationship to be ineffective (verses 10-12).

Repentance is the steps we take to walk in obedience with the Lord. It is the turning away from sinful thoughts and actions. When we ask the Holy Spirit to “create in me a clean heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me", we are asking for help to walk in obedience. We acknowledge our dependence on the Lord to help us to stop engaging in thoughts and actions that derail a mature relationship with Jesus.

As you spend time with the Lord in this Lenten season, seek forgiveness for the things that keep your relationship with the Lord from maturing. Remember, where the Holy Spirit leads us, the Spirit will sustain us.

Used with Permission from author Rev. Althea C. Taylor

To contribute: If you would like to write a devotional thought for StreetLight, please make it about 200 words, 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.

Street Smart is sent to you as a member service of Citygate Network, and is published on the 1st and 15th of each month (unless those dates fall on a weekend or holiday). The content does not necessarily represent the views of or imply endorsement by Citygate Network. To submit items for publication, email editor@citygatenetwork.org. To unsubscribe, email unsubscribe@citygatenetwork.org.