Volume 15, Number 2 | January 15, 2021 | www.citygatenetwork.org  


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This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:

 

 

Annual Conference and Exposition Moving to September
You likely received this news via Street Smart Express earlier this week, but because it is a weighty news item, here it is again (for those who might have missed it):

Based on everything we now know, and everything we’re learning about how things might unfold coming out of spring and heading into summer, we decided to push forward our big event by roughly three months. The new dates are September 16 – 19, still at the Baltimore Inner Harbor Hilton. Here are the reasons: (1) The hotel is still not fully open. (2) They cannot tell us when the 25 percent of capacity meeting space restriction will be lifted. (3) There are at least three potential “political issues” in Baltimore that could affect our early June dates. (4) Dr. Deborah Birx (formerly of the White House Coronavirus Task Force) said in a recent phone call that, based on the vaccination strategy in place, the meeting industry in America would probably need until July or August to recover. We presented these concerns to our board right after Christmas, and the response was overwhelmingly in favor of moving it to September.

Interestingly, we had the highest Early-Bird registration in several years. (You all really do want to get back together. We understand. We’re anxious, too.) If you were one of those who signed up in November or December to get the best rates but cannot make these new September dates work, email Aly Zadurowicz and she’ll help you get a refund. Otherwise, we’ve rolled everything over to September 16 – 19. Watch for a new 12-page brochure, showing the program changes, in the March/April issue of Instigate and on our website soon.

 

Our CEO Summit Moves to June 22-24
With our Annual Conference and Exposition moving from June to September, our CEO Summit will shift from August to June. It will still take place at the Island Palms Hotel and Marina (a Best Western property) on Shelter Island in San Diego, California. We are not as concerned about this being at the start of summer because it’s a smaller event with less space obligation and fewer “moving parts” to be affected by federal mandates and local ordinances. Program and registration information will be on our website in early February. CEOs: This is a place worth planning a brief vacation around!

 

Government Clarifies Vaccination Prioritization
We recently received additional pertinent information from our USICH and CDC connections regarding vaccine rollouts to those of you who serve the homeless population, as well as your guests themselves. We have included the document in the members-only Coronavirus toolkit on our website.

 

Also on the Vaccination Front: Major Webinar Scheduled for Tuesday
If you and/or you team members still have questions about vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will offer a webinar to provide updates and answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccination process for people experiencing homelessness. Advance registration is required for this event scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET. The one-hour webinar will include a presentation on the CDC COVID-19 response, updates about the vaccination prioritizations, as well as an example implementation by the Minnesota Department of Health. A Q&A will be part of the webinar. As soon as you register and get an acknowledgement, you can submit questions. Do it today. 

 

Second Draw Call Recording Now Available.
If you missed last Friday’s member-wide call regarding the Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2021—basically, the second wave of PPP loans—and about changes to charitable giving laws, you can access the recording here. There was great news for members in both of these areas. Citygate Network attorney Jon Ruybalid and Faith & Giving Coalition principal Brian Walsh shared details and insight pertinent to our members. Brian requested feedback and testimonials from our members to demonstrate how they have been positively impacted by the new Universal Charitable Deduction Act, so please pass along your personal experiences to Alice Gifford to compile for our advocates in D.C. Brian said real stories from real constituents increase their credibility and influence with legislators.  

 

Supporting Expansions to Tax Credits
Citygate Network has been following the incoming administration’s work in putting together a COVID-19 response package. One of the things that we have encouraged them to do is increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC). This effort was picked up by the Circle of Protection (CoP), a group of major church and ministry leaders that includes Citygate Network President John Ashmen. The CoP drafted a letter to the Biden Administration, pointing out the benefits the EITC and CTC can provide for the poor and powerless. Other signatures on the letter included Eugene Cho, president of Bread for the World, Walter Kim, president of National Association of Evangelicals, and Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition.

