COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER - June 4
HUMANITY OF HOMELESSNESS
LuVanna is a guest at the Village of Hope site and she has been working hard towards her goals. Lu has kept a smile on her face despite all the battles she has been facing such as being homeless, overcoming addiction, and her partner being in an accident. He is currently in a care facility recovering from his accident. Lu has been and is super grateful for the opportunity to be a guest at our site. She appreciates the staff and residents around her which help keep her on track and guide her in the right direction. Lu has finally been able to start detox services. She has also started receiving SSI after years of attempting to get her benefits. She has never had a steady income before so this will dramatically improve and change her life. She will now be able to sign up for income-based housing as well as "getting some fresh kicks.” Lu continues to remain positive and work hard on getting herself and her partner on the right track as he recovers from his accident.
Say hello to Shane, Outreach Case Manager
Prior to joining us at C@P, Shane worked as a Graphic Artist for 25 years, working for many notable clients, including Nike. He says that he felt like a change was needed in his life. “I've had a great career in design and wanted to connect with people on a deeper level.” Shane is one of our new Outreach Case Managers who will be specifically focusing on unsheltered youth and young adults. “My role is to frequent tent camps or areas the unsheltered reside and offer encouragement, supplies, and to inform of ours and [other] community services available to help them transition into more stable and healthy living.” He is excited to get to be able to love people like Jesus, “without hesitation, condition, or judgment." And also to “be a part of a team that wants to be a part of the solution in helping others. Ideally, to see progress in the guests but more importantly to see hope alive in their hearts.” Shane loves his family—he has been married for seven years and he has a blended family with 6 kids, 3 boys and 3 girls ranging from 19-30—and enjoys being nature. He says, “I live and breathe music and art and love driving the backroads of Silverton in my Jeep, top down." If he could have dinner with anyone, besides family, Shane would want to cook a meal with Maynard James Keenan, the lead singer of the band Tool. Shane says, “I would grill for him in my backyard, probably a slow-cooked TriTip roast, some slivers of Linguica and Zuccini spears next to it and roasted potatoes in the oven basted in Olive oil and Kosher Salt. We'd have a triple IPA while I was cooking and have one of his Caduceus Cabernets to wash the meal down. After that we'd hang by my fountain and I'd ask him a million questions hopefully convincing him at the end that not all Christians are hypocritical a#@holes.” All of us at C@P are hoping that Shane will be in charge of our next BBQ!
CIVIL RIGHTS TOUR REFLECTION
C@P StoryTeller and Spiritual Caregiver, Sterling, alongside other leaders from C@P, recently went to Alabama to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement. We asked Sterling to write a reflection about his experience. Below is an excerpt from his reflection. You can click the button to read the full piece.
From “March Reflection in April”:
Over the course of the next four days we visited all the sites I had heard or read about: 16th Street Baptist Church, where four little girls were killed by white supremacists, Kelly Ingram Park, made known by pictures of dogs attacking black children, Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma and more.
More importantly, I was learning about countless individuals whose stories were not featured in PBS documentaries or on best-selling book lists. I learned how the efforts at Kelly Ingram Park—prompting outcry around the nation and action from the White House—was a direct result of high school youth organizing walk outs. I learned of countless people of all racial identity who played pivotal roles in coordinating, advocating, resourcing, fighting and dying alongside each other.
I learned how the March from Selma to Montgomery would not have happened without support of a gay black man whose leadership was deliberately closeted for fear of homophobia. I learned how it was the poor who carried most the load and stood the front lines in their Sunday best. And I learned how radical inclusion of people could change systems of inequality and disparity.
THANK YOU TO SOUTH SALEM STUDENTS!
