COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER - February 12
10 THINGS WORTH HIGHLIGHTING THIS WEEK . . .
HUMANITY OF HOMELESSNESS
This is Tony.
From Jennifer, Case Manager at Village of Hope:
Let me introduce you to Tony. Tony used to be an employee at C@P. On a couple of different occasions, he shared his stories with me about his time working with C@P at the Pavilion. He has always spoken highly about his time being employed with us and how he loved giving back to the community.
Shortly after the Pavilion came to an end, Tony fell on hard times and began to stay in a tent at Cascades Gateway Park. Tony entered our program at Village of Hope and immediately started working closely with case management to achieve his goals.
While partnering with Salem Housing, we were able to take this picture to show the final result. Today was his day! While the keys clanked together, I could see his smile that told me he was so glad to be home.
WHAT'S GOOD AT VILLAGE OF HOPE - MCDONALD'S TALKS
From Sterling, C@P Storyteller and Spiritual Caregiver: Last week a group of friends and I sat in a McDonalds chatting around a chicken nugget, big mac and milkshake-filled table. In between mouthfuls we talked weather, sports, relationships, dogs, motorhomes and more. In a mix of jest and jokes we also discussed issues of homelessness.
Oregon Governor Tina Kotek recently declared a state of emergency over our state’s homelessness identifying it as a humanitarian crisis. Rightfully it sparked conversations among city leaders, housing experts and citizens alike, and as our state response begins I wish we could hear the voices around the table where I sat slipping salty fries to Max, an adorable pit-bull.
If people hear Kim’s pride-filled announcement of another grandchild, James’ talk of bikes and fishing or even hear the melody of Kandi’s cheek blushing laughter, I believe it would exponentially advance our efforts towards resolving the humanitarian crisis by personalizing the humanity of the stories. This group of friends, smiling, munching, and bonding would all be sleeping in concrete streets, cars, parks or bushes were they not guests at Village of Hope.
When recently asked to write something brief about the good at Village of Hope I feared it an impossible task. How could one capture the profundity of changing lives in parking lots, of providing roofs and locked doors to those without shelter, hot meals on cold days and cold water during heat waves? Merely attempting to list the spiritual and moral goods of meeting crisis with compassion would require at least a case of paper. If one were to capture the full good of staff teams working around the clock to improve lives they would have a masterpiece. And don’t forget shoeing the barefoot and feeding hungry puppies. Seeming beyond my ability to articulate concisely the content of such vast good, I began to fret the task too big. When self-doubt rattled my confidence, I practiced self-empathy and granted my request to breathe and reflect—so I did. Reflection returned me to the group my friends and I were in before lunch at the Village of Hope, where we sat in a circle sharing whatever was on our hearts and minds. A circle of housed and unhoused Salem residents connecting through humanity, empathy and stories. All of which are essential to solving a humanitarian crisis. Reflection brought clarity and in my earlier sense that personalizing plights of houselessness would accelerate state response, I found my answer to the task I feared too large. It’s clear to me that the greatest good at Village of Hope is our love for the Humanity of Homelessness.
NEW MICRO-SHELTERS AT CCS
It has been a chaotic few weeks at our CCS site as our team has been busy moving, replacing, and relocating micro-shelters. There are almost 20 brand new shelters on site, made in Salem by Cozy Homes, inc. With the addition of the new shelters, we are able to do some repairs on older shelters, and to create some new spaces for case managers and medical providers on site.
Thanks to Hazel Patton and her team for spearheading the fundraising efforts for these shelters! Many of you participated in that fundraiser to help us pay for shelters. We are grateful.
And thanks to Hazel for coordinating efforts to paint the beautiful doors!
We are excited to announce that our next storytelling event will be held on March 23rd at 7:00PM. The event will be at the Community Health Education Center at Salem Hospital.
If you have never been to one of these events, they are a chance for our community to hear real stories from people with lived experiences of homelessness.
KYKN FOOD & SUPPLY DRIVE FOR C@P & BE BOLD STREET MINISTRY
1430 KYKN organized a food and clothing drive for C@P last year and this year they are doing it again! Half of the donations from this year’s drive will be going to Be Bold Street Ministries, an organization in Salem that serves those experiencing homelessness through outreach, prayer, and other important services.
