Volume 14, Number 17 | September 1, 2020 | www.citygatenetwork.org  


This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:



Our REVIVE! Event Begins Today—And You Can Participate!
Despite that nasty Coronavirus still lurking around, we’ve moved ahead with our member gathering in beautiful Naples, Florida. It’s not the size and scope of our Annual Conference and Exposition (nor was it ever intended to be), but it’s the perfect size for those who have had their fill of Zoom calls and want to safely (per CDC guidelines) reengage with peers in person.

Government restrictions and other concerns have kept many members from attending. BUT YOU CAN STILL JOIN US FOR A FEW OF THE SESSIONS VIA LIVESTREAM. We are offering a special package with a live feed that includes two plenary sessions, four seminars, and the presentation from Dr. Robert Marbut, the executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. There’s still time to register, even today! For only $189, you and as many of your colleagues as you can get around a device or conference room TV can tune in live. Or you can watch these pre-selected segments when it fits in your schedule. It’s the next best thing to being in Florida.

Administration Approves Additional Money for Food Box Program
Earlier this summer, President Trump launched the Farmers to Families Food Box program with $3 billion to aid farmers by purchasing up to $3 billion of fresh American produce, dairy, and meat products for distribution to help feed families in need. Last week, the administration approved an additional $1 billion for the program which has delivered more than 70 million boxes to over 10,000 food banks and non-profit organizations, including a number of Citygate Network members who have served as distributors. At President Trump’s direction, the program has begun prioritizing deliveries to communities most in need and most underserved. If your organization is not engaged in the Farmers to Families Food Box Program but would like to be (or would like more information), contact Sam Edwards.


Can you Help with Efforts to Get More Emergency Service Funding?
Congress and the President could still negotiate a comprehensive stimulus package that addresses the health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is interest in authorizing an additional $11.5 billion in Emergency Services Grant (ESG) funding for the homelessness system to use through the winter months. (About 55 percent of Citygate Network members received ESG grants.) Congressional allies have asked for stories that demonstrate how the CARES Act ESG has been used to help people experiencing homelessness and feedback on how additional ESG could be used. Testimonials are being gathered from CoCs and other providers, including the Salvation Army and the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Many agree about the need for the homelessness system to be better resourced—during ordinary times as well as during a raging pandemic. If you have stories to contribute that support this effort, please send them to Alice Gifford in our office. We’ll collect them and pass them on to our friends at the National Association to End Homelessness (NAEH) who are heading up this effort. It should be about 150 words and should address the following:

  1. How much of your CARES Act ESG have you been able to use?
  2. Specifically, how did you use the CARES Act ESG to help people who are experiencing homelessness?
  3. If additional ESG money became available (in conjunction with pandemic relief), how would you use it, given the pace of recovery of your local economy and the likelihood that this will be the last opportunity for such funding for many months?

The deadline to submit your stories is September 8.


John Ashmen Helps Kick Off New Podcast
Author, movie producer, international art dealer (and Citygate Network board member) Ron Hall recently interviewed Citygate Network President John Ashmen for his new podcast on The Ron Hall Show. You can hear John on the August 26th broadcast. John was also recently interviewed by Glenn Cranfield, executive director of the Nashville Rescue Mission for his podcast called “Real Hope.” Keep watching their website for that show, too, soon to be posted.

Christianity Today Interview Blends Governance and Biblical Wisdom
Bob Andringa, the managing partner of the Andringa Group who specializes in board governance and the relationship between boards and chief executives, spoke to Christianity Today on Liberty University board’s handling of issues involving former President Jerry Falwell Jr. and his family. After a five-minute intro, the very forthright Bob Andringa interview lasted about 45 minutes. Many Christian leaders have commented that Bob provided invaluable information (including warnings) and resources for all nonprofit boards.