We recently received a donation of boxes filled with helpful gifts from a group of students at South Salem High School. Here is what Kathy August, Activities Director at South and advisor for this group, had to say about that project: “We had 14 students and at our first meeting we talked about what we might focus on for a project. Overwhelmingly, my students wanted to do something for the homeless in our community.” “We collected boxes for about two weeks asking students, staff, and families to drop by donations. We ended up with over 45 boxes.” ”During our third meeting, we painted rocks with positive messages and talked about what items we wanted to place in the boxes (water, granola bars, socks, soap, towels, toiletries, wipes). Students volunteered to bring certain items and the rest we listed in our announcements asking for donations.” They passed out 10 boxes themselves and brought the other boxes to C@P. “The highlight that I took away from the project is that many of the students building the boxes are from low income, struggling families, yet they couldn’t have been more proud of their accomplishment. Serving others brought them so much joy.” A big thanks to the students and to Mrs. August for the generous support!
Salem Leadership Foundation is a key partner for C@P. In fact, C@P’s founder, DJ Vincent, was the Deputy Director at SLF until just recently.
SLF engages people of faith and people of goodwill to transform the community neighborhood by neighborhood. On June 16th, they will be hosting “Fancy Friday.” The event is a great time where some of the great work being done in each of Salem’s neighborhoods will be highlighted. People can attend a free lunch at noon, or dessert at 7:00PM.
HUMANITY OF HOMELESSNESS - STORYTELLING EVENT
We are eagerly anticipating our next Humanity of Homelessness storytelling event. The event is an opportunity for community members to hear stories from people with lived experience of homelessness. The Humanity of Homeless project is an invitation to come, sit at the table with those experiencing homelessness and those who have overcome it, and see with fresh eyes the humanity we so easily turn away from.
The next event is at the Salem Library Loucks Auditorium on June 28th.
TURNER ROAD / YOUNG ADULT SHELTER UPDATE
After 8 long months of being in the permitting process, we are excited to announce that work is underway to prepare our Turner Road property for a new shelter community! The site will be for unsheltered 18-24 year olds.
The shelters, which will be on trailers due to the site being in a floodplain, are ready to be dropped at the site. Each trailer has four bedrooms and one shower/bathroom on it. The trailers will be connected by raised decks.
We are hopeful to have the site operational within the next 4-6 weeks. If you would like to volunteer to help make that happen, please reach out to us! We need people who can build decks, paint, or do other labor projects.
CITY OF SALEM PAYROLL TAX UPDATE
Many of you have been closely following the discussions and news around the City of Salem’s budget issues. DJ penned a letter about the issues and proposed solutions for the C@P community. Here is an excerpt: What comes next and what can you do? The budget now goes to the City Council for consideration.
City Council will hold its public hearing on the budget on June 12. It must be adopted by June 30. The city operations fee would be formally adopted by the City Council on June 12. The budget does not feature the employee-paid payroll tax. It must be enacted in a separate action by the City Council. Salem City Council will consider options including the structure of the proposal and rates at its Monday work session. Please consider providing written or verbal testimony at the Monday, June 12th City Council meeting. Submit comments on agenda items no later than 5:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 looking for volunteers to start signing up to be weekend meal partners for our young adult site at Turner Road. We hope to be opening the site in the next month, or so.
DONATE SUPPLIES: We are currently in need of summer supplies for our guests, especially spray on sunscreen for adults and children. We also need shorts, tank tops, sun dresses, and swimsuits. Donations can be dropped off anytime at our CCS location (3749 Portland Rd NE)
HOST A PRESENTATION: How can we help you continue and deepen your connection with our unsheltered neighbors? A presentation or discussion with a member of our 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? Tours are on the last Thursday of the month. We have a bus with comfy seats for 12, which means we can accommodate individuals or groups. Bring your own lunch. If you or your group are interested, send Krystal an email.
The reading for this past week was The Great Commission from Matthew 28. As we read the text as a community this past week, we wrestled with what it means to know our place in the world and to have a sense of purpose and mission.
Below is a prayer from St. Teresa of Avila that we found helpful as we considered this passage.
Thanks for reading.
Looking a fun summer activity? Salem’s splash pads are now open!