Volume 15, Number 20 | October 15, 2021 | www.citygatenetwork.org  


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This issue of Street Smart is sponsored by:

 

 

You Can Still Listen to the CDC Call
Yesterday, we hosted a COVID-19 call for our members to hear the most current recommendations and insights from CDC epidemiologist Dr. Emily Mosites as we head into the fall and winter months. If you didn’t get to join that call live, you can still log in to our website and hear the latest about navigating the flu season, vaccinations, boosters, and variants with a specific focus on homeless shelters and congregant settings.

 

Your Input Needed for the Compensation Survey
The 2022 Citygate Network Compensation Report is in process. This every-two-years resource from Citygate Network will feature more than 30 pages of salary and benefits data, tabulated by position, district, and ministry size. The survey link was sent to executive leaders two weeks ago. Member ministries that contribute a significant amount of data toward the report by November 5 will receive the report for free in early 2022.

 

Citygate Network and Arrow Leadership Offer Free Webinar Next Week
Ninety-five percent of member ministries allocate less than 5 percent of their budget for staff development. Imagine if you could multiply your team’s impact and help them come alive without significantly increasing your budget! Citygate Network is hosting a free webinar to help you do just that. Don't miss Multiplying Your Impact by Developing Others with Dr. Steve Brown, President of Arrow Leadership. Take a minute to register for this valuable webinar scheduled for 10:30 a.m. MT, on Wednesday, October 20.

 

Monthly Public Reading of Scripture Is Open to All Citygate Network Members
On the fourth Tuesday of every month, Citygate Network partners with the Grace & Mercy Foundation to offer Public Reading of Scripture (PRS). Tune in to hear purposefully chosen portions of Scripture read aloud, accompanied by appropriate sound effects and music. We have 20 minutes of listening to Scripture and an equal amount of time for informal discussion. If you have not experienced this powerful, focused way to start your day, you need to check it out. Citygate Network is committed to it. Our next PRS will take place on Tuesday, October 25th. You need to register ahead of time to get the link and a reminder.

Register for 8:00 a.m. ET/7:00 a.m. CT on October 25th.

Register for 8:00 a.m. MT/7:00 a.m. PT on October 25th.

 

Citygate Network Featured in NAE Publication
Citygate Network President John Ashmen contributed to the fall issue of Evangelicals Magazine, the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) quarterly magazine. Featuring several articles under the subject of Recalibrating Churches and Leadership: Next Steps for Lasting Renewal, John’s article reviews the various ways our members in the rescue mission and ministry fields have adapted to the changes necessitated by the pandemic. For your own free copy of the publication, email Alice Gifford with your mailing address.

 

Federal Resource Links for Members
Citygate Network has forged a strong relationship with Josh Dickson, deputy director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Following his address to attendees at the annual conference in Baltimore, Josh provided these links and resources for our members to take advantage of:

 

Looking Down the Street

  • We are pleased to announce that Gospel Center Rescue Mission (Stockton, California) has come back into membership with Citygate Network. Reach out to Executive Director Wayne Richardson with a welcoming email.
  • The Bluegrass District held a huddle event for downline staff at missions and ministries within easy driving distance of Memphis Union Mission (Memphis, Tennessee) last week, providing a full day of education, exhortation, and networking. The event included a tour of the mission’s top-of-the-line facilities and services.
  • Gifts Men’s Shelter (Janesville, Wisconsin) will celebrate the grand opening of their thrift store on Saturday, October 16, offering family fun and half-off sales all day!
  • The Mission at Kern County (Bakersfield, California) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the new Lee and Krystyna Jamieson Transitional Home for Women and Children on October 11.
  • Celebrating their newly revamped men’s shelter, Hope Mission (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) officially opened the Herb Jamieson Centre just in time for the upcoming cold weather months. The new facility provides an additional 250 beds for a total of 400, and convenient access to services such as medical care and addictions recovery.
  • Our hearts go out to CEO Chuck Fidroeff at Good Samaritan Mission (Jackson, Wyoming) following the loss of his wife, Carol, as a result of COVID-19. Email your condolences and prayers to support Chuck through these difficult days.