Citygate Network’s Next Major Event Will Be in Baltimore
We’re already planning for our 2021 Annual Conference and Exposition, June 2 – 5 at the Hilton Inner Harbor in Baltimore. In fact, all of the general session speakers have been locked down. It’s a great group, including Crawford Lorrits, Jo Saxton, Russ Taff, Josh Lindstrom, and others. We’ll also have several preliminary events on the front end, including a special meeting in Washington, D.C., and a Ladies-in Leadership gathering at a nearby conference center. And in case you are a baseball fan, the hotel practically adjoins Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles play. What’s more, the “O’s” are home while we’re there, playing the Twins and then the Indians. Put the dates into your calendar and plan for an even bigger reunion—or so we’re all praying—in 2021.


Looking Down the Street

  • The board at Fairbanks Rescue Mission (Fairbanks, Alaska) has named Pete Kelly as long-time CEO Rodney Gaskins’ successor, starting September 1. Feel free to welcome another new face to the Evergreen District. Pete and Interim CEO Austin Brown plan to join us in Naples for the REVIVE! event to kick off his tenure—that’s about as far as you can travel and still be in the U.S! 
  • Jon Bronkowski, former Director at Central Coast Rescue Mission (Santa Maria, California), has stepped down following the unexpected death of his daughter. Chris Rutledge will serve as Interim Director while the Rescue Mission Alliance (Oxnard, California) recruits Jon’s replacement.
  • Redwood Gospel Mission (Santa Rosa, California) has been collaborating with nearby Alliance Redwoods Camp & Conference Center for more than five months to provide accommodations for ±80 people experiencing homelessness. Due to the Sonoma County Fire raging through that area, both of these organizations had to evacuate for several days and relied on area churches to provide shelter and food and services for their residents.
  • Lexington Rescue Mission (Lexington, Kentucky) planned to honor Jim Connell and his wife, Becky, co-founders, as well as Executive Director and Assistant Director, respectively, for their many years of service during the mission’s annual banquet in August, until COVID-19 interfered. But even without the celebration, Jim and Becky have handed the leadership torch to their daughter, Laura Carr, who has worked with them at the mission for many years.
  • Penny Kievet, CEO at City Rescue Mission (Jacksonville, Florida) since 2013, will retire on December 31, 2020. Current Director of Social Enterprise, Paul Stasi will take on the reins as Executive Director. He has worked closely with Penny to secure the organization’s mission and evolve its services over the last five years.


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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COVID-19 Impact on Homeless Communities Continues to be Minimal
Since many homeless people live in terrible conditions and deal with health problems that predispose them to severe illness, the Coronavirus was expected to spread like wildfire through that sector. Researchers and scientists have expressed bafflement about why homeless people across the nation have fared through the pandemic much better than predicted. One theory surmises that being outside offers much greater protection than being inside. Another possibility considers that many could have developed immunities and antibodies to the virus from other viruses they have contracted. Even in shelters, COVID-19 has not been the catastrophe many predicted; a few shelters have dealt with outbreaks, but containment has been good, and most of the cases were asymptomatic. Social distancing has been a new concept for much of the general public, but UCLA associate professor Randall Kuhn says, “Social distancing is what everyone does with homeless people.” Citygate Network President John Ashmen has also been quoted in several interviews, explaining that the low numbers at North America’s rescue missions are very likely due to staff carefully watching the comings and goings of all guests, thoroughly cleaning facilities, and insisting that PPE be used and CDC guidelines followed.


Have We Introduced A New Category of Economic Recovery?
In May, Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) theorized what the economic recovery would look like, suggesting that it might take the shape of a V (quick recovery), U (long recession), L (very long recession or depression), or W (double-dip recession). No one guessed the right letter, but instead economists have introduced a new letter to label the economic path to recovery: K, so called because of the “diverging prospects for the rich and poor.” The upward sloping portion of the “K” demonstrates the improving fortunes for the wealthy, and the downward sloping segment shows the fortunes of the rest of the population. The United States already had one of the most unequal economies in the world’s richest countries and by all indications, seems to be moving towards further inequality.


