Volume 15, Number 1 | January 4, 2021 | www.citygatenetwork.org  



New Year’s Greetings
The Citygate Network staff welcomes you to the first work week of 2021. As people across the continent throw away their 2020 calendars, they are wishful that with them will go the woes of a ghastly year—one that brought us unprecedented political posturing, a catastrophic pandemic, travel restrictions, ruinous riots, church closure mandates, skyrocketing addiction and depression, a dubious election, and alarming increases in crime. But alas, time is a seamless continuum. Change is rarely immediate (if it comes at all). While we can be hopeful for a course correction for society, we do know this: It won’t come about from our criticisms and accusations. As weary as we might be, it will only stem from our faithful, purposeful labor.

In John, chapter 9, Jesus redressed his disciples when they tried to affix fault in a particular situation. “You’re asking the wrong question,” [he scolded]. “You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light” (The Message).

Our prayer for you in 2021 is that you find even better ways to reflect the Light, and that you become the brightest signal in your city. Welcome the strangers and engage in their life transformation. Honor your teammates. Take time for yourself. Work with the end in mind. We’ll be cheering even louder for you in 2021.

— John Ashmen and the Citygate Network Staff


Possibly Approaching the Summit
Conversations on this morning’s U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) COVID-19 Task Force call focused on the fact that the number of cases in the homeless community (sheltered and unsheltered) are up a bit from the last two weeks. Homeless services providers need to continue to maintain safe “bubbles” and only bring new guests into those “bubbles” after infection is ruled out. The new B.1.1.7 strain was also discussed. It does appear to spread more readily but is showing itself to be less severe. Unfortunately, it just means there is the possibility of more positive cases. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has not yet issued any new guidance concerning B.1.1.7.

Vaccination rollouts continue without any major concerns. Minor infections should not be a reason for homeless people to postpone getting the shots, but disclosure of conditions should be made to medical professionals administering them. More information on preexisting conditions and vaccinations can be found on this CDC webpage.

Eastern Tennessee, Southeast Kansas, Southern California, much of Arizona, and Southern Quebec are some of the critical hot spots right now. Thanks to Christmas and New Year’s Eve/Day gatherings, we will likely see a spike in cases through at least January 23. Stay strict on the six protocols. After that, barring any unforeseen occurrences, the absence of major holidays and the steady increase in vaccinations should result in gradually decreasing numbers. That doesn’t mean things will soon be back to normal. We still have several months of work to wrestle this pandemic to the ground. A lot depends on whether protocols are strictly maintained, how many susceptible people refuse to get vaccinated, and how long it will take to get the inoculation needles into the arms of younger generations. Citygate Network will continue to guide you on this journey, providing the latest news and insights—and triage, as needed. Never hesitate to contact us if you have any new concerns.


Join Our Stimulus Package Discussion on Friday
If you’re wondering what’s in the Bipartisan-Bicameral Omnibus COVID Relief Deal that will benefit your organization and possibly provide financial assistance, join our network-wide call this Friday, January 8, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) Mountain Time. Attorney Brian Walsh of the Faith & Giving Coalition will cover several points that our members—particularly CEOs, CFOs, and directors of development—will want to hear. He will go over the new (positive) changes to the charitable giving incentives and Paycheck Protection Plan reforms. You can register for that call through this link.


The DC Forum Will Be an Online Experience This Year
The Coronavirus has put the kibosh on business as usual in Washington, D.C. Therefore, we will be holding our popular DC Forum online in 2021. We will spread it over two days: March 15 and 16, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Mountain Time each day (with appropriate breaks). A virtual event will allow more Citygate Network members to participate as travel and hotel costs will not be a factor. We will meet some of the new players in politics, discuss future direction with them, and lay out Citygate Network’s public policy for 2021. Program and registration information will be on our website later this month.


Street Smart will return to its usual length and format, starting with the January 15 edition.

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.