 

Looking Down the Street

  • After nearly 14 years, we welcome back into membership CityTeam, with missions in San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; and Chester, Pennsylvania. Glen Peterson, in San Jose, is the CEO of the CityTeam group of ministries.
  • A recent collaborative effort between a dozen public and nonprofit agencies in upstate South Carolina has resulted the opening of a quarantine shelter for those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or exhibit symptoms. Citygate Network member Miracle Hill Ministries (Greenville, South Carolina) will staff the facility around the clock.
  • The Board of Directors at Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities (UGMTC) (St. Paul, Minnesota) announced the appointment of Pamela Stegora-Axberg as CEO. Ms. Axberg worked in the nonprofit sector for many years and has served as UGMTC Interim CEO since July 2020.
  • The Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission (Toledo, Ohio) announced a new CEO to take over leadership for Tom Clapsaddle. Reach out to Kelly Llanas, Tom’s daughter, to welcome her into Citygate Network.
  • Wheeler Mission (Indianapolis, Indiana) won a $225,000 grant from Chick-Fil-A as part of their annual True Inspiration Awards. The owner of two local franchises nominated Wheeler, who received the second largest grant from among 35 charities. Buffalo City Mission (Buffalo, New York) was also awarded a Chick-Fil-A True Inspiration grant at the regional level.

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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Delayed Start to Tax Filing Season
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that tax filing will begin February 12, 2021, instead of the usual January start date to allow them more time to adjust to changes Congress made to the tax code late in 2020, as well as account for the second round of stimulus payments. The deadline for filing remains April 15 this year, as opposed to the extended deadline of July 15 last year. Routine IRS operations have been hamstrung throughout 2020 due to effects of the coronavirus pandemic, including a mail backlog that delayed last year’s tax return processing and refunds. The IRS said they anticipate a 21-day turnaround for refunds to taxpayers who file 2020 taxes electronically.

 

New Law Requires Grocery Stores to Donate Expiring Food
According to a New York news outlet, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new law providing guidelines for supermarkets to donate “excess food” to food banks across the state. Now, large supermarkets will be required to distribute food nearing the sell-by-date to non-profits or religious organizations that provide free food in their communities. Supporters of this bill believe it will significantly help food banks meet increased demands for food due to the pandemic.

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Congress Predominantly Identifies as Christian
Pew Research reports that the new Congress shows a large number of representatives who describe themselves as Christians, disproportionate to the general U.S. population. Almost 90 percent of Congress identifies as Christian compared to two-thirds of the general public. About a quarter of U.S. adults (26 percent) consider themselves religiously unaffiliated (atheist, agnostic, or nothing) but only one member of the new Congress (.2 percent) chose that affiliation. Over the last several Congresses, there has been a marked increase in the share of members who identify themselves simply as Protestants or as Christians without further specifying a denomination.

 

Employers Consider Vaccination Policies
Dollar General just announced an incentive for their ± 157,000 employees nationwide to get the COVID-19 vaccine: a bonus four hours of pay. Currently, the retailer’s offer only applies to hourly frontline workers, but they plan to extend it to distribution and transportation teams as well. Although the company has opted not to require vaccinations, they hope to motivate workers to participate by offering this incentive. A recent survey of business leaders revealed that 41 percent of the organizations polled have not yet decided whether or not to require their employees get the vaccine when it becomes available. Five percent had decided to make it mandatory, and 39 percent had decided not to, with the remaining 11 percent not yet decided on their plan.

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Province Returns to Lockdown
Ontario, Canada's most populated province, issued a stay-at-home order to take effect January 14 as officials fear the collapse of the province's hospital system due to COVID-19 cases. Both Toronto and Ottawa are included in this lockdown which requires everyone to remain at home except for trips to the grocery or pharmacy, a health care service, essential work, or to exercise. All non-essential retail stores and in-person dining have been shut down in Ontario since Christmas, and in Toronto since the end of November. Schools in Ontario's hotspots, including Toronto and its suburbs, will not resume classroom learning until at least February 10. Officials have promised strict enforcement of the new restrictions and warned that those who violate the measures could be fined thousands of dollars and even face up to a year in prison.

 

Vaccine Prioritization Questioned
The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians, the professional group for Canadian emergency doctors, wants more transparency about COVID-19 vaccine rollout. They have called for a clear description of who is being prioritized for the first doses and why, requesting priority for those directly caring for critically ill patients confirmed or suspected of having COVID-19. The association claims many members in areas with limited human resources have not received vaccinations, while urban providers with less patient contact appear to have already received doses.

