Volume 14, Number 21 | November 2, 2020 | www.citygatenetwork.org  


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This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:

 

 

New Strategic Plan for Homelessness Is a Big Deal
Since October 19, we have been mentioning the release of this plan. In it, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) takes a fresh and honest approach to solving homelessness. The 30+ page document, titled Expanding the Toolbox: The Whole-of-Government Response to Homelessness, confirms that homelessness presents a multifaceted problem that requires a multifaceted solution. Several national faith-based groups—including Citygate Network—spoke into the plan’s development, providing much needed insight gained from experience. You can download Expanding the Toolbox here. In life-transformation ministry, we recognize the importance of reducing our guests' dependence on federal homelessness assistance while, at the same time, increasing accountability, as appropriate. This plan envisions an approach that dramatically reduces homelessness by providing families and individuals with wrap-around services and trauma-informed care while addressing the root causes of homelessness. We encourage you to share it with your local CoC partners.

 

Elections Have Consequences
Tomorrow is Election Day for the U.S., even though millions have already cast their ballots. The leadup to the 2020 vote has been drama filled. Many think the aftermath will produce not only more drama, but accelerated violence. Let’s pray that is not the case—even though the radical ideology that is seeping into our democracy makes it more likely than not. The lead article in the November/December issue of Instigate looks at why uprisings could be more prevalent in the weeks and months ahead, plus how Citygate Network members can serve in the midst of chaos, as well as protect their people and assets. Don’t wait until the magazine is on your desk—you can read that lead story now by clicking this link. It’s written by Citygate Network President John Ashmen, along with Portland Rescue Mission CEO Eric Bauer.

 

We’re Holding Elections, Too
In conjunction with national elections, Citygate Network will open its annual voting to select new district officers and board representatives for the Bluegrass, Deep South, and Great Lakes districts, as well as a new At-Large Member on the board of directors. All voting members should be on the lookout for an email on Tuesday, November 3, to meet the candidates and cast their votes. Elections will close on Thursday, November 12 at midnight and results will be posted in the next Street Smart publication on November 16.

 

Denver Mattress Continues Mission Support
The Denver Mattress Co., LLC (DMC) just announced their 18th annual charity partnership with Citygate Network. For every mattress sold during the month of November, DMC will donate $15 to local Citygate Network member missions in the 26 states where they do business. DMC will again match up to $150,000, marketing the program with in-store point of purchase materials, a social media campaign, and local promotion by Citygate Network members. Last year's efforts generated an abundance of community support in all the participating cities and a total contribution of $150,000 by DMC.

 

Goodbye and Hello
Citygate Network bids a fond farewell to Christine Matos who served for six years as executive assistant to President John Ashmen and two years as member support manager. Her husband, Victor, a chaplain in the U.S. Army, is being reassigned to Fort Rucker in Enterprise, Alabama, so this means a move for the entire family. Christine’s compassionate heart for the poor and calming engagement with people will be missed by staff and members alike. Feel free to email her a parting note before her last day on November 20.


And today is the first day for new staff member Allison Zadurowicz (Zad•er•row’•vich). “Aly” will step into the member support manager role Christine is leaving, plus take on some additional duties. For the past 13 years, she has been the assistant director of the Master of Global Leadership and Doctor of Intercultural Studies programs at Fuller Theological Seminary. She and her husband are outdoor enthusiasts and love hiking throughout Colorado. You can also send her a welcome note.

 

Virtual Board Training Program Available Next Week
Ripple Effect, Citygate Network's top-rated program for ministry boards and CEOs, will be offered via Zoom next week, November 12-13, 2020. The online launch event includes expert instruction on governance, inspiring meetings, the board and money, godly decision making, succession planning, and more. Plus, your registration includes an online repository of governance resources and personalized coaching for several months, provided either on-site or virtually. Board guru and author Bob Andringa will be among our guest instructors. Thanks to a grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, this program, which would typically cost several thousand dollars, is available to Citygate Network member ministries and their boards for just $795! More than 70 of our organizations have already taken advantage of this excellent platform, including 35 participants who joined us virtually for the spring cohort. To learn more, email Ripple Effect Program Director Ed Morgan or reach him by phone at (917) 576-6604. Click here to see the basic schedule or to register.