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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Suicide Prevention Nonprofit Aims Younger
In response to research revealing that teenagers admit to self-harm thoughts as early as 9 years old, doctoral candidate Mary Stover changed her focus from middle and high school students to children in elementary school. Using her new nonprofit, A Life YOUnited, as a vehicle, Stover attends events to hand out resource cards and bracelets with information about where to find help. She also plans to teach the suicide-prevention curriculum she created for kindergarten through fifth-grade students and equip mental health professionals to offer those courses for free in schools within their areas. The curriculum focuses on teaching students one concept at each grade level, moving from kindness to belonging, then on to resilience, followed by compassion, then awareness, and finally responsibility, as students learn how to care for themselves and others.
Consider: When was the last time you looked at the curriculum you are offering children of guests to make sure it is relevant and addressing today’s needs?

 

Making Dreams Come True
Tony Rojas, a former chef, lost his job during the 2020 shutdowns. He and his wife ended up living out of their van for the last 18 months, hoping for an opportunity to start up a food truck business. One day, they stumbled upon Charlie Rocket in a Walmart parking lot in Colorado Springs. Rocket, founder of the Dream Machine Foundation, shared Rojas’ story on his TikTok platform and garnered more than 35 million views in 24 hours, resulting in $50,000 to get the Rojas a one-year lease on a food truck. Rojas named his venture Enrique’s Food Truck, in honor of his father, and will begin serving up the famous nacho tacos he’s known for as he works to get back on his feet.

 

Get Mentally Fit
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, adults reporting symptoms of depression or anxiety have increased from one in 10 to four in 10 since 2019. As a result, mental health professionals have struggled to keep up with the demand for their services. Helping to bridge those gaps, mental health gyms have come on the scene to offer support sessions, exercises, or treatments specifically designed to equip participants with tools and skills that promote mental wellness. Some of these “gyms” offer in-person sessions, while others provide live, online meetings or pre-recorded material, but they all strive to teach core skills and foundations that foster emotional health and fitness. Some of the benefits of the mental health gym approach include convenient options, relatively affordable price points ($30 a class versus $100–$200 therapy sessions), and a great starting place to work on cultivating healthy foundations and developing coping skills before a crisis strikes. Mental health gyms could be considered a form of preventative care.

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Help Wanted
According to The Washington Post, new data from the Labor Department reveals that more than four million people walked away from their jobs in August, accounting for almost three percent of the workforce. That sets a new record and indicates how mindsets have changed over the course of the last 18 months. Bargaining power has squarely shifted from employers to employees as the nationwide worker shortage challenges many businesses to attract and retain qualified people. While some companies have increased compensation and benefits in an attempt to compete, potential employees have a lot of options for jobs where flexibility, convenience, pay, and upward mobility might fit their lifestyles better. The Labor Department reported that in August 2021 about 892,000 workers from the hospitality industry, 721,000 from the retail world, 706,000 from the business field, and 534,000 from the health care and social assistance arena left their jobs, believing they could choose from a broad range of open positions that might suit them better.
Consider: Have you thought about connecting with a Citygate Network member organization near you to compare notes on what they are doing to encourage staff retention?

 

More Services for People Who Are Hungry
The Internal Revenue Service reported that during the first 10 months of 2020, the average number of nonprofits created per month rose from 4,678 to 5,141, even though data for the last two months of that year have not yet been made available. More than 1,200 of those received classification as food, agriculture, or nutrition groups, reflecting a 27 percent increase from 2019. Those gains included a 41 percent increase in food programs, which refers to all nonprofits that work to address hunger, and a 38 percent increase in charities that consider themselves a food bank or pantry. The other category of new nonprofits that showed a significant (24 percent) increase encompassed at least 740 new civil-rights, social-action, and advocacy charities approved in 2020.

