Volume 15, Number 10 | May 17, 2021 | www.citygatenetwork.org  


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This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:

 

 

 

“Hope in the Gate” Is This Week
Hidden Trace Farm in Tennessee, owned by singer-songwriter Amy Grant, will be busy tomorrow through Thursday with filming for the first episode of “Hope in the Gate,” produced by Citygate Network and Willow Bend Creative. Participants in a life-transformation program of a member mission—it’s Nashville Rescue Mission this time—will spend three days experiencing farm life and God’s creation, all the while telling their life stories to songwriters. The artists will translate their journeys and encounters with Christ into original songs of inspiration and anticipation. Amy Grant, Cindy Morgan, Mark Elliott, Jonathan Kingham, and others will be part of this venture. On Wednesday night, there will be a concert in the barn, with many music-industry personalities attending. Future episodes, with different Citygate Network member organizations participating, are already being planned. Since they won’t be branded to a particular mission/ministry, Citygate Network members can use these videos to communicate to their communities the work that they do, plus promote the work of rescue missions and similar ministries nationwide. Watch for information about the release of “Hope in the Gate.”

 

What Do New Mask Guidelines Mean for Shelters?
Last week’s news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that, “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” So what does this mean for rescue missions and similar ministries that have congregant sleeping and dining? We asked our friend, Dr. Emily Mosites—the CDC’s senior advisor on health and homelessness—that exact question. She pointed out that this guidance does not fully apply to facility-level policies that have previously been posted. The CDC says that, “fully vaccinated people should continue to wear well-fitted masks in correctional facilities and homeless shelters.” Also, staff and guests in shelters should still be tested if they are exposed. This means Citygate Network member organizations should continue to follow the Big 6 protocols we have provided. If anything should change regarding the mask mandate, Citygate Network will immediately let you know.

 

CEO Summit is Filling Fast
We’re already starting to talk about needing an overflow room for our CEOs-only event in San Diego, June 22–24. Yes, this event is still more than a month away, and yes, there still is space—but not much. It looks like our CEOs really want to get back together and talk. If you’re still thinking about attending, don’t think too long. Check out the program and then sign up online. And by the way, the Shelter Island Hotel and Marina is a great place to bring the family.

 

Snapshot Survey Results Available
Next week, participants in the 2021 Snapshot Survey will be receiving an email with links to access their personalized and comparative reports. If you participated, you can access the information on your membership portal right now. And for those of you who missed it, you can still see this year’s data. We’ve created a web page containing the latest information from 2020, a year-over-year comparative report, and a link to the survey directions page to get an idea of what you can expect next year.

 

Annual Conference Scholarships Available
Registrations continue to pour in for our Annual Conference and Exposition in Baltimore, September 16–19. And now we’re happy to announce that a limited number of scholarships will be available for this event. Please review the criteria carefully to see if you qualify. The highest priority will be given to those who have never attended an Annual Conference and Exposition before and/or those whose organization has never received a scholarship. You can apply here from May 17–June 17.

 

Seminars for Annual Conference and Exposition Now Posted
Speaking of the Annual Conference and Exposition, the complete list of robust educational offerings is now up on our website. Check out all 65 track seminars by clicking here. From there, registration is just a few clicks away. The way things are looking, the conference may sell out, so don’t wait too long to sign up.

 

Don’t Forget EITC and CTC for Those in Your Program
Confused about how to help working families learn about and claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC)? Not to worry. These programs provide refunds and credits for employees earning low to moderate wages. They can help your clients pay for quality childcare, pursue higher education, obtain dependable transportation, or get eligible workers on the path to securing better housing. Click here to obtain outreach materials and resources, including fliers in 24 languages, infographics, the EITC Estimator, frequently asked questions, and information on additional federal credits. Claiming the EITC will not affect eligibility for other benefits like SNAP, SSI, Medicaid, cash assistance, or public housing. Our recent member survey showed that 80 percent of Citygate Network members have not been talking about the EITC or CTC with their program participants and clients, but 68 percent of you are interested in learning more and doing so. Here’s your chance.

 

Free Citygate Network Webinar on May 20
Today’s donor lives in a world of personalized experiences, often without realizing it. Savvy companies and nonprofits worldwide utilize technology and consumer insights to deliver highly personalized experiences that build familiarity and trust while driving engagement. Join us for our next Free Resource Development Webinar, where we will cover “Utilizing Responsive Fundraising to Grow Mission-Critical Funding.”