 

CDC Webinar Today Addresses Building Design and Function
This afternoon at 3:00 p.m. ET, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) will host a one-hour webinar titled Healthy Building Design for Pandemics and Beyond. Since many of you have building campaigns underway, it might behoove you to register to hear CDC guidance for building operations and healthy design guidelines over the long term. If you can’t make it to the live presentation, it will be recorded and posted on the CDC website.

 

Directory of COVID-19 Supplemental Resources
FEMA has provided a new resource page to help you navigate the federal programs funded by the COVID-19 supplemental appropriations. Resources can be searched by keyword and/or topic area. The online table gives a short description of each of the 152 resources, as well as links to the department/agency’s program website.

 

Looking Down the Street

  • Ron Gonzales, former CEO at Los Angeles Mission (Los Angeles, California), New Orleans Mission (New Orleans, Louisiana), and Union Rescue Mission (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), died in Texas on October 15, 2020. He is survived by his wife, Linda. Ron overcame PTSD from serving in Vietnam and drug addiction to leave behind a legacy of kindness and compassion. Read a tribute, written by Mike Thompson, his brother-in-law.
  • GIFTS Men’s Shelter (Janesville, Wisconsin) celebrates the grand opening of their thrift store On November 7, 2020.
  • Union Rescue Mission (Wichita, Kansas) will host a 70th Anniversary Celebration Banquet on November 5, 2020.
  • CEO Bill Roscoe reports that The Boise Rescue Mission (Boise, Idaho) has raised the funds to retire their debt on a former assisted living facility they purchased two years ago to provide respite and postnatal care.
  • We welcome back into membership South Side Mission (Peoria, Illinois).
  • We also welcome The Common Space (Fernandina Beach, Florida) into membership in the Deep South District. Reach out to Executive Director Abigail Fields as she leads the organization in providing restorative care, counseling, spiritual formation, and healthy activities to those recovering from addiction, chronic mental health concerns, and other traumas.

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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Accountability for Creating the Opioid Crisis
Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, will plead guilty to federal criminal charges, pay $8 billion, and close down the company due to their role in creating the nation's opioid crisis. Since the company doesn't have $8 billion available for the fines, the Justice Department has determined that assets from the dissolution of the company will be used to create a new "public benefit company" designed to function entirely in the public interest, rather than for profit. Future earnings will go toward fines and penalties and be used to combat the opioid crisis by funding treatment and abatement programs.

 

Greeting Cards Bring Priceless Connections
A greeting card company in D.C. has identified a unique source for its workforce: people who have experienced homelessness. The online business provides them with an outlet to spread hopeful messages and offers them a source of income. Reed Sandridge formed Second Story Cards as a way to help homeless people not just recover, but also connect with others. “At their core, people who are experiencing homelessness are thirsty for connection with people and that’s what we do with greeting cards.” He says the card creators find it healing and rewarding to give back and help others in this way. They receive 15 percent of the sale price from each card sold, which gives them a direct stake in the success of their work. Messages range from silly to heartfelt to bold, including one that simply shows a bear wanting a hug, inspired by its creator’s experience on the street and just needing a hug.

