COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER - May 5
YOU CAUGHT ME ON A TALL DAY!"
Did you know that C@P has an Outreach Team? They are the ones tasked with going out into the camps to connect and build relationships with unsheltered neighbors and work to connect them to various resources.
The team was recently able to connect with a gentleman named Larry (pictured here with our outreach team) who greeted them with a great line: “You caught me on a tall day!” He shared his amazing story with them and they were able to provide him with a sleeping bag, tent, and some other resources.
VILLAGE OF HOPE
Expanded to 40 Micro-shelters and 80 Beds
Village of Hope (VOH) should be filling up this week. Between VOH and the CCS Micro-Shelter Communities, we are currently sheltering over 180 people, including 40 children.
Thanks again to the 140+ people who donated money for the purchase of micro-shelters!
Watch the video about the new micro-shelters, or click the link to read the article in KGW.
HUMANITY OF HOMELESSNESS
This is Kay.
Kay might look familiar to you because she has been interviewed twice for Humanity of Homelessness. We have had the honor of being in relationship with Kay for a while now. Kay has a huge heart and loves stepping in to help others around her. Before Kay started staying at our pallet shelters, she would stay long hours at the church site to help clean the building before the next day. Here’s what Kay had to say about the reality of homelessness, “People think we are lazy because we are homeless. It is a job surviving day to day on the streets. We never have time to rest. Normal people live month to month, but we need new resources every day: food, transportation, a place to sleep. It is a tough and difficult life, then you get sick and don’t have access to a doctor. We feel like we cannot be seen by a doctor. We have to wait for hours at the emergency room. Then the bill we get makes you feel shame for not having any resources.” We are thankful for people that are willing to jump in and who are as kind as Kay.
TO HEAR MORE STORIES LIKE KAY'S, PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING US FOR THIS EVENT!
SAFE PARKING UPDATE
In our previous newsletter, we accidentally left out some quotes from Chris Calentine, who manages the Safe Parking at New Hope Foursquare Church. His words were too good not to share, so we are including them here.
Chris Calentine oversees the Safe Parking at New Hope Foursquare Church. He works to make sure his guests are “welcomed, encouraged and supported with a safe place that meets their basic needs to live each day.” At New Hope, guests are provided with power, water, trash, and food from the church’s food pantry in order to “meet the basic needs of life and bring stress/anxiety levels down by giving people an opportunity to just be.”
For Chris, this is a “way to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to impact someone’s life for eternity.” He hopes “to see every church open up their space to this program.”
C@P is grateful for people like Chris and churches like New Hope, who are willing to enter into a caring and mutually transformative relationship with their unsheltered neighbors.
INVITATIONS TO JOIN THE WORK:
We are in need of MEAL PARTNERS TO SPONSOR OR MAKE MEALS for our sites. Churches, businesses, groups, or individuals can work with our team to select a meal, dessert, or other food items for one of our sites. Let us know if you are interested or if you have questions.
CLOTHING STORAGE SUPPLIES NEEDED. We need clothing racks, storage bins, and shelving. Drop off at the CCS site (3749 Portland Rd NE, all the way in the back).
WEEKLY TOUR - Join us on Thursdays at 1:30PM for a tour of our Micro-Shelter Community at our CCS site. This is a great way to connect with our leaders, meet some of our wonderful staff, and see how our sites operate. Let us know if you have questions or want to schedule a tour. Individual or group tours are available.
NEW TO OUR WEBSITE - WRITINGS
Past newsletters, lectionary readings, and other writings can be found there. Additionally, new Humanity of Homelessness stories will be posted. Here’s a sample of the most recent story, written by one of our newest staff members, Sterling Cunio, C@P Storyteller and Spiritual Care Provider.
“A Magic Bag”
Imagine a sleeping bag holding the solutions to homelessness. Imagine a sleeping bag providing answers to an ancient problem haunting human societies predating Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad and every other social reformer believed heaven sent. Imagine finding blueprints for constructing more equitable systems while transforming individual lives and evolving societal care. Now, imagine being at an advisory council meeting for Church At The Park when that sleeping bag appears .......
This week’s reading is found in John 10. It reads:
“At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
Jesus tells the crowd that they have seen everything they need to be able to decide for themselves who he is, whether he is the messiah, or not.
What do our works testify about us? There are the stories we tell others (and ourselves) about ourselves—who we are, what we believe, what we value, but then there is what our lives actually say about us. Teacher and author David Dark says, “Show me a transcript of the words you’ve spoken, typed, or texted in the course of a day, an account of your doings, your browser history, and a record of your transactions, and I’ll show you your religion.”
He goes on to say, “My so-called love for humanity, for instance, isn't something I get to carry around in my heart. It has to find application among the weird, desperate people who populate my daily experience. It has to put on flesh. If it doesn't, I might take pleasure in the warm, fuzzy feeling of my personal, private faith, but it wouldn't be appropriate to call it Christianity.”
This question is worth asking again—What do our works testify about us? If someone were to look at how we spend our time, our money, our energy, and our attention, what would they say about our values?
NOW I BECOME MYSELF a poem by May Sarton
Now I become myself. It’s taken Time, many years and places; I have been dissolved and shaken, Worn other people’s faces, Run madly, as if Time were there, Terribly old, crying a warning, “Hurry, you will be dead before—” (What? Before you reach the morning? Or the end of the poem is clear? Or love safe in the walled city?) Now to stand still, to be here, Feel my own weight and density! The black shadow on the paper Is my hand; the shadow of a word As thought shapes the shaper Falls heavy on the page, is heard. All fuses now, falls into place From wish to action, word to silence, My work, my love, my time, my face Gathered into one intense Gesture of growing like a plant. As slowly as the ripening fruit Fertile, detached, and always spent, Falls but does not exhaust the root, So all the poem is, can give, Grows in me to become the song, Made so and rooted by love. Now there is time and Time is young. O, in this single hour I live All of myself and do not move. I, the pursued, who madly ran, Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!