Volume 15, Number 11 | June 1, 2021 | www.citygatenetwork.org  

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This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:




Citygate Network President Heard on Christianity Today (CT) Podcast
Last week, John Ashmen was the guest of CT’s Global Media Manager Morgan Lee and Executive Editor Ted Olsen on their program “Quick to Listen.” The two hosts made this the theme: “Homelessness Is Vexing American Cities. Do Christians Have a Solution?” In this one-hour podcast, they discussed multiple topics, including why homelessness seems to be getting worse, why Christians don’t always agree on solutions, and what it means for the church to love its neighbor. If you missed it live, you can hear a playback.


Let’s Lead the Way to Vaccinations
Citygate Network was very involved with interagency communication regarding COVID-19 throughout the Trump administration, and a lot of that continues. We are regularly in touch with top-level contacts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and by special invitation from the White House, Citygate Network is a founding member of their COVID Community Corps, getting firsthand information on trends and executive notices. In this vein, the White House is now launching the “Vaccination Month of Action,” with a goal of getting 70 percent of adults—which includes the homeless population—to have least one dose of the vaccine by Independence Day. PLEASE keep educating and providing opportunities for your staff and guests to get vaccinated. Work to bring vaccinations back to your facilities to increase the likelihood that people on the streets in your city will participate. (If you can’t get vaccination teams to return to your mission/ministry but would strongly support it if it happened, let us know and we’ll see if we can help with the persuasion.) Citygate Network will have an update on vaccinations during the CEO Summit in San Diego later this month.


Members Sensing Stepped-up Attacks on Religious Rights
No one will argue that today’s popular culture is pushing hard against traditional values and religious freedom. Faith-focused organizations that provide hospitality (accommodation services) are at the forefront of this crescive struggle. Citygate Network is currently watching four cases involving member organizations that are in court or heading to court. One is considering a cert petition, which is essentially an appeal to the Supreme Court. In another case, the city council voted 8–2 last week to forbid any women’s shelters in the city from disallowing trans women (born male and transitioning to female) from staying in the same open room with other women.

The Christian higher-education community is also experiencing the same interference. In Missouri, College of the Ozarks was told last month that they had to allow biological male students to reside in women’s dorms and use women’s shower facilities. The school appealed the ruling and requested a temporary restraining order, but it was denied by a district judge. Another well-known Christian university has announced it will eliminate one of its majors, in part because the accrediting board is proposing curriculum requirements that are juxtaposed to the school’s tenets. Citygate Network will keep you posted on these and other developing cases.


CEO Summit Will Cover a Slew of Important Topics
It’s just three weeks before member-organization presidents and executive directors gather in San Diego for discussions on a variety of pertinent topics. CEOs: If you haven’t signed up yet, the window will close soon. Check out the scheduled topics—and more have been added—on our website and register ASAP. Also, we have more spouses signed up than ever before, so a lot of your peers are definitely making this a family function. Think about it.


We’re Opening Up a Second Mission Tour in Baltimore
The final event of our 2021 Annual Conference and Exposition is a visit to Helping Up Mission (HUM)—publicly recognized for excellence by city, state, and federal officials. Unfortunately, the tour has recently filled. But with so many people registering this year, we coaxed the folks at HUM to consider an additional tour, prior to the start of the conference. That means we will be able to get in additional attendees. If you have already registered for the conference but weren’t able to sign up for the tour, please contact Aly Zadurowicz to add it. Otherwise, you’ll see the new tour option when you register.


Speaking of Baltimore, It Just Took a Giant Leap Forward
The governor of Maryland, Larry Hogan, announced a lifting of all capacity restrictions put in place because of the pandemic. We were waiting for this announcement, believing it would take place by the summer. This translates to the simple fact that we will be able to gather unhindered in September for the Annual Conference and Exposition in Baltimore! Just imagine how great it will be to sit across from one another as we share a meal or join in worship during our general sessions. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this. Register today!


Child Tax Credit Payments Coming Soon
On May 17, the Biden administration announced that nearly 39 million families could receive expanded child tax credit (CTC) reimbursements on July 15, continuing monthly through December 15. These credits will increase the maximum CTC in 2021 to $3,600 for children under the age of 6 and $3,000 per child for children between ages 6 and 17. These payments, previously provided in the form of a tax refund, will result in a $250–$300 per child monthly return to families based on the child’s age. Officials warn of a “bumpy” roll-out as this is a new program but are confident this will provide much-needed aid for Americans. Consider: What will your organization do to prepare your clients and guests with children to steward their payments wisely? 