 

Sewer Analysis Helping to Forecast Coronavirus Outbreaks
Early in the pandemic, scientists determined that the COVID-19 virus makes its way into the digestive system and can be detected in human feces. Across the country, cities and universities have begun testing sewage to monitor for two specific pieces of viral material, called RNA. Finding RNA in the wastewater indicates that someone infected is using the system; the more RNA present, the more people are infected. Biobot Analytics says sewage testing can show that the virus is starting to circulate even before people show symptoms or get tested, serving as a reliable predictor that infections are circulating in an area, neighborhood, or building. Testing the sewage for evidence of COVID-19 is like preparing for an approaching weather system. In Tempe, Arizona, officials made practical use of this foresight when a low-income neighborhood heavily populated by minorities most at risk of dying from the virus showed high levels of RNA in the sewage. The city spent $15k to meet them where they live, distributing masks and information about how to stay safe, as well as providing saliva testing throughout the neighborhood and schools. Data is currently being analyzed to determine if the intervention made a difference.

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Hispanic Women Making Hard Choices
While working mothers in every demographic have felt the impact of the adjustments made necessary by the pandemic, Latinas have been leaving the workforce at three times the rate of white women, and more than four times the rate of black women. Many Latinas work in fields that have taken a big hit during the shutdowns, but analysts speculate that perhaps more Hispanics uphold the traditional view of mothers as primary caregivers, and since numerous schools around the country now hold classes virtually, managing their children’s workload, as well as their own career has become more too burdensome. Feeling stretched between giving their kids the attention they need and still giving it all at work, has resulted in scores of Hispanic women giving up their jobs. The longer the pandemic drags on, the greater the danger becomes that Latinas, as well as other women, will lose skills and experience that could make returning to the workforce more difficult.

 

More Americans Supporting Same-Sex Marriage
A new survey indicates that public support for same-sex marriage has increased sharply. According to the 2020 American Values Survey published by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), more than two-thirds of Americans now support same-sex marriage. The random sample of over 2,500 respondents from every state indicates that support has jumped among almost every group polled; men, women, whites, blacks, Latino Americans, and every religious group except white evangelicals. The results of the survey found about 70 percent of Americans said they support granting same-sex couples the right to marry , with 28 percent opposed to it. The outliers were Republicans and white evangelicals, although now 50% of Republicans say they support same-sex marriage. Democrats and independents show far more support, at 80 and 76 percent respectively. During much of the 1980s, national support for same-sex marriage hovered around 15 percent but began a steady climb in the 1990s.

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Top Doc in Canada Calls for Sustained Approach to the Pandemic
In the chief public health officer’s annual report (From Risk to Resilience: An Equity Approach to COVID-19), Dr. Theresa Tam describes the broader consequences of the pandemic and the critical importance of a “health equity approach” to aid recovery and response to future health crises. She calls for a “more sustained approach,” singling out three areas to improve the country’s pandemic preparedness, response, and recovery. First, she acknowledges that leadership and governance “at all levels” needs to be sustained to eliminate inequities and bring about structural change. Second, Tam encourages social to ensure the population continues to observe public health measures. And finally, she wants to strengthen public health capacity to create a “robust and agile” public health system with resources and abilities to tackle emergencies and inequities.

 

Cash Payments to Homeless Adults
Back in 2018, the Vancouver-based Foundations for Social Change (FSC) began an initiative in conjunction with the University of British Columbia to make one-time payments of CAD7,500 (around $5,600 U.S.) to 50 homeless adults and compared their situation 12 months later with a control group of 65 homeless people who did not receive a payment. Claire Williams, FSC CEO, said the results of the study were “beautifully surprising” and could defy assumptions that homeless people cannot be trusted to manage money, challenging stereotypes about how to help people living in the margins. Their 2020 Taking Bold Action on Homelessness report argues that direct cash transfers to the homeless provides “choice, control and purchasing power at a critical time in people’s lives…preventing people from becoming entrenched as homeless…” According to the report, those who received the cash spent fewer days homeless compared to those who did not, and also moved out of homelessness faster over the 12 months of the study. The study also showed a 39 percent reduction of spending on goods like alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs by those who received the payment. In fact, cash recipients had even saved roughly CAD1,000 by the end of the 12 months.

