Volume 15, Number 9 | May 3, 2021 | www.citygatenetwork.org  

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This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:



Instigate Magazine Receives EPA Award of Excellence
Citygate Network’s primary publication has long been held in esteem by the Christian publishing community, winning numerous accolades and honors over the past dozen years from the Evangelical Press Association (EPA). Our 2020 calendar-year issues were no exception: We received word on Friday that Instigate won the top spot for print magazines in the Organizational category (versus Devotional, Denominational, and Higher Education), edging out World Vision Magazine, Proclaim! (Luis Palau Association), and Voice of the Martyrs. Instigate also won an Award of Merit for its digital version. These honors are testimonies to Citygate Network’s commitment to bring our members the highest quality member services.


San Diego Live Event for CEOs Filling Fast
Our popular CEO Summit—for executive leaders only—is heading toward being a full house. The Island Palms Hotel and Marina on San Diego’s Shelter Island will be our venue for this event, which will feature 10 presenters. Discussions will cover the waterfront of issues that CEOs are dealing with today: cultural shifts, leadership transitions, board relations, avoiding the biggest management mistakes, and more. Honest dialogue is the standard: What’s said in the room stays in the room. We’re more than halfway to capacity for this June 22–24 event. Check out the program and register right online. By the way, this is a great place to bring the family for some extra days off on the front and/or back end. We are offering a spouse rate.


Ashmen–Tomlinson Interview Offers Key Insights
Brewer Direct (BDI) has now made public a 50-minute conversation with Citygate Network President John Ashmen and BDI CEO Michael “MT” Tomlinson. This discourse was the first part of a multi-day webinar that BDI offered its clients, starting back on April 20. John and MT discussed multiple topics, including Citygate Network’s origin, purpose, rebranding, government relations initiatives, the leadership role the network undertook during the early days and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and pending threats to ministry. Take a listen.


Citygate Network’s Pandemic Pages Have Been Updated
Even though we are no longer providing daily or weekly email updates on COVID-19, we are making sure that the Coronavirus section on our website has the most current information, putting it up as soon as it becomes available. The most recent inclusions talk about the extremely small percentage (3.5 percent) of vaccinated people who get COVID-19 (simply because the vaccination is not 100 percent effective). This should be an encouragement for those who are concerned that people can still get the virus post-vaccination. Citygate Network urges members to repeatedly offer vaccinations to members throughout the spring and summer.


Annual Conference Registration Breaking Records
It’s obvious that the Citygate Network family is anxious to reconnect. At 20 weeks out, our registrations are running about 45 percent above all previous years. Yes, we’re still about five months away, but momentum is certainly building. If you haven’t registered yet, don’t miss your chance to sign up and gather together on the picturesque and playful inner harbor of Baltimore for an event with 70 or more relevant seminars, inspiring general sessions, and plentiful networking.


Charitable Contribution Legislation Must Continue
Our friends at the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) released a study in March called Remarkable Resilience, showing that U.S. charitable giving increased 10.6 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. The report also showed that rescue missions and similar organizations led all ministry types in this area. But now, citing the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP), ECFA is suggesting that one cause for the particularly strong year-end donations might be the Universal Charitable Deduction (UCD) that was temporarily instituted in last year’s pandemic relief law. Regarding the correlation, FEP chair James Biedermann said, “It’s striking that on December 31, there was a 28 percent increase of $300 gifts, which is exactly the maximum amount a donor [could] take using the Universal Charitable Deduction.” All of this shows that efforts can’t be relaxed in trying to pass the Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act (UGPRRA), sponsored by Citygate Network friend Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and others. The Faith & Giving Coalition, which Citygate Network was instrumental in starting and staffing, is championing and closely tracking  this important bill. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime: (1) Never cease telling the stories of your successes; (2) consider membership with ECFA to maintain perfect transparency in your donor accountability; and (3) keep telling your lawmakers to support the UGPRRA.  