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Nationwide Diversity Evident in Graphic Analysis
The American population represents a unique mosaic of cultures with almost 40 percent self-identifying as a racial or ethnic minority. The treemap available here uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey (ACS). The Kaiser Family Foundation further analyzes and breaks down the numbers on a state-by-state basis.

 

Attention Turns to Nominating a Black Woman for SCOTUS
Democrats have secured control of the U.S. Senate, leading some liberal activists to call for liberal Justice Stephen Breyer to make retirement plans so President-elect Joe Biden can appoint the first female black Supreme Court nominee. A majority vote in the 100-seat Senate is required to confirm Supreme Court nominees, and with Democratic control of the chamber, the party would like to try to confirm Biden nominees to offset Trump’s confirmations of numerous appointments to the federal bench. Potential Biden nominees include Leondra Kruger, who currently serves on the California Supreme Court, and Ketanji Brown Jackson, a federal district court judge in Washington who previously served as a law clerk to Breyer.

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Market Street

Accounting Online Adjunct Faculty, City Vision University, Kansas City, MO

Addiction Counseling Online Adjunct Faculty, Techmission/City Vision University, Kansas City, MO

Admin Assistant (Remote Work) Paid MBA Fellowship, City Vision University, Kansas City, MO

Bookkeeper, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY 

Business Development/Partnerships Director: remote, City Vision University, Kansas City, MO

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

Chief Development Officer, Wheeler Mission Ministries, Indianapolis, IN

Controller, Central Union Mission, Washington, DC

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

Culinary Food Truck and Catering Instructor, Portland Rescue Mission, Portland, OR

Custodian, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Development/Fundraising Online Adjunct Faculty, City Vision University, Kansas City, MO

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

Director of Human Resources, Winston Salem Rescue Mission, Winston-Salem, NC

Director of Operations, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Director of Recovery Programs, Waterfront Rescue Mission, Inc., Pensacola, FL

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

Donor Engagement Specialist, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

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

Executive Director, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Executive Director, Geauga Faith Rescue Mission, Chardon, OH

Facilities Manager, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

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

Health and Wellness Nurse, Portland Rescue Mission, Portland, OR

Homeless Shelter Manager, Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, Philadelphia, PA

Maintenance Technician, Central Union Mission, Washington, DC

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

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

Online Marketing Coordinator (remote work), City Vision University, Kansas City, MO

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

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

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

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

Search and Rescue Specialist, Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Security Team, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

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

Vice President of People Services, Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

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

Women's Recovery Counselor (CADC I), Portland Rescue Mission, Portland, OR

Women's Transition Specialist (Live-In), Portland Rescue Mission, Portland, OR

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Outside the Box

In Luke 5, people wanted to know why Jesus and the disciples weren’t fasting like the Pharisees and John the Baptist’s disciples. They expected Jesus to maintain their vision for holiness and piety, but once again, he broke their expectations by living out different standards:

“No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
Luke 5:36–39 ESV

Disrupting the status quo meant life as people knew it changed. People projected their version of how they believed God’s Messiah should behave and got their feathers ruffled when he did meet their expectations. If he had just adapted to their ways, it would have damaged and torn apart the ultimate mission he had been sent to accomplish, just like the old garments would tear, bursting the skins. But people get attached to the familiar ways of doing things—and by clinging to those old ways, they reaped the same old results.

We cannot afford to be those people, clinging to the past, clinging to the ways we’ve always done things or saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If Jesus lived the life people expected, it would have devastated God’s plan of salvation for the whole world. Thankfully, Jesus pursued his purpose undeterred.

Jesus came to earth as a disrupter who faithfully did and said only what the Father told him to (John 12:49). He maintained a single purpose. His actions were relentlessly consistent. And he pushed hard; after all, he only had three years to save the world. By accomplishing his mission—to seek and save the lost, bear witness to the truth, and be sacrificed as our substitute—Jesus saved the world.

Is the Holy Spirit leading you to push outside any of your old familiar ways and make a change this year?

Adapted from a devotional by Jordan Loftis and used 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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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.