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Minority Households with Children Struggle to Afford Basics
On October 21, the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities (CBPP) released an early analysis of some of the 2020 Census Bureau data collected. Statistics show that an estimated 42 percent of children live in households reporting difficulty in covering expenses such as food, house payments, car payments, medical expenses, or student loans. Hardship rates vary widely based on the race or ethnicity of the adult in the household:

  • 59 percent of children in Black non-Latino households
  • 55 percent of children in Latino households;
  • 49 percent of children in households with a non-Latino American Indian, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or multi-racial respondent;
  • 33 percent of children in white non-Latino households; and
  • 7 percent of children in Asian non-Latino households.
Households reporting difficulty paying for usual household expenses also varied based on education level. The percentage of children of adults without a four-year college degree were more than twice as likely to be struggling to cover expenses compared to children of adults with a four-year college degree; 51 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

 

First Black Cardinal Appointed by Pope
In 2019, Wilton Gregory made history as Washington, DC's first, and only, African-American archbishop. Last week, Pope Francis tapped Gregory to become America's first black cardinal. The primary responsibility for a cardinal is to elect a new pope, in the event he steps down or dies. Known for guiding the Catholic Church through the clergy sexual abuse crisis early in the 2000s, Gregory then led the Archdiocese of Atlanta, before his appointment as Archbishop of Washington, DC last year. The ceremony to install the new cardinal will take place November 28, 2020.

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Market Street

Business Director, Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, Indio, CA

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

Chief Program Officer - Men, Wheeler Mission Ministries, Indianapolis, IN

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

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

Custodian, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Data Administrator, Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries, Kalamazoo, MI

Development Director, Home of Grace, Vancleave, MS

Development Manager, Bread of Life Mission, Seattle, WA

Director of Development, Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission, Reno, NV

Director of Operations, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Director, Lifespring Ministries, Wayside Cross Ministries, Aurora, IL

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

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

Empowerment Coach / Case Manager, New Life Mission, Melbourne, FL

Executive Director, Union Gospel Mission, Portland, OR

Executive Director, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Executive Director, Geauga Faith Rescue Mission, Chardon, OH

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

Grants Administrator, Stability First, Inc., Martinsville, IN

Guest Services Manager, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

Infant /Toddler Lead Supervisor, Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries, Kalamazoo, MI

Lead Recovery Coach, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

Maintenance Lead Supervisor, Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries, Kalamazoo, MI

Major Gifts Officer, Union Rescue Mission, Wichita, KS

Manager of Donor Relations, Lexington Rescue Mission, Lexington, KY

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

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

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

Program Advisor, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Waiting Room

They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

God often uses waiting to refine our character. Faithful waiting on God makes us stronger, not weaker. It’s also a sign of humility. Remember that persons of lesser rank who served nobility and royalty were said to “wait upon” them. In a similar way, they were said to “attend” to their lords and rulers.
Maybe we should think of waiting on God less as passively sitting around until something happens and more as actively attending—listening carefully for God’s voice and watching intently for evidence of His moving in our lives and in the world around us.

Believe me, I understand that those who are in the midst of waiting for a miracle, or a dream to be realized, or to be delivered from a dark place, probably feel helpless. You feel as if you’re doing nothing, but you’re actually doing something very important. In fact, this attending to God may be the most important spiritual work you can do. While you are waiting, you are also allowing your hope to grow up. If you can’t be still and wait and hope, you can’t become the person God created when He thought you into existence.

Spiritual transformation doesn’t take place when we get what we want, it takes place while we’re waiting. It is forged in us while we’re waiting, hoping, and trusting, before we receive what we long for. Spiritual transformation happens in the waiting room.

Waiting also helps us learn the vital lesson that just because a dream is delayed doesn’t mean it is denied. When we continue to hope patiently and place our trust in God and in His schedule—not ours—we begin to gain the type of long-range perspective that allows us to have peaceful souls, even with the storms of life raging about us.

Written by Pete Wilson, and used with permission.

 

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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Street Smart is provided 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.