Looking Down the Street

  • Linda Uveges has been named the new CEO at The City Mission (Cleveland, Ohio), where she began as a volunteer in the women’s program in 2003. After joining the staff in 2005, she served in various roles throughout the organization and now succeeds long-time (17 years) CEO and former Citygate Network Board Member Rich Trickel. 
  • Giving Hearts Day, a fundraising event in Fargo, North Dakota, recently named New Life Center (Fargo, North Dakota) the number one fundraiser and Best Marketing Plan out of nearly 500 participants. Giving Hearts Day has helped participating charities raise more than $100 million since its founding in 2008.
  • Hope of the Valley (Mission Hills, California) had a ribbon-cutting on April 22nd for their 103-unit, 200 bed Alexandria Park Tiny Home location in North Hollywood.
  • Winchester Rescue Mission’s (Winchester, Virginia) second annual Rescue Ride will be coming to the mid-Atlantic this upcoming Memorial Day. This nine-day event will cover several Bluegrass District states, including Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
  • Former Vice President of The Timothy Group, Don Distelberg, recently passed away from an aneurysm. He was known for his vast expertise in capital campaigns and often led workshops for Citygate Network, Christian Leadership Alliance, Christian Camp and Conference Association, and numerous others.
  • David Thomas, the beloved leader of the Los Angeles Mission kitchen and a former graduate passed away on April 11.
  • Reading City Council recently agreed to contract with Hope Rescue Mission (Reading, Pennsylvania) to pay guests at the homeless shelter to clean up downtown. Under the one-year agreement, the mission’s Clean Team members will be paid $15 an hour to pull weeds, pick up the garbage, and maintain flower pots.

TELL US: Do you have news to share with other network members? Send a blurb to Marvin Harrell. Include as many details as possible. We’ll handle the editing.

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Reality of Fiscal Recovery Made Clear While Driving to Work
Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chair, is regularly reminded of the challenges facing the United States economy when he drives into his office each day. Traveling through Northwest D.C., he gazes through the car window and is struck by the view of an ever-growing encampment of homeless people. The people in those 40 tents have no idea their “village” keeps Powell up at night or that he considers them as he drives to his office. In many of his discussions, Powell mentions the encampment, stating the homeless should be part of assessing the economy’s strength. “They need to be in the room with us as we make our decisions,” says Powell. Consider: In what ways have you drawn attention to the plight of homeless neighbors in your town?


Dr. Drew Shunned by Homeless Advocates
Dr. Drew Pinsky, called to serve on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), had that nomination withdrawn earlier this week due to opposition by some homeless advocates. Pinsky shared that as someone with 30 years in mental health and serving those with substance disorders living in the streets, he just wanted to help. Pinsky has previously expressed his belief that homelessness has been primarily driven by a significant need for mental health and addiction treatment, rather than a lack of housing. Andy Bales, CEO of Los Angeles’ Union Rescue Mission, shared his disappointment in Pinsky’s retraction. “Recovery is a key component, and that is why I was very disappointed that the cancel culture and the echo chamber of people who are so entrenched in the Housing First and harm-reduction model that they won’t even allow another voice in addressing addiction and mental health,” said Bales.


Biden Administration Withdraws Transgender Restrictions in Homeless Shelters
On April 22nd, the Biden administration withdrew a rule proposed by the previous administration that would have allowed independent homeless shelters to make decisions regarding sleeping room/showering room placement based on facility limitations, safety considerations of guests, and deeply religious beliefs, and to make alternate arrangements when a facility was set up for single-sex housing. While the proposed rule was never officially adopted, this action signaled an abrupt policy change at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Ben Carson, the former housing secretary, had expressed concern in 2019 about men gaining access to women’s shelters. “The current HUD rule,” he said, “permits any man, simply by asserting that his gender is female, to obtain access to women’s shelters and even precludes the shelter from asking for identification.” Note: While the Trump administration proposed rule was preferred by religious organizations, it was never ratified, so nothing has really changed. Missions and ministries that do not take government funds can still—as of now—make placement based on deeply held spiritual convictions.

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Employers Taking Proactive Stance on Vaccinations in Workplace
U.S. employers are taking significant measures to incentivize, educate, and make accessible COVID-19 vaccines to their employees. Will Towers Watson, a data consulting firm, surveyed 446 employers and found that 60 percent have reported the value of vaccinations to their staff, with 35 percent planning or contemplating the same. More than one-third state they have created procedures or policies to facilitate vaccinations for employees, with another 50 percent following their lead. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) are obtaining vaccines to provide to their staff through third-party vendors. In contrast, 55 percent of those surveyed plan to have vaccines administered by pharmacies, while 45 percent intend to create a place onsite or near-site for immunizations. “Employers understand that by taking an active part in supporting the vaccination of employees, they can play a crucial role in ending the pandemic,” says Jeff Levin-Scherz, population health leader for Willis Towers Watson. Consider: In what ways are you supporting your staff and guests to get vaccinated?