 

Looking Down the Street

  • Topeka Rescue Mission Ministries (Topeka, Kansas) is partnering with like-minded providers and ministries to provide mobile services to unsheltered homeless people in Topeka. Trailers providing portable bathrooms, showers, and laundry facilities, as well as a mobile health clinic, food pantry, and kitchen, are being dispatched throughout the city.
  • Faith City Mission (Amarillo, Texas), under the leadership of Jena Taylor, recently marked 70 years of service. We are thrilled to have them as members and celebrate the many lives rescued over the past seven decades. Congratulations, Jena, and team!
  • The Los Angeles Mission (Los Angeles, California) took to the popular social media platform Twitter to honor the late Anne Douglas, a co-supporter of the mission with her husband, Kirk Douglas. Named after Mrs. Douglas, the Anne Douglas Center for Women is helping countless women who struggle with homelessness.
  • City Rescue Mission (Jacksonville, Florida) recently celebrated its 75th anniversary. Citygate Network President John Ashmen was the keynote speaker and joined several honored guests. In addition to current director Paul Stasi, in attendance were three former directors and the widow of a fourth.
  • Stability First (Martinsville, Indiana) recently announced the expansion of programming to men with the purchase of a building that will house their Foundations House for men. The 3,100-square-foot building also has an oversized attached garage that they plan to extend to create ample dorm space.
  • Citygate Network membership continues to grow. We are pleased to welcome the following new members. Reach out via email and say hello!

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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Homeless Population Hesitant to Vaccinate
According to a commander in the Salvation Army, many cities are working feverishly to vaccinate the homeless population. But a growing mistrust toward the vaccination is slowing down the process. As the local corps travels to many homeless encampments, residents are hesitant, even though the vaccination is being offered while the army is bringing supplies and food. Trust is the most significant component in dealing with those who struggle with trauma and addiction, requiring special care. Consider: How are you addressing any hesitation of guests in your campus or shelter?

 

Cleanup at Homeless Encampment Called into Question
The reasons for a homeless camp cleanup were called into question last week in Manchester, New Hampshire. As employees of the city cleared out the encampment, many of those affected by the cleanup recognized a correlation. Their eviction was aligning with opening day for the city’s baseball team. Manchester’s homeless coordinator was not aware of any request by the Fisher Cats to move their homeless neighbors but added that the city would increase enforcement of camping ordinances. Like most cities in the United States, leniency has been extended to those struggling with homelessness. However, now that the nation seems to be opening up, more governments locally and otherwise appear to be cracking down. Consider: How are you reaching out to those in homeless encampments to let them know that your services are an option?

 

Robert Marbut Still Actively Involved in Consulting
The former director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness recently toured downtown Melbourne, Florida. Commenting on an incident where he witnessed three people smoking crack, Marbut observed, “The fact that they’re doing it in the open shows you the tip of the iceberg is rising.” His advice is the same as when he was involved in Citygate Network’s pandemic response, advocating for consensus between community service providers, businesses, residents, and the faith community. Those groups can make a significant impact on the lives of homeless people in their community when they work together. “We all have to start with a common goal,” Marbut said. “We can reduce homelessness in Melbourne one person at a time if we all work together.” Consider: What bridges are you building with other civic groups to help the homeless population in your city?

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One in Four Jailed in 2021 Are Homeless
According to a recent report, one-quarter of individuals entering Toronto detention centers in 2021 had no fixed address before imprisonment. The number of jailed with no set address went from 13.4 percent in 2015 to 21.9 percent in 2019 and nearly 25 percent in 2020. With the advent of the pandemic, those in unstable situations may believe criminal activity is the only way to survive and act on those instincts, resulting in incarceration. The rise of incarcerated individuals in the previous six years confirms suspicions of an increase in stress and desperation among homeless people.

 

FEMA Money Still Available to House Homeless
In early March of 2020, President Trump directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse cities, counties, and tribes for 75 percent of costs related to housing homeless citizens in hotels and providing COVID-19 tests. President Biden increased coverage to include vaccinations, and guaranteed reimbursements would cover 100 percent retroactively. But not many municipalities are taking advantage of the offer. One year into the program, only 23 local governments and one federal tribe had submitted funding requests. Of those requests, totaling just over $600 million, 80 percent came from four major urban centers. Consider: How is your local government leaving money on the table that could help your mission or ministry?

