Volume 15, Number 7 | April 1, 2021 | www.citygatenetwork.org  

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This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:



CEO Summit Registration Is Live
This popular Citygate Network annual event gives executive directors and presidents at our member organizations a chance to talk among themselves about new opportunities and insights, plus it affords time to dialogue about cultural concerns and the most pressing issues they are facing. When we do a CEO Summit, we have this rule: What’s said in the room stays in the room. That means no subject is off limits. And there certainly are a lot of subjects to talk about these days. This year’s pandemic-adjusted schedule has the CEO Summit starting in the afternoon on Tuesday, June 22, and running right up until lunch on Thursday, June 24. This is indeed a live event. Our venue will be the uniquely situated Island Palms Hotel and Marina (a Best Western Plus property) on Shelter Island in San Diego Bay. The overview, schedule, and registration are all available on our website. Check it out.


DC Forum Receives High Marks
Our annual government relations event—held online this year—was deeply appreciated by participants, according to the many reviews we’ve received. The March 15 – 16 event had more than 200 viewers listening to Republican and Democrat lawmakers, attorneys, government agency directors, faith leaders, and more. Special guests included Josh Dickson, the new Deputy Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the former Coordinator of the White House COVID-19 Task Force. A memorable moment occurred when Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-NY) shared how much he liked Citygate Network’s 8 life transformation "S" words.

Josh Dickson invited participants to be part of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships’ weekly stakeholders call. If you would like to participate in that—even if you didn’t attend the DC Forum—you can sign up here.


Ashmen Interviewed in Christianity Today Blog
Citygate Network continues to expand its national voice, as evidenced by a recent interview between Citygate Network President John Ashmen and Ed Stetzer. Ed is an author, national radio talk show host, and professor/dean at Wheaton College. In “The Exchange,” John responded to questions about the philosophy of life transformation work, Citygate Network’s rebranding, the Equality Act, and more. Click here to read through their conversation.


Changes in Board Leadership
With a change in his duties at Rescue Mission Alliance (Oxnard, California), Gary Gray has resigned his position on the Citygate Network Board of Directors and, in doing so, vacated the position of board chair. That position has now been assumed by former vice-chair Anna Valeria-Iseman from Open Door Mission (Rochester, New York). Donovan Coley from The Rescue Mission (Fort Wayne, Indiana) will serve as the new vice-chair. Matt Dildine from Fresno Rescue Mission (Fresno, California) was appointed to finish the remainder of Gary Gray’s term as the Sierra District Representative.


Helping with Immigrant Children
Last week, Josh Dickson, Deputy Director for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, reached out to Citygate Network President John Ashmen to see if our members might be able to help with the problem of unaccompanied minors at the southern border. John sent a message to member CEOs and coordinated a phone call with several members. The administration is trying to find safe accommodations for these kids in a less-stressful environment until processing can begin. Facilities close to the border and even much further inland are needed. Specifically, facilities are needed in:

  • Seattle, WA
  • Pomona, CA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Denver, CO

If you are interested in exploring this opportunity further, please review the government documents at the links below and then contact Alice Gifford in the Citygate Network office:

  • UC and Family Volunteer Asks: details how organizations could be helpful
  • Establishing EIS Fact Sheet: outlines a site activation checklist, resources required, and service contracts required to set up a standard Emergency Intake Site
  • HHS Fact Sheet: details how the government is working hard to reduce the time unaccompanied children spend in CBP custody


Free COVID Test Kits for Citygate Network Members
Citygate Network has established a special partnership with Doctegrity, a company offering free COVID-19 test kits to those serving the homeless. They will provide one-on-one training for administering the tests and for completing the necessary paperwork. You can expect results within 48–72 hours. For more information, training, or to place an order, please email our representative at Doctegrity, Patty Smith, or call her at (972) 900-0136 or on her cell at (877) 342-5152. Stay tuned for more information about Doctegrity’s special telemedicine services offer for Citygate Network members.