Thank you to KYKN for your willingness to partner with and support C@P and Be Bold in our efforts to serve Salem’s unsheltered population!
Click below to hear the interview with our Pastor of Community Development, John Marshall, on KYKN.
For this year’s drive we are emphasizing the need for non-perishable, ready to eat foods and sleeping bags. Donations can be dropped off at the following locations:
Advantage Heating & Air – 1360 Tandem Ave NE
Churchill Mortgage/Agape Financial Ministries – 1665 Liberty St. SE Suite 200
Copy Cats – 1567 Edgewater NW
Copy Cats – 1665 Liberty St. SE Suite 200
Colortile & Carpet – 1110 Lancaster Dr. NE Suite – Academy Square
State Farm Agent – Raven Schreiner – 4352 Commercial Street SE
Elite Buyers NW – 1125 Edgewater NW
Elite Buyers NW – 466 Lancaster Drive NE
Coat of Arms – 4190 River Road N
Done Rite Plumbing – 7095 3rd St SE, Turner
Highway Trailer Sales – 3250 Ward Dr. NE
Pac Res Mortgage – 3550 Liberty Street S
Ward’s Sporting Goods – 827 Main St, Dallas
Like plenty of our other team members, Maria has worn many hats in her time at C@P. Currently, she is Village of Hope’s Site Manager. Here is what Josh, our Chief Operations Officer, had to say about her:
Maria is an incredible human with a tremendous amount of capacity and a knack for figuring things out. Maria is always willing to step up to new challenges and projects. Her ability to create structures of support for guests and staff has made a big difference for our organization, with our finance team, our operations team, and our sheltering team. Maria cares deeply for people and shows us everyday how we can continue to center an individual's experience and be flexible and supportive. Her positive attitude and joyful spirit always have a great impact on our team and our guests.
Thank you Maria for all you do!
PET CARE MATCHING GRANT
Pallet Shelters recently featured a story about pets and homelessness.
Here is an excerpt from their post:
Pet ownership is a quintessential part of American life. Statistics show 70 percent of households across the country own at least one pet. From parks to specialty items, there's an entire industry catering to the needs of furry family members. But when a pet owner is unhoused, their ability to care for an animal is questioned.
In truth, the emotional and physical health benefits of having a pet are often a lifeline for homeless people.
At C@P, we allow people to remain with their pets while they are staying with us. We make every effort to make sure that people’s pets are well cared for.
The Golden Ruleism Team has generously offered to match up to $25,000 in donations specifically for pet care. They are also connecting C@P guests and pets with local veterinarians who will provide critical care and S&N procedures.
Please consider making a donation. Every dollar donated up to $25,000 will be matched by the Golden Ruleism Team.
Project Partners: MWV Community Action Agency, MWV United Way—Safe Sleep United, Center for Hope and Safety, and local Veterinarians.
TAKE A TOUR: A tour of our CCS family site is a great way to see what C@P is all about. It is a chance to connect with some of our leaders and to meet some other staff, and maybe even some guests. Tours happen every Thursday at 1:30PM. Email Krystal if you or your group is interested in taking a tour.
VOLUNTEER: We are so thankful for a community of people who continue to donate food, clothing, tents, and supplies to our guests at C@P! We are currently looking for volunteers to help us sort through the generous amounts of donations we are receiving! If you’ve got some organizational skills, or just a desire to help, please click the button below.
JOIN OUR TEAM: We are currently hiring for a number of positions and shifts, including Case Managers, graveyard shift receptionists, and Safety Team members. Additionally, as we move towards the opening of a new Micro-Shelter site specifically for young adults, we will be hiring even more people in the upcoming season. If you are interested in working with Church At The Park, click the button below to see the open positions.
HOST A PRESENTATION: How can we help you continue and deepen your connection with our unsheltered neighbors in partnership with Church at the Park? A presentation or discussion with DJ, John, Sterling or another member of the pastoral team? More information on volunteer options for individuals or groups to provide: meals, clothing donations or showers? More information on hosting Safe Parking? More information on Micro Shelters?