America's Homeless Heroes Continue to Slide Off the Edges
The face of homeless veterans continues to change, and information recently provided by the Veterans Administration and National Alliance to End Homelessness offer numbers you are likely counting each day. Roughly 40,000 veterans are homeless. While most homeless vets are male, females are more likely to struggle with homelessness (7.6 percent of the veteran population is female while 5.4 percent are male). African American and Hispanic veterans comprise 14 percent of the total veteran population, yet they make up 56 percent of the homeless vet population. These vets traditionally served for more extended periods, with 67 percent serving three years or longer and 89 percent receiving an honorable discharge. Vets struggling with homelessness are usually without a home for seven years, where non-veterans secure permanent housing after four. Note: Citygate Network’s annual Snapshot Survey will be out next week. If you participated, you can compare your numbers in various areas with the numbers from others in the network.

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U.S. Residents Offer to Share Vaccine with Northern Neighbors
In Point Roberts, Washington, community leaders understand COVID-19 border restrictions better than most, mainly since they are cut off from the “lower 48” while sharing a border with British Columbia. These Washingtonians are working on a plan to give their surplus vaccine to their “neighbors to the north.” Fire Chief Christopher Carleton said 70 percent of Point Roberts residents have been immunized and would like to share the excess supply to vaccinate U.S. citizens living in B.C., as well as Canadian citizens. “Point Roberts is in a position, unlike many others, to offer this controlled extension of assistance due to our geographical isolation and secured border passages,” says Carleton. Details are still being worked out to allow British Columbians driving to Point Roberts for a vaccine to return to Canada immediately after.


Overdose Prevention Site a Possible Win-Win
The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, in Vernon, B.C., recently reached out to the businesses in its jurisdiction to gauge the impact of an overdose prevention site in downtown Vernon. “It’s interesting to note that some of our members had not been negatively affected by the facility,” said Dan Proulx, Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s general manager. The chamber’s news release asserted about 30–40 supervised consumption visits per month, with approximately 250 trips for harm-reduction supplies cataloged. “Many concerns of businesses have not materialized from the overdose prevention site, likely because one person a day frequenting the facility for supervised consumption isn’t going to cause much of a stir,” Proulx said. “Street-entrenched issues are impacting businesses, although not the level foreseen,” he said.

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Author Shares Business-Building Techniques to Homeless Veterans
ShaDonna “Mo” McPhaul, small business owner and author, spent 20 years of her life in the United States Air Force. She realizes the journey from veteran to business owner is not an easy one. In her newest e-book, It’s Not What You Know, It’s the Mo’ You Know, McPhaul reveals the lessons she learned while building two successful businesses. “I knew it would be helpful to share my own experiences with other veterans going through the same thing. It seems like a missed opportunity to not share that advice with others.” She intends to take her advice and life lessons to a broader audience using her e-book.


First HBCU University Offers Law Enforcement Training
Missouri’s Lincoln University has become the first Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to offer a law enforcement training academy in the United States. The program invites students to spend their last semester participating in full-time police training to diversify community-based police squads. Evidence shows that black and Hispanic officers resort to force less frequently than white officers, demonstrating that diversity in the force can improve police treatment in communities of color.

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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

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

Case Manager, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

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

Chief Financial Officer, Los Angeles Mission, Los Angeles, CA

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

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, Brunswick Christian Recovery Center, Ash, NC

Director of Operations, Rescue Mission Alliance, Oxnard, CA

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

Dock Supervisor, Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

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

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

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

Men's Director/Chaplain, Klamath Falls Gospel Mission, Klamath Falls, OR

Men's Residential Program Life Coach, Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

Men's Residential Program Manager, Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

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 Facilities, Helping Up Mission, Inc., Baltimore, MD

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

Shelter Manager, Open Door Mission, Rochester, NY

Sr. Gift Processing Manager, Central Union Mission, Washington, DC

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

Thrift Store Assistant Manager - Annville, PA, Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

Thrift Store Assistant Manager - Manheim, PA, Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

Thrift Store Assistant Manager - Wernersville, PA, Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

Vice President - Operations, Los Angeles Mission, Los Angeles, CA

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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Free by Degree

It’s important to remember that almost everything we receive along the Christian road—including freedom—comes by degree. We don’t get freedom; we grow into it—like infant limbs become sprinting legs or lava layers become ocean islands. Freedom is not something instantly deposited; it develops over time.

Christian writers throughout the ages have told us of men and women who experienced sudden transformations, but these are often glimpses or tastes of more permanent transformations to come. Like marathon runners are handed little paper cups of water, these experiences are given to refresh us, not to change us instantly; to spur us on, not to bypass formation; to keep us in step with the Spirit, not to do all the work for us.

Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; and be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

Written by Jonathan R. Bailey 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.