Looking Down the Street

  • Congratulations to Miracle Hill Ministries (Greenville, South Carolina) and Phoenix Rescue Mission (Phoenix, Arizona). They both renewed their Citygate Network Distinguished Accreditation. You can learn more about our Accreditation program (formerly known as the Certification Program) here.
  • Citygate Network announces the addition of two new members: In the Bluegrass District we welcome The ROC Center (Daizell, South Carolina), led by Executive Director Gene Dennis, and in the Heartland District, we welcome Hope Avenue (Minneapolis, Minnesota), led by Executive Director Becky Hanson
  • Springs Rescue Mission (Colorado Springs, Colorado) CEO Jack Briggs received an invitation to meet with Vice President Kamala Harris in Denver as part of a national tour to visit small businesses and promote the new American Rescue Plan recently passed by Congress. The conversation primarily focused on COVID-19 response, but Briggs incorporated talk about homelessness, housing, and faith.
  • Wayside Christian Mission (Louisville, Kentucky) partnered with two local entities to provide one floor of the mission’s Hotel Louisville to isolate COVID-19 patients. The mission purchased the hotel in 2009 to use for various ministry purposes, including a Sober Living Program, transitional housing, and a college and career program.
  • Donovan Coley, CEO at The Rescue Mission (Fort Wayne, Indiana), preached in the Hampton Green Missionary Church Nights Ablaze event at his home church in Spanish Town, Jamaica, via Zoom on March 28.

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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Overdoses on the Increase; Stimulus Payments May Be to Blame
Substance abuse has surged across the U.S. due to coronavirus-induced isolation, but a correlation has been detected between stimulus payments and overdoses. County officials in Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, Minnesota, and several other states have reported recent spikes in overdoses after the most recent round of stimulus payouts. According to Gerry Schmidt, COO at Valley HealthCare System in West Virginia, the combination of COVID-19 isolation, stimulus payments, small support groups, and increased availability of fentanyl have all contributed to an unusual set of circumstances resulting in an uptick in overdoses. “People (with substance addiction) are up against some tough odds right now,” Schmidt said. “We have not seen a decrease in the request for services…If anything, we’ve seen an increase.” An increase in requests for help does point to a positive trend, indicating that people “aren’t afraid” to seek help.


Technology Provides a New Take on 21st Century Home Building
A 70-year-old homeless man once struggling with heroin addiction and chronic homelessness is now the first person to live in a 3-D-printed house. Tim Shea settled into a brand new, 400-square-foot home constructed of natural-disaster resistant building materials. These modern houses built from Icon’s Vulcan II 3-D printer, feature one bedroom, one bath, a full kitchen, a living room, and a large porch. Shea’s home is part of the 51-acre Community First! Village in Austin, Texas, providing shelter for people paying about $300 in rent. Icon brought its 3-D printing technology into the development to speed up the process while also making it cheaper.

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Burnout Skyrocketing
While employers have been concerned about employee burnout for several years, that concern has reached new levels as a result of the pandemic. HR Executive reported that software company Limeade surveyed employees shortly before the onset of COVID-19 and found that 42 percent of their workers said they felt burned out. When they surveyed employees again a few months into the pandemic, that number had risen to 72 percent, raising red flags about the impact of stress on physical health and wellbeing. Research describes burnout as the state people reach when they are highly engaged over a long period of time without the personal skills and organizational support necessary to maintain their wellbeing. It has negative consequences for both the individual and the organization, showing up in lower commitment and productivity, health issues, substance abuse, heightened anxiety, depression, higher absenteeism, and more turnover.


Pandemic Affects Rental Rates
According to a new report by QuoteWizard, the pandemic has triggered rent hikes in 35 states. The biggest jump occurred in Delaware, with a 12.3 percent increase, followed by Idaho at 10.2 percent, and Arizona and Montana, both with 9.1 percent increases. On the other side, Massachusetts reported the largest decrease in rent prices, down 11.3 percent, with North Dakota next at 9.1 percent, and New York and Washington tied with 7.8 percent lower rates. The report also shared that more Californians rent living space (41 percent) than any other state in the country, and that more renters seem to be leaving cities for the suburbs. If you’d like to see how your state fared, check out the complete report.

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International Vaccine Exchange
The United States plans to send roughly 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and Canada. Canada is slated to receive 1.5 million of the vaccine doses still awaiting approval in the U.S. AstraZeneca has made millions of doses in a U.S. facility and promises to have 30 million shots ready at the beginning of April. These shots do not factor into President Biden’s plans to have enough vaccine available for all adults in the U.S. by the end of May. Under this agreement, Mexico and Canada plan to pay the United States back with vaccine doses later this year.


B.C. Signs Deal with City of Victoria to End Homeless Camps
The British Columbia government and the City of Victoria have signed an agreement that commits to ending current and future homeless encampments in Victoria parks by April 30, 2021. David Eby, the minister for housing in B.C., says the agreement formalizes the shared commitment to shelter those living outside by defining roles and responsibilities for the province and city in locating indoor living spaces.