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 Thursday, February 23rd 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.
THE OPEN TABLE - One of our community practices is to gather every Sunday morning for prayer, friendship, and conversation about the week’s Scripture text. We welcome anyone and everyone to join us. Doors open at 10:30am for coffee and donuts. Our circle begins at 11:00AM. We’d love to see you there! The Open Table (@ The old DMV) 2640 N Portland Road
FINDING A HOME IS A COMPLEX PROCESS - Statesman Journal Article
A recent article in the Statesman Journal by Capi Lynn and Whitney Woodworth tells the story of one person’s long journey to get housing.
From the article: Imagine winning the lottery and not being able to claim the money. You have the winning ticket but can't find anywhere to turn it in. Tyrone Spates faced a similar predicament. He won the public housing "sweepstakes." But he has spent months trying to find someone willing to hand him the keys to his first home in years, balancing feelings of excitement and hope with frustration and worry. Spates, 53, is among the lucky few languishing on long and growing waitlists for federal housing assistance to actually get an Emergency Housing Voucher. But that ended up being just the first hurdle. Across the country, rents and home prices have skyrocketed while the housing supply has plummeted. Those with vouchers face more competition and are limited in what they can spend.
The problem is not isolated to the Willamette Valley. A national study by the research organization Urban Institute found that even when people find potential housing, landlords are reluctant to rent to a housing voucher recipient. Criminal history, prior evictions or a lack of rental history also can be a deterrent for a potential landlord. Many who get vouchers still never end up in a home.
The reading for the upcoming week is the story of jesus’ transfiguration found in Matthew 17.
Jesus leads some of the disciples up to a mountaintop, where Jesus’ full glory is revealed to them. On this mountain, Jesus’ “face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light.” For the first time, some of Jesus’ disciples are truly seeing what Jesus meant when he said “I am the light of the world,” Jesus’ full glory is revealed to them.
One author had this to say about this story:
“His face shone like the sun," Matthew says, "and his garments became white as light." Moses and Elijah were talking to him. There was a bright cloud overshadowing him and out of it a voice saying, "This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." The three disciples who witnessed the scene "fell on their faces, and were filled with awe" (Matthew 17:1-6).
It is as strange a scene as there is in the Gospels. Even without the voice from the cloud to explain it, they had no doubt what they were witnessing. It was Jesus of Nazareth all right, the man they'd tramped many a dusty mile with, whose mother and brothers they knew, the one they'd seen as hungry, tired, footsore as the rest of them. But it was also the Messiah, the Christ, in his glory. It was the holiness of the man shining through his humanness, his face so afire with it they were almost blinded.
Even with us something like that happens once in a while. The face of a man walking his child in the park, of a woman picking peas in the garden, of sometimes even the unlikeliest person listening to a concert, say, or standing barefoot in the sand watching the waves roll in, or just having a beer at a Saturday baseball game in July. Every once and so often, something so touching, so incandescent, so alive transfigures the human face that it's almost beyond bearing.
A poem for the Feast of the Transfiguration
As We See by Scott Cairns
“The transfiguration of our Lord, that is the radiance in which he was bathed at the pinnacle of Mount Tabor did not manifest a change in him, but a change in those who saw him.” -Isaac the Least Suppose the Holy One Whose Face We Seek is not so much invisible as we are ill-equipped to apprehend His grave proximity. Suppose our fixed attention serves mostly to make evident the gap dividing what is seen and what is here. The Book there on the stand proves arduous to open, entombed as it is in layers of accretion, layers of gloss applied to varied purposes, hardly any of them laudable, so many, guarded ploys to keep the terms quite still, predictable. Which is why I’m drawn to — why I love — the way the rabbis teach. I love the way they read — opening The Book with reverence for what they’ve found before, joy for what lies waiting. I love the Word’s ability to rise again from chronic homiletic burial. Say the One is not so hidden as we are kept by our own conjuncture blinking, puzzled, leaning in without result. Let’s say the meek, the poor, the merciful all suspect his hand despite the evidence. as for those rarest folk, the pure in heart? Intent on what they touch, they see Him now.
Thanks for reading.
”Wisdom resides in those who have wintered…”