Great Lakes Huddle Starts in One Week
The Great Lakes District is holding what was originally going to be a small gathering on June 8–9. The numbers have grown quickly. It appears it will now be a large crowd. The location is Cedar Lake Ministries in Cedar Lake, Indiana. Citygate Network President John Ashmen will be joining the group and teaching some seminars. The latest word is that the event is full, but you can check to see if there have been any cancelations. Contact Great Lake District President Sandi Perzee to learn the latest. The Liberty District is also doing a Huddle. The dates are July 15–16, and the location is Glens Falls, New York. Contact District Vice President Kim Cook for information.


Host the 2021 Global Leadership Summit for Free
We have carved out a unique partnership with the team at Global Leadership Network, and you get to reap the benefits. As a member of Citygate Network, you and your students/clients can grow and learn together while attending the live Global Leadership Summit (GLS) right on your campus. Be encouraged, equipped, and inspired by the world-class faculty and presenters—all at no cost to you. Taking place August 5–6, this event will provide an opportunity to discover your influence, grow your leadership ability, and strengthen relationships. Click here to learn more about becoming a host organization or contact Sam Edwards for more information. 


Looking Down the Street

  • Topeka Rescue Mission’s top chef, Sean Hall, was interviewed by a local news affiliate regarding his rise, fall, and redemption through the ministry of TRM and Barry Feaker. His testimony shares the hope that members like you bring every day to your guests.
  • Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission (Toledo, Ohio) was recently in the news when the Mission Mall donated nearly 500 repaired bicycles to the community. Kelly Llanas, the executive director, spoke to reporters, citing the donations that came in last year during the pandemic. “Here at the mission, we believe that bicycles are not just recreation but means for transportation for a job. It’s really important, and the need is here as folks have been lining up since nine this morning,” she said.
  • Shepherd’s House Ministries (Bend, Oregon) will take over the operation of a former warming shelter on June 1 and run a low-barrier shelter seven days a week from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. The 70-bed shelter will open with case management and supportive services provided by the Project SHARE Program of Shepherd’s House and other agencies to ensure collaboration and continuity of services for guests.
  • Congratulations to Capital City Rescue Mission (Albany, New York) for again achieving Distinguished Accreditation with Citygate Network. You can learn more about our Accreditation program (formerly called Certification Program).


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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Tool Store Funds Homeless Veteran Support
In North Bend, Oregon, a new store uses brick-and-mortar and social media channels to rehabilitate its neighborhood and homeless veterans. The veterans are both the benefactors and potential employees of Operation Rebuild Hope (ORH) Tools & Hardware. The model not only gives ORH clients work experience, but also helps the nonprofit fund its programs. The profits from items sold in the store and Facebook ads go back to ORH, which uses the money made to renovate housing and provide rental assistance and case management services to veterans experiencing homelessness. Consider: Perhaps you can find creative ways or channels to expand storefronts into specialized markets.


Homeless Students Among Most Impacted During Pandemic
The House Education & Labor Committee recently heard testimony from several experts confirming that homeless students’ academic and social challenges during the pandemic only escalated by isolation resulting from school closures. Those testifying before the committee affirmed that access to funds earmarked for homeless students in the American Rescue Plan be obtained as quickly as possible to support a robust identification program of homeless students in schools. A ranking member of the panel mentioned that school “is so much more than a place to learn,” primarily in the case of homeless or foster children. In-person education provides the crucial stability missing from their daily experiences. Consider: How are you helping parents in your program get support for their children in local schools?

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More Than a Quarter of Americans Worry About Being on the Street
In a phone poll conducted on a random sample of Americans, CBS News reported the more than 25 percent have worried about becoming homeless. Thirteen percent revealed that they had lost a home or been evicted, with 33 percent indicating they know someone who has lost a home. But not all polled had the same fears. Fifty percent of Americans with incomes less than $25,000 are worried about losing their home. In contrast to that, very few with incomes over $50,000 annually share the same concern. When viewed by race and ethnicity, the numbers also reveal a telling story. Hispanic and Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to have feared being homeless.


Violent Assaults on Street People on the Rise
An attack on a sleeping woman in South Los Angeles was the most recent data point supporting a rise in violent acts against homeless people. Thankfully, the woman survived the attack, but as the numbers continue to climb, authorities believe that violence tied to gangs and illegal drug sales is working its way into homeless encampments, increasing the danger each day for those living on the streets. Since January 1, people experiencing homelessness were the victims of 13 percent of aggravated assaults with a deadly weapon, and 18 percent were murder victims. When combined, our homeless neighbors in L.A. alone were victimized 600 times since the start of this year, or roughly 40 times each day.

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Canadian Firm Using A.I. to Help and Understand Homeless
A project lead by Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, intends to obtain more diverse data on those dealing with homelessness by expanding a pre-existing algorithm using A.I. machine learning. The existing algorithm tracks information principally from healthcare databases and provides information from that dataset only. Localized information from homeless service providers in Ontario is not making it into a master database. Unique information kept on single spreadsheets has contributed to siloed data. The expansion will help gather essential data from these other sources, providing a more holistic report on people experiencing homelessness in Ontario and other provinces nationwide. Still, it will also take an ethical approach to privacy, confidentiality, and data gathering. Consider: Find out how your data can be a source in helping care for Canada’s homeless population.


Advocates Protect an Encampment in Toronto
In a display of activism, hundreds of people surrounded an encampment of tents occupied by people with nowhere else to go. Since the start of the pandemic, the campers have been in the area and are part of a city-wide outcropping of similar encampments. Toronto officials had recently posted trespassing notices around such sites, warning those living there that they could be subject to forced removal and fines upwards of $10,000 if convicted. The city offered shelter in a local hotel. Still, residents would only be allowed two bags and be required to adhere to hotel rules, a dealbreaker for many in the encampment. While many heated arguments and physical confrontations ensued, officials opted to leave some of the dwellings for the moment to respect personal safety for all involved.

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22-Year-Old Actor Continues to Provide Free Meals
Jaden Smith, a well-known actor and activist, is planning to open a restaurant called “I Love You,” whose primary goal will be to help feed skid-row residents in Los Angeles healthy meals for free. His funding model employs a higher price for the non-homeless population to cover the cost of free meals. Jaden will build this brick-and-mortar restaurant using last year’s thriving food truck model.


Homeless Navy Veteran Giving Back
Ginger Miller, a U.S. Navy sailor who planned to make a career of serving in the military, found herself land-locked and homeless after an unexpected medical discharge. Having enlisted on the heels of her high school graduation, Ginger found herself living in her car with her husband and child after her injuries. Now, she is spreading the word that the streets are not the inevitable landing place for veterans, particularly minorities like herself. She founded Women Veterans Interactive to advocate for female veterans when they return to civilian life.

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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

Custodian, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

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

Director of Development, Rescue Mission Alliance, Oxnard, CA

Director of Development, Morning Star Mission Ministries, Inc., Joliet, IL

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

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 Lodge Manager, Cookeville Rescue Mission, Cookeville, TN

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

House Manager, Cookeville Rescue Mission, Cookeville, TN

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

Kitchen Manager, Bread of Life Mission, Holbrook, AZ

Lead Preschool Teacher, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Lead Toddler Teacher, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Maintenance Technician, Central Union Mission, Washington, DC

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

Men's Shelter Desk Manager, Jericho Road Ministries, Brooksville, FL

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

Program Director, New Life Mission, Melbourne, FL

Program Director, The Path Rescue Mission, Beverly Hills, 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 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

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Empowering Love

If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father.
— JI Packer

God is not overpowering, but empowering. His longing is like that of a parent. At the beginning of a child’s life, they do everything: they put the spoon in the mouth, tie each shoelace tight, make them warm when they’re cold and cool when they’re hot. Love does it all.

But if the love is real, it has to stop. It has to empower. We have to show them how to hold the spoon, how to cross each lace and make an x, when to reach for the scarf and when to slide on the sandal. This is the aim of love, not just to do for others—but to empower others to do.

God’s love will forever grant us wider domains of responsibility, new territory to explore, fresh insights to enjoy. The more we grow, the more He gives.

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.