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Building Community Interest and Attendance
Chicago native Donald Lassere returns to his roots as the new president of the Chicago History Museum. He told the Chicago Sun-Times that he wants to diversify attendance at the city’s oldest museum and make it more interactive for locals. Records show that whites make up 80 percent of visitors to the museum, although Chicago has a majority-minority population. A black man himself, Lassere wants the museum to have more direct involvement in social justice issues and bring the diverse community together, ensuring that the museum is interesting and accessible to everybody while telling the true story of Chicago history. Lassere increased attendance at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, where he worked previously, by shifting the public’s perception of the museum to a cultural center rather than a boxing museum, changing the type of temporary exhibits, and appealing to women. He contends that attendance at the Chicago History Museum could benefit from appealing directly to the melting pot of ethnic groups that have migrated to the city.


Racial Disparities in News Portrayals of Homelessness
As housing insecurity and homelessness continue to rise during the current COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at the Center for Media & Social Impact recently completed a study examining news stories containing housing security, gentrification, and homelessness. Sourcing 12 metropolitan print news outlets with the highest circulation in the United States, the study concluded that these media outlets fail to identify the connections between increasing rent and gentrification with homelessness and often contribute to racialized portraits of homelessness. Furthermore, news outlets frequently frame housing-insecure individuals as morally deficient. Click here to read more and form your own opinion.

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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

Assistant Teacher, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Associate Director of Major Donor Engagement, Shepherd's House Ministries, Bend, OR

Bookkeeper, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Bookkeeper, Fairbanks Rescue Mission, Fairbanks, AK

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

Case Manager, Water Street Mission, Lancaster, PA

Case Manager, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Chaplain/Case Manager, Union Gospel Mission, Dallas, TX

Chief Program Officer, Rockford Rescue Mission, Rockford, IL

Clinical Director, Denver Rescue Mission, Denver, CO

Controller, Central Union Mission, Washington, DC

Cook, Mel Trotter Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI

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

Culinary Kitchen Supervisor, Mel Trotter Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI

Custodian, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Dental Assistant/Hygienist, Mel Trotter Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI

Dentist, Water Street Mission, Lancaster, PA

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

Director of Development, Rescue Mission Alliance, Oxnard, CA

Director of Development, Mel Trotter Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI

Director of Operations, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Director of Operations, Rescue Mission Alliance, Oxnard, CA

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

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

Executive Chef, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Executive Director, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Executive Director, Geauga Faith Rescue Mission, Chardon, OH

Executive Director, G.I.F.T.S. Men's Shelter, Janesville, WI

Facilities Manager, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

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

Food Service Manager, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

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

Hope Thrift Boutique Manager, HOPE Rescue Mission, Missoula, MT

Human Resources Recruiter, Mel Trotter Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI

Intake Specialist, Mel Trotter Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI

Jr. Staff Accountant, Central Union Mission, Washington, DC

Kitchen Manager, Bread of Life Mission, Holbrook, AZ

Lead Teacher, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Leadership Giving Officer, Mid-Level Giving, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

LPN/RN, Mel Trotter Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI

Maintenance Technician, Central Union Mission, Washington, DC

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

Marketing Specialist, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

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

Program Administrator (Men's Recovery Program), Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Program Specialist, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

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

Security Team, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Senior Director of Women and Children's Ministries, Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

Shelter Manager, Open Door Mission, Rochester, NY

Sr. Database Manager, Central Union Mission, Washington, DC

Street Outreach Case Manager Assistant, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Thrift Store Manager, Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

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

Vice President of Program Ministries, Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, Seattle, WA

VP of Men's Services, Atlanta Mission, Atlanta, GA

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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A Heavenly Two-Step

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Galatians 5:25 ESV

A co-worker recently compared working side-by-side with someone in the kitchen to dancing. Having worked together to produce culinary concoctions for the last quarter century, he and his wife experience a fluid grace sharing space, ideas, and ingredients that culminate in dishes they both enjoy.

That got me thinking about how our walk with Jesus should resemble a well-rehearsed dance with a familiar partner. Our steps should demonstrate a strong awareness of each other’s movements, what’s in the pantry, on the menu, and in the refrigerator, so that our activities in the kitchen flow smoothly in and around the work of the master chef.

Just like a husband might know that his wife will need the other half of the lime he cuts open for his salad dressing when she pulls the shrimp off the burner, we need to pay careful attention to how God wants to use the ingredients on the counter. Sometimes, that means we must respond quickly—to avoid burning or boiling over—and other times, we just need to gently stir the sauce as it thickens. It requires fine-tuned communication, both spoken and unspoken.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 NIV

Written by Alice Gifford, Citygate Network

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.