Laptop Shortages Evident Around the Country
An essential tool for schools and offices has recently taken a hit from two sides: the Coronavirus has forced many employees to work from home, and a large number of students will attend school virtually, both necessitating the purchase of laptop computers; and then the numerous trade tariffs on China have affected the market since they have manufactured a large quantity of the computers sold in the U.S. Stores that traditionally offer a good selection of equipment have sold out of low-range computers, although midrange and higher-end machines are a bit more available. School district bulk orders have experienced delays and been told that the top three computer manufacturers, (Lenovo, HP, and Dell) have a shortage of nearly 5 million laptops, according to The Associated Press.


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Depression Soaring for Workers
Human Resource Executive published an article documenting the effects that the pandemic has had on the mental health of employees around the U.S., citing a 102 percent increase in the risk for depression, which spiked to 305 percent for workers aged 20-39. Those findings from Total Brain’s July Mental Health Index were based on comparisons to pre-COVID data in February, and echo Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data revealing that one in four young adults say they have considered suicide in the past month because of the coronavirus. “The second wave of COVID is really a mental health wave,” according to Katy Riddick of One Mind at Work. Experts predict those numbers will get worse as parents deal with the stresses of a new, totally different kind of school year, the upcoming election, and going into the winter months.


Plans and Preparations for Catastrophic Storm
When Hurricane Laura made landfall last week, the Salvation Army already had 31 units stocked with food, water, and first aid kits ready and waiting to send to those areas most affected as soon as Homeland Security deemed it safe to enter. The Salvation Army stated that they support people both physically and spiritually in an attempt to instill some hope in them. The American Red Cross also stands at the ready with 700 disaster workers prepared to provide emergency shelter, as needed. The Administration also initiated precautionary measures prior to the storm, in coordination with state and local officials, including over 3.5 million meals and 1.7 million liters of water to Louisiana and Texas, as well personnel to assist efforts on the ground, including FEMA Regional Incident Management Assistance Teams, Urban Search and Rescue Teams, and teams to assist with incident management, medical assistance, and rescue operations.


Manhattan Hotels Have Been Housing Registered Sex Offenders
When the coronavirus pandemic descended upon New York City in the spring, officials began filling boutique hotels on the Upper West Side (UWS) with homeless individuals, in an effort to reduce the spread on the streets and allow for social distancing at shelters. Residents in this family-friendly Manhattan neighborhood recently discovered that more than a dozen convicted sex offenders were included among those placed in nearby hotels; some as close as a block away from a school playground. City officials explained that they didn’t have time to notify residents in advance or seek community input given how quickly everything happened. In all, around 800, primarily men have taken up temporary residency in UWS hotels in April, costing taxpayers up to $400 a night, funded 75 percent by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).


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Steep Fines Begin for Violations of B.C. Public Health Orders
Beginning August 21, in British Columbia, Canada, anyone who does not comply with public health orders issued for large gatherings will face a fine up to $2,000 in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. These tickets can be issues by police and bylaw officers to those hosting private or public parties and events that gather more than 50 people together on streets or beaches. This includes hosting without providing appropriate hand sanitation and washroom facilities or not allowing sufficient space for physical distancing. In addition, anyone promoting a large event or gathering could get a $200 violation ticket, and anyone refusing to follow safety guidelines or being abusive to employees at a business who are trying to enforce those guidelines could also be issued a $200 ticket.


Observing Overdose Awareness Day
A BC advocacy group called Moms Stop the Harm tied purple ribbons on lamp posts throughout downtown Kelowna to mark international Overdose Awareness Day on August 31. Members of the group have all lost children to drug overdoses, and band together to end substance-abuse-related stigma along with harm and death because they don’t want to see other parents lose their children in a similar way. They want to spread the message that drug overdoses are a medical issue, not a moral failure. Statistics show that overdoses have risen sharply due to an increasingly toxic illicit drug supply due to COVID-19. Paramedics in the area reported an 84 percent increase in overdose emergency calls just in the month of July.


