• Church@thePark

COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER - October 20

10 THINGS WORTH HIGHLIGHTING THIS WEEK . . .


1.

C@P HONORED BY MAYOR, CITY OF SALEM


We are proud to be honored by Mayor Chuck Bennett and the City of Salem for our work. We were presented with the “Al Loucks Business-Government Partnership” award for making a major contribution to the City of Salem. In his remarks, Mayor Bennett had this to say about C@P and DJ:


”DJ, as founding pastor and CEO of C@P, is a self-proclaimed overseer of a ‘beautiful mess.’ Partnering with the City of Salem, DJ and his crew have been instrumental in what has become a herculean effort to house the homeless. Local micro-shelters, day centers, and safe parking sites are all managed by DJ and his amazing and capable crew.”



”DJ’s deep devotion to helping our friends in the community who are less fortunate, coupled with his amazing attitude and sense of humor, have helped us, as a team, help others in need.”



Also honored at the event were the students and staff from Howard Street Charter School for their project to learn more about homelessness and create art to help guests at Village of Hope feel more at home in their shelters.


You can watch the full ceremony below (skip to the 47:00 mark to see DJ and some of the C@P team).



 

2.

HUMANITY OF HOMELESSNESS


Sara is 26 years old and originally from California. After graduating high school and becoming a military wife, Sarah moved to Virginia and was on track to the life of her dreams until relationship problems led to a divorce followed by a period of time in which she stopped caring about responsibilities and left everything behind to head out across the country in her truck. Sara was passing through Salem when her truck broke down. Unable to afford truck repairs or a place to stay, she turned to C@P for help and was provided a micro-shelter in the Village of Hope community, where her generally positive attitude improves the days of those in the community. Since being with us, Sara has publicly shared her

story at a Humanity of Homelessness story-telling event, got a job and participated in community building processes.

 

3.

JOIN US FOR A TOUR OF THE NEW VILLAGE OF HOPE SITE


One of the best ways to see and learn about the work being done at C@P is by joining us on a tour. The location of our weekly tours is the new Village of Hope site at 1280 Center Street.


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.One of the best ways to see and learn about the work being done at C@P is by joining us on a tour. We are shifting the location of our weekly tours to the new Village of Hope site at 1280 Center Street.


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.

 

4.

MYTHS


This topic actually has its own Wikipedia page, which has a lot of helpful information.


Pet ownership is fairly common among people who are unhoused. As anyone who has ever owned a pet knows, it can be costly to care for a pet, financially and otherwise. People with pets can have a harder time finding housing. And, for people who are unhoused, there is the issue of what to do with a pet if you have a job, or if you need to go to an appointment.


There are many benefits to owning a good pet. Pet ownership can provide people with a sense of community and connection, which is especially important for people in marginalized communities. Pets can provide people with a sense of purpose. And a pet can provide protection and a sense of safety for people, which is also very important for someone who is unhoused.


Vicky Lawson, University of Washington professor, says, “the humans care for dogs, but the dogs also care for the humans. There is a mutualistic relationship, in which the humanity of homeless people is expressed, rather than them being viewed as disposable.”


At C@P, one of the ways that we strive to be low-barrier is by allowing people to bring their pets with them when they enter our micro-shelters. There can be plenty of issues with allowing pets. But, we strive to create a space where people do not have to choose between keeping a pet and having a safe place to stay.

 

5.

TRAUMA & HOMELESSNESS


Each week, our staff participate in training sessions around one of our values. This week, we have been learning about being trauma informed—to understand how trauma affects our guests and ourselves, and to care for one another in a way that is honoring.


Below is a 5-minute video that compares “the learning brain” and “the survival brain.” The speaker is looking at the topic within the context of education, but it is applicable to anyone who works with people.



TTo be without a home, to sleep in a park, a sidewalk, or a car is a traumatic experience. For anyone sleeping outside, survival and safety are primary concerns. In the absence of a safe space, mental energy is hyper-focused on survival and little else. We often hear questions like, “why don’t they just get a job?” Or, “If they really want to pay for housing, why are they spending their money on cigarettes?” Financial responsibility and health are important