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Montreal Mayor Mandates No Homeless Tent Cities
In a recent press conference, Mayor Valérie Plante indicated that she would not tolerate organized camping sites for the homeless. She shows her success at completing 80 percent of the promised 6,000 social housing units committed to at the beginning of her term. Along with the federal and provincial government, Montreal has committed to funding five projects under the rapid housing creation initiative by 2022. Mayor Plante’s commitment to providing more permanent shelter while they’re waiting for housing remains strong.

 

British Columbia Provides Homeless Services and Support Factsheet
The government of British Columbia recently released a fact sheet providing data offered by the province to support the homeless population. The city announced an additional $65 million to create up to 380 units for people at risk of homelessness or those dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues, adding to the existing provision of more than $203 million this year for more than 14,000 emergency shelter spaces.

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First-Round Draft Pick Returns Home to Homeless Shelter
Najee Harris remembers his early life in California. Being one of four siblings might provide a challenge for anyone, but his family lived in homeless shelters for much of his early years. This former Alabama running back, now the first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, decided to pay it forward and throw a draft party for the kids at Greater Richmond Interfaith Program, where he lived for several years while growing up. Despite Harris’s climb to fame, he has not forgotten where he got his start.

 

Two Female Business Owners Launch Strategic Housing Plan
Vianna Little and Freddie Batchelor have joined forces to launch a strategic action plan introducing a new approach in housing and community development. The primary purpose of Project 300 is to create an evidence-based, community-driven model that is scalable within the overall trajectory of three years. Several objectives are in the sights of these two driven entrepreneurs, including increasing black homeownership, reducing the overrepresented populations of African and Native Americans in the homeless population, bringing awareness to the mental health needs of homeless people, and creative problem solving on issues of illegal immigration.

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Market Street

Accountant, Rockford Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc., Rockford, IL

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

Business Services Assistant, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

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

CFO-Human Resource, Morning Star Mission Ministries, Inc., Joliet, IL

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

Chief Development Officer, Rockford Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc., Rockford, IL

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

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, Morning Star Mission Ministries, Inc., Joliet, IL

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 of Operations, Brunswick Christian Recovery Center, Ash, NC

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

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

Emergency Services Associate, Shelter Operations, Shepherd's House Ministries, Bend, OR

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 Director, Rockford Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc, Rockford, IL

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

Front Line Coach, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

Full-Time Driver, Morning Star Mission Ministries, Inc., Joliet, IL

Handy Man/Jack of all Trades, Morning Star Mission Ministries, Inc., Joliet, IL

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 Preschool Teacher, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Lead Toddler Teacher, 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

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

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

Program Director, New Life Mission, Melbourne, FL

Program Specialist, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Residential Care Mentor, Shelter KC, Kansas City, M

Residential Coordinator-Cornerstone Manor Facility, Buffalo City Mission, Buffalo, NY

RN Care Coordinator, Shepherd's House Ministries, Bend, OR

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

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

Thrift Store Retail Manager, Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, Shreveport, LA

Truck Helper Laborer, Morning Star Mission Ministries, Inc., Joliet, IL

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

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

Volunteer Supervisor, Rockford Rescue Mission Ministries, Inc., Rockford, IL

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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The Terrain for Becoming

“God’s plan was that they should learn to love Him in the wilderness and that they should always look back upon the time in the desert as the idyllic time of their life with Him alone.” — THOMAS MERTON

Immediately after Jesus was lifted out of the cool river water by John, God’s voice tore through the skies, declaring: “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). A miraculous affirmation of tenderness and love—one which, I believe, is sung over each and every one of us.

We’re all beloved children of God (1 John 3:1). But what’s the result of being loved by God? Of having a divine father? The next verse in Mark’s gospel answers the question: “The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness” (Mark 1:12). To be loved by God, to be His child, is to be driven into the wilderness, the place of preparation.

For it’s only when we’re stripped of essentials that we uncover the essential. It’s only when we venture into inhuman landscapes that we find the terrain for becoming human.

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.