Study Suggests Larger Classes Negatively Impact Virus Spread
Canadian university researchers used a computer model to examine how COVID-19 could spread at primary schools and within students’ homes based on class sizes of eight, 15 and 30. They projected that doubling the class size would mean twice as many cases, and a corresponding increase in the number of days classrooms had to close. But what they found was that every time the classroom size doubled, the number of cases and days of classroom closure either tripled, quadrupled or even quintupled, regardless of whether or not infection protocols were in place. They identified three factors that play into it: If a classroom is larger, there’s a greater likelihood that a case will surface; and with a larger class size, even more students will be affected by shutdowns related to coronavirus outbreaks; and finally, social distancing is harder in a room with more people. By the time a positive case gets identified, others will have already been exposed.


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Market Street

Business Director, Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, Indio, CA

Business Operations Director, Kitsap Rescue Mission, Bremerton, WA

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

Case Manager Women & Family Shelter, Morning Star Mission Ministries, Inc., Joliet, IL

Chief Administration Officer CAO, Rockford Rescue Mission, Rockford, IL

Chief Operations Officer COO, Rockford Rescue Mission, Rockford, IL

Controller, Union Rescue Mission, Los Angeles, CA

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

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

Development and Communications Director, Samaritan Ministries of Hot Springs, Inc., Hot Springs , AR

Development Director, Home of Grace, Vancleave, MS

Development Manager, Bread of Life Mission, Seattle, WA

Director, Open Door Mission, Rochester, NY

Director of Operations, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Director of the Women & Children's Center, Helping Up Mission, Inc., Baltimore, MD

Director-San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, Rescue Mission Alliance, Oxnard, CA

Donor Services Representatives, Union Rescue Mission, Los Angeles, CA

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

Executive Director, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Executive Director, Geauga Faith Rescue Mission, Chardon, OH

Executive Director, Stability First, Martinsville, IN

Executive Director, Lewis County Gospel Mission, Chehalis, WA

Executive Director, Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission, Toledo, OH

Executive Director - Gospel Rescue Mission, Bridge Street Mission, Abbotsford, WI

Family Recovery Program Director, St. Matthew's House, Naples, FL

Guest Services Manager, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

Lead Recovery Coach, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

Maintenance, Morning Star Mission Ministries, Inc., Joliet, IL

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 Manager, Central Union Mission, Washington, DC

Overnight Shelter Supervisor, Morning Star Mission Ministries, Inc., Joliet, IL

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

Philanthropy Officer, Union Rescue Mission, Los Angeles, CA

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

Program Director: Justin's Place Women, St. Matthew's House, Naples, FL

Recovery and Addictions Pastor/Lead Instructor, Cookeville Rescue Mission, Cookeville, TN

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

Resource Advocate, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

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

Safety Team Member, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Shelter Monitor, Kitsap Rescue Mission, Bremerton, WA

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

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

VP of Recovery Programs, St. Matthew's House, Naples, FL

Women's New Life Growth Manager, Portland Rescue Mission, Portland, OR

Women's Program Director, New Life Mission, Melbourne, FL

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Live Your Calling Every Day

For years I thought I had to be a traditional pastor or missionary to fulfill my calling. Year by year, I felt less fulfilled because I thought I was missing out on what God made me for. I believed the lie that unless my calling became a career, I was destined to be restless, mediocre, and unfulfilled.

Then God highlighted Ezra 7:10 to me. In the Message translation, it says,

Ezra had committed himself to studying the Revelation of God, to living it, and to teaching Israel to live its truths and ways.

Since then, I’ve made it my personal mission and purpose, boiling it down to three short sentences: Study the Bible. Do what it says. Teach others to do the same.

My calling isn’t locked up in a career. I don’t have to be a “pastor” to become the person God destined me to be! I don’t have to be in professional ministry to do what the Word says. I don’t have to be in a pulpit every Sunday to help others do the same. If you are struggling with the idea that your purpose is tied to a position, consider that you can do exactly what you were made for right now, regardless of your job.

If God has called you to something, then do it every day for the rest of your life, regardless of your title. Your spiritual gifts and calling don’t rely on your career. Don’t miss out on the joy and fulfillment that God made you for.

No more waiting around. Change your corner of the world for Jesus.

Written by Jordan Loftis and reprinted with permission from shortdailydevotions.com

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.