• Church@thePark

COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER - August 28

8 THINGS WORTH HIGHLIGHTING THIS WEEK . . .


1.

NEW MICRO-SHELTER COMMUNITY OPENING

Salem City Council approved re-allocating funds from the Front Street Safe Parking project to the micro-shelter site at Turner Road. The micro-shelter community will hold 20 shelters, specifically for young people, ages 18-24.


City Council had previously approved allocating money for the Front Street Safe Parking program, but costs to develop the property were going to be too high, especially for a short-term lease.


We are excited to be able to expand our services and capacity to an additional 40 people. We plan to have the site up and running around the beginning of the new year, hopefully even sooner.

 

2.

HUMANITY OF HOMELESSNESS

This is Janet.


At age 72 Janet found herself homeless for the first time in her life after being hospitalized and losing both her job and housing. After calling every agency she could get a hold of, she ran out of options and on her first day of homelessness called Church@thePark and was welcomed at our Village of Hope site that same day.


“Surprisingly, it was like instant family,” says Janet, a positively upbeat woman affectionally viewed as VOH’s community grandma who loves to read and knit.


“Being here not only kept me from sleeping in the streets, it gave me a chance to stabilize.” Today, she is going to view a potential rental apartment.


Janet, who grew up in southern California and moved to Oregon to be closer to family in 2000, says that her time at Village of Hope really changed her views about the houseless—who she use to yell at to get away from her house.


“While here I met people I would have rejected before and it’s changed my views once I seen they are no different than any body else,” she says “I didn’t know better.”


While Janet may appreciate the community she has found at VOH, it is VOH that benefits from the positivity of Janet.

 

3.

MYTHS


In essence this myth posits that providing food, shelter, and water along with any other stabilizing support services will draw people from all around the country to flood our streets looking for free handouts. Despite its popularity in many U.S. cities, we know the vast majority of people living on the streets, in parks and vehicles are actually long term residents of the region.


Take Stacy Hunt for example, a long-term Salem resident who worked at NORPAC for more than twenty-years before becoming homeless due to foreclosure and then sleeping in Cascades Gateway Park for two years before being offered safe, secure and sanitary shelter in Church at the Park’s Village of Hope micro-shelter community. In cities across our country there are abundant surveys, reports and studies showing that those we help in the streets are not “outsiders” but rather residents experiencing crisis—most commonly related to inadequate affordable housing options.


Even in Portland, which wrestles more frequently with the magnet myth than Salem, surveys conducted by government and non-profits established that at most, a quarter of the homeless populations were recent arrivals.


While there is some evidence that those experiencing homeless within their region will seek out the resources of that region, this does not mean that those services were the motivation for being here. As for those people experiencing houselessness after relocating to a different city, they mostly moved for work or family and then experienced tragic turns of fortune.

 

4.

STAFF HIGHLIGHT

Meet Ana. Ana is employed at CCS, our family site. Ana’s manager, Elene had nothing but great things to say about her,


“Ana has been a brightness to our team at CCS. Ana continues to show a willingness to learn and grow with the team. She is always ready to jump in on any task that needs to be completed. Ana embodies our ethic of empathy and grace and demonstrates a high capacity to meet people exactly where they’re at. She blesses our team with a high level of enthusiasm and commitment to her work.”


We are grateful to have Ana on our team at Church at the Park!

 

5.

HUMANITY OF HOMELESSNESS : STORYTELLING EVENT

We are excited to invite the community to our next Storytelling event. The event will feature stories from people with lived experience of homelessness, time for Q&A, and an opportunity for people to engage with C@P staff and other community members. Our first Storytelling event, held in June at Willamette University, was an enriching experience for the community.

Thursday, September 29 7:00-9:00PM IKE Box - 299 Cottage St NE RSVP required

The event is free. Light appetizers and drinks will be provided.

 

6.

OPEN HOUSE AT THE NEW VILLAGE OF HOPE!


Work is underway to prepare the site on Center Street for Village of Hope’s big move.


The date for the grand opening:

Sunday, September 11th

1:00PM to 3:00PM and 5:00PM to 7:00PM


This is a time for neighbors, supporters, and other interested parties to come and see the new site and to hear from staff about how the site will operate.

 

7.

INVITATIONS

  • HAND OUT FOOD BOXES AND CLOTHES. We are looking for people to pass out food boxes, hand out clothes, and do some cleaning up at our Turner Road site. If you or your group are interested, please contact us by using the button below.

  • UNDERWEAR NEEDED. We have a need for all types of men’s and women’s underwear. If you need some ideas for what types of underwear, there is a link to our Amazon shopping list below. You can either buy the underwear there, or take a look and buy them elsewhere. Clothing donations can be dropped off at our CCS site.

  • TOUR ONE OF OUR MICRO-SHELTER SITES. One of the best ways to see and learn about the work being done at C@P is by joining us on a tour of our CCS Micro-Shelter Site. If you know someone who has questions or concerns about what we are doing, invite them to join you on a tour. You’ll get to converse with one of our leaders, talk with some of our on site staff, and see firsthand what life at one of our sites is like. Tours are offered every Thursday at 1:30PM. Use the link below to email Krystal to inquire or sign-up.

  • SHUTTLE TOUR FOR ALL SITES - Interested in taking a tour of all of our sites while having a conversation with DJ, C@P founder? The next available tour is on Wednesday, September 28th from Noon to 2:00PM. We have a bus with comfy seats for 12. Bring your own lunch. If you or your group are interested, send Krystal an email.

 

8.

INVITATIONS


  • SATURDAY MEAL PARTNERS NEEDED. We are looking for people to cook/serve meals on the 3rd, 4th, or 5th Saturday of the month. If you are interested, please contact us by using the button below.

  • READY-TO-EAT FOODS/SNACKS NEEDED. We have a need for non-perishable foods and snacks that are ready to eat. We provide our guests with one cooked meal per day. Our sites also provide snacks and ready-to-eat foods, along with microwaves available for guests to use throughout the day. We are currently running low on food items such as: microwavable mac and cheese, soups, noodle cups, etc. Donations can be dropped off behind Catholic Community Services at 3737 Portland Rd NE.

  • TOUR ONE OF OUR MICRO-SHELTER SITES. One of the best ways to see and learn about the work being done at C@P is by joining us on a tour of our CCS Micro-Shelter Site. If you know someone who has questions or concerns about what we are doing, invite them to join you on a tour. You’ll get to converse with one of our leaders, talk with some of our on site staff, and see firsthand what life at one of our sites is like. Tours are offered every Thursday at 1:30PM. Use the link below to email Krystal to inquire or sign-up.

 

8.

LECTIONARY REFLECTION


This week’s reading is Luke 14: 7-14, which includes the passage that helped to birth and inspire Church At The Park:


“When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”


Transformation happens when groups of people who would otherwise not interact—rich and poor, conservatives and liberals, Christians and non-Christians, young and old—intentionally choose to have meals together, not so that the group with the power, or agenda, or influence can bless or serve the other group, but so that both groups can become blessed. We can only become truly human when we are willing to befriend and embrace those we consider to be “others”.

 
Here’s some news worth celebrating: $6.7 BILLION in medical debt forgiven. An organization called RIP Medical Debt buys up blocks of medical debt at a steeply reduced price and then simply obliterates the debt. Read more here.
 

15 views

Related Posts

See All