Volume 15, Number 12 | June 15, 2021 | www.citygatenetwork.org  


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This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:

 

 

Updated Coronavirus Recommendations for Unsheltered People
Citygate Network’s key contact at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr. Emily Mosites, recently provided new information regarding the handling of long-term infection prevention for those experiencing unsheltered homelessness. In this most recent update, the CDC offers further guidance on how you might alter outreach team procedures for COVID-19 prevention in homeless encampments. They also provide suggestions to better record vaccination levels of those living in nearby encampments. One thing it talks about is how closing or clearing an encampment could increase the spread of COVID-19 into nearby encampments or shelters. Read up on this and share it with your team.

 

Last Call for CEO Summit
Citygate Network’s Annual CEO gathering is an unequaled outlet for much-needed, highly relevant, deep-level, heartfelt conversations among senior executives of missions and kindred ministries—and it starts in one week. We have a full room but could possibly squeeze in one or two more chairs. If you are interested, it’s now or never. You can register here for one of those last couple of spots.

 

Our Next Board Event Happens Mid-July
Ripple Effect—our board performance acceleration program—is being offered again and will start with a two-day online retreat, July 15–16. To be part of this highly acclaimed event, your board chair, CEO, and at least one other board member must participate. After the retreat you will have two on-site (or virtual, if preferred) visits from an experienced board coach, seminar books and materials, and permanent access to an online repository of governance resources. You can learn more about it here.

 

Citygate Network Applauds Proposed New Legislation
A bill introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Roy Dean Blunt (R-MO), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), and Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) requires the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, in coordination with other agencies, to conduct a study assessing the availability and accessibility of housing and services for homeless individuals who are victims of trafficking or at risk of being trafficked. Traffickers often prey on young people, including young people in foster care, runaway youth, and individuals experiencing homelessness or housing instability. One of the largest risk factors for human trafficking is housing instability, making individuals more vulnerable to exploitation. Citygate Network and the Salvation Army both affirm this study and are supporting the bill. Download the document here.

 

Annual Conference Scholarship Deadline Is June 17
Registrations continue to pour in for our Annual Conference and Exposition in Baltimore, September 16–19. If you haven’t registered due to limited finances, a few 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 through June 17.

 

Looking Down the Street

  • Citygate Network mourns the death of Randy Brewer. A longtime advocate of rescue mission ministry and a fixture at Citygate Network events for many years, Randy went to be with the Lord on May 28. A press release from Brewer Direct—the company that he started—put it this way: “[Randy] died after a heroic and extended battle with a disease that threatened to take his voice, but in fact, helped him to amplify it.” (Randy wrote three books about physical affliction and dying from the perspective of a Christ-follower.) Over the past decades, he helped raise millions of dollars for Christian organizations. Randy leaves behind a vibrant company that will continue to help people release generosity to help a hurting world. A private memorial service for close friends and family will be held in the days ahead.
  • Hope Rescue Mission (Missoula, Montana) and United Way of Missoula established the Temporary Safe Outdoor Space (TSOS) camp, helping to provide shelter during the pandemic. The staffed camp will continue to operate even as the city begins to discuss alternative options. They opened on a piece of private land west of U.S. Highway 93, south of Missoula, last winter.
  • Chuck Monts, part-time pastor at Pleasant Valley Presbyterian Church and former chaplain of The Bowery Mission (New York, New York), will bike about 3,000 miles from Los Angeles to New York City this summer to raise money and awareness for the mission, as well as a food bank provider. Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of the Union Rescue Mission (Los Angeles, California), joined Monts at the start of the journey, and located a donor to provide Monts with a long-distance bike. He began the trek on June 5 and is planning to make it to The Bowery on July 31. While on the road, Chuck has been streaming sermons via Zoom and updating the public on a Facebook page.
  • Keeping health and wellness in the news, Gospel Rescue Mission (Tuscon, Arizona) opened a new wellness center at their H.S. Lopez Family Foundation Center of Opportunity. The center has a workout area and a library, and will foster the physical and mental wellness of guests.
  • Jack Briggs and the Springs Rescue Mission (Colorado Springs, Colorado) recently hosted Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) to discuss challenges within the city and their work to foster greater community cooperation. During the visit, Congressman Lamborn honored Larry Yonker, former CEO, with a Congressional Record, recognizing his leadership and ministry to the vulnerable men and women of Colorado Springs.
  • Ron Hall, Citygate Network board member and author/producer of Same Kind of Different As Me, was gifted more than 200 paintings by the estate of Sicilian-American artist Domingo Saglimbene. Upon Domingo’s death, Ron and his daughter, Diana, agreed any remaining paintings would be sold to benefit the poor and homeless. Ron's Same Kind Foundation (Dallas, Texas) is making the art available for missions and ministries to display and sell, with the proceeds of the sale going to the mission or ministry. If you are interested in finding out how your mission or ministry could benefit, email Mark@InspiringGrowth.biz today. 

 

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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The End of the Eviction Moratorium Is Right Around the Corner
The CDC eviction moratorium is set to expire on June 30, releasing an anticipated flood of evictions nationwide. What does this mean for you? Plenty. Even though tenants who met eligibility criteria and submitted a declaration of eligibility throughout the pandemic have remained housed, landlords will be legally allowed to act and evict tenants that owe back rent at the end of this month. It is difficult to quantify precisely how many people might face eviction once the ruling lifts. Still, in a recent Household Pulse Survey for Michigan between April 29 and May 10, 2021, more than 53,000 Michigan households reported they were not up to date on rent or mortgage payments. Further, eviction filings fell by 65 percent compared to the same timeframe in 2019—a decrease explained by the current CDC moratorium, legal aid, and rental assistance provided. When you consider combining a robust rent aid program and the CDC moratorium, it’s no wonder that number has dropped so much. The most significant challenge will be getting aid to the most vulnerable, those who have the lowest income, and people who are at risk of losing their homes.

 

New Funding Opportunity to Help Prevent Youth Homelessness
A competitive funding initiative is being made available to communities committed to ending youth homelessness by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). This new initiative announced by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) will fund innovative programs for $145 million. The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program, relies on recommendations from people who have experienced homelessness personally. Nearly 300 projects in 44 communities have already been funded, and it’s projected that as many as 50 communities will benefit with as much as $15 million each with this new opportunity.

 

Art Show by Veterans Brings Aid to Vulnerable Vets
In Detroit, several artists are thinking outside the box to help brothers and sisters struggling on the verge of homelessness. Project Brotherhood Resolve is an organization of veteran artists with a long-term goal to house homeless veterans. A recent art show at a local marina exhibited the work of many of these artists who use their artwork to heal themselves and make a difference in the lives of their brother and sister veterans. They pay bills as a way of keeping others off the streets. They recently approved a $1,400 mortgage payment to prevent a veteran from becoming homeless and helping them stay on track.

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Rising Temperatures Correlate with Increase in Heat-Related Deaths
The Maricopa County Department of Public Health confirmed that a man in his 60s died from complications related to heat exposure, making his the first heat-related death of 2021 in the county. Although most fatalities occur between July and August, some have been reported in April or as late as October. In addition, the department recently released the 2020 heat report, showing a record high of 323 heat-related deaths last year, with half of those being people dealing with homelessness. This statistic has more than doubled since 2019. Of the heat-related deaths reported, black and Native Americans were disproportionately affected; more than 80 percent were men; and approximately 15 percent of fatalities happened indoors while 85 percent occurred outdoors. More than 82 percent of the outdoor casualties had an air conditioner nearby, with about two-thirds of those air conditioners not working.

 

Rough Sleeping and the Pandemic in England
While many of us are aware of unhoused and unsheltered neighbors in our backyards, similar situations face those “across the pond” in England. Official rough sleeping numbers revealed the number living on the streets fell during the COVID-19 pandemic, with an estimated 2,688 people sleeping rough on a single night in the fall of 2020. This was a 37 percent decrease from the record 4,266 people in 2019, which followed a three-year declining trend. However, this number was still 52 percent higher than the 1,247 people counted as sleeping rough in 2010. Responding to the shutdown during the pandemic, England’s Everyone In program protected more than 37,000 people throughout the pandemic. This year, they have housed 11,263 people in emergency accommodations, with 26,167 people moving to permanent accommodations.

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New Film Takes an Intimate Look at People Impacted by Canada’s Housing Crisis
As Jason Cipparrone, a Toronto filmmaker, exited his apartment one day, he saw a line nearly 400 strong, filled with people waiting for food boxes. As he considered this group stretching around several city blocks, the harsh realities of the pandemic for those struggling with homelessness sank in, and an idea dawned. He decided to document the experiences of these people by partnering with the CBC Creator Network and create an in-depth exposé on everyday people struggling with Canada’s housing crisis.

His first feature explores the struggle of a 22-year-old woman named Finn as she waits for housing. Meanwhile, her three-year-old son lives with his grandmother. This young woman exemplified the humanity of so many homeless individuals, but Jason only realized it as he spent months getting to know her. Cipparrone realized that people are often not considered more than a number, and building trust is the primary goal. Cipparrone hopes his series provides viewers the perspective he gained after many months—that these are primarily people first and that many issues are not addressed because people don’t spending time working to understanding the problems.

 

Controlled Encampments a Solution for Small-Town Homelessness Concerns
The Fredericton Police Force is “enforcing” a new method to deal with homelessness in New Brunswick’s capital city. The objective is a services-based concern for those encountering homelessness and finds its resolution in small, controlled encampments. Calling it more of an evolution than a “new approach,” this way of managing the issues inherent in homeless encampments found its origin with dismantling a tent site behind Government House. Services provided include porta-potties and garbage pickup.

City leaders do not consider this a solution to homelessness. Still, it’s hoped that this model will lead to permanent housing and access to addiction recovery programs and mental health care. There are currently three sites where this plan is in place. It’s not dependent on the removal and replacement of residents to new sites, but instead focuses on locations where people have naturally “settled.” These smaller, monitored sites hold the promise of privacy and stability for those living there and an increased level of control for the city. People will likely set up their tents in these existing locations while residents of the city move around just as freely without the concern of people camping in the many public places in Fredericton.

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Combating Food Insecurity in Chicago
The food collective ChiMeals is addressing hunger on the South and West sides of Chicago through the collaboration of several black- and brown-owned businesses. Recognizing that food insecurity disproportionately affects communities of color, three food providers have joined together to provide a solution to some of those dealing with these issues. They deliver 500 meals a day to nonprofits like The YMCA of Metro Chicago, the Black Youth Project 100, and the Grace House as they work directly with underserved populations within Chicago. This co-op model provides a living wage for those employees of the businesses and serves the city well.

 

Anthony Anderson Makes Vaccination a ‘Family Affair’
Anthony Anderson, one of America’s favorite TV dad’s in “black-ish,” recently expanded his television “parenting” by taking his mother and 20 other family members to receive a COVID-19 vaccine shot. Anderson, host of the game show “To Tell the Truth,” has been “truthful” with the message that getting inoculated is safe and beneficial in the battle against Coronavirus. He pulled no punches, imploring audiences to “Get your shots.” This after his aunt, uncle, son, and son’s girlfriend contracted the virus. Anthony wanted to lend his voice and platform to combat hesitancy in the black community to get vaccinated. According to a recent survey, black and Latino adults are more likely than white adults to indicate a concern about missing work to get a vaccination or recover from potential side effects. State and Federal data indicate progress in vaccination parity, with the total share of the vaccinated population approaching the black share of the general population of 13 percent. Despite this equalizing of numbers, the black population still has a disproportionate percentage of those infected with the disease.

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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

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

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

Controller/Finance Manager, Billings Leadership Foundation, Billings, MT

Custodian, Open Door Mission, Glens Falls, NY

Data and Finance Coordinator, Billings Leadership Foundation, Billings, MT

Development Director, Billings Leadership Foundation, Billings, MT

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

Director of Operations, Brunswick Christian Recovery Center, Ash, NC

Director of Operations, Fairhaven Rescue Mission, Covington, KY

Director of Planned Giving, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Pheonix, AZ

Director of Programs & Ministries, Cookeville Rescue Mission, Cookeville, TN

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 Distribution Supervisor, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

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

Front Line Coach, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

House Manager, Cookeville Rescue Mission, Cookeville, TN

Housing Case Manager, Cookeville Rescue Mission, Cookeville, TN

Human Resources Generalist, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

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

Kitchen Manager, Bread of Life Mission, Holbrook, AZ

Lead Preschool Teacher, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Leadership Giving Officer, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Licensed Child and Family Therapist, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

Life Coach, Shelter KC, Kansas City, MO

Maintenance Technician, Central Union Mission, Washington, DC

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, The Path Rescue Mission, Beverly Hills, FL

Program Director, New Life Mission, Melbourne, FL

Residential Care Mentor, Shelter KC, Kansas City, M

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

Residential Program Life Coach, Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

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

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

Technology Coordinator, Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

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

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 Residential Program Manager, Jubilee Ministries, Inc., Lebanon, PA

Work Therapy Coordinator, Phoenix Rescue Mission, Phoenix, AZ

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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 (Mk 1:11).” A miraculous affirmation of tenderness and love, one in which, I believe, is sung over each and every one of us.

We’re all beloved children of God (1 Jn 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 (Mk 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.