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U.S. - Canadian Border Set to Reopen
After nearly 20 months, the United States has announced that in November it will reopen the border with our neighbors to the north, if travelers can prove full vaccination against COVID-19. According to White House officials, non-essential travelers will be asked about their vaccination status at border crossings, allowing entry only to the fully vaccinated. (Officially, the same procedure will apply at our border with Mexico, although crossing there remains a subject of strong debate.) Random screenings will require specific travelers to show proof of vaccination. Although a negative COVID-19 test is still mandatory to board a flight to the U.S., if visitors can show they have met vaccination requirements, testing will not be required for entry by land or sea.

 

Canada Expands Vaccine Mandates
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau formally announced that all federal employees must get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of October or face unpaid administrative leave. Air and rail employers will work with the government to develop their own mandatory vaccine policies this month as well, including mandatory vaccinations for anyone 12 and older traveling by plane or train in Canada beginning in November. Although travelers in the process of getting vaccinated can show a negative COVID-19 test in the interim, by December, that option will no longer be offered. Some Canadian churches have also begun requiring full vaccination for all staff and volunteers at their places of worship, even though the vaccine certificate system, which mandates proof of the shot to access certain venues, does not currently include churches. Because churches, synagogues, and mosques do not want to deter anyone from public worship, none seem to want to make that a requirement for their attendees.

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Making a Difference in the Hood
Pastor Corey Brooks founded and leads Project H.O.O.D. to focus on poverty and violence on the south side of Chicago. While his staff and leadership are racially diverse—including residents from the neighborhoods it serves, and a dozen former gang members who work in the group’s violence-prevention program—Brooks doesn’t believe equity programs should be the emphasis. He would rather focus on accountability and self-responsibility. “The moment we start allowing race to be in the forefront of everything, it’s going to always divide us,” he says. About 10 years ago, Brooks spent 94 days in the middle of winter camping out on the roof of a local motel popular with drug dealers, gangs, and prostitutes to raise money to purchase the property. He is now fundraising to build a community center where Project H.O.O.D can offer their programs, including training in entrepreneurship, construction, automotive, and hospitality skills, as well as performing and culinary arts.

Vaccination Education
Latino and black populations across the country have proportionally low vaccination rates. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while Latinos account for just over 17 percent of the U.S. population, they account for less than 17 percent of the vaccinated. Likewise, the black population makes up 12.4 percent of the population, but only 10.1 percent of the vaccinated. Barriers include lack of transportation and trustworthy, reliable information sources (including in languages other than English), leading to skepticism and concern about side effects. A new initiative, Project Finish Line, has stepped in to help overcome those issues by financially assisting 100 charitable clinics in 16 states to provide vaccine access to the “hard-to-reach unvaccinated.” Since June, when the effort began, Project Finish Line has vaccinated more than 115,000 people.

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Market Street

Check out the most recent list of openings on our Careers page.

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Finding Fulfillment

It usually goes unnoticed, but very early in the Bible, before any talk of a snake or sin, we discover that Adam couldn’t find fulfillment; something was missing. God creates an entire universe—a garden full of fruit-bearing trees, freshwater rivers, animals of all shapes and sizes—and gives it all to Adam; but somehow it isn’t enough.

Did God make a mistake? Did something slip his mind? No. God intentionally creates Adam incomplete, unfulfilled. Why? Why not create both Adam and Eve from dust? Why not save Adam the pain of an incision? Why begin the human race with a scar?

Because He wants Adam to participate in his own fulfillment, in his own creation, in his own becoming. Adam must submit to a kind of sacrifice, a surrender, a severing of his rib for Eve. To find fulfillment, he must give of himself. Adam had to become less of a man, in order to become more fully himself.

God doesn’t create human beings fulfilled; He invites them to participate in their own fulfillment. God will do all the heavy lifting, just like He did for Adam: making the incision, severing the rib, and forming new life around it. But Adam is involved—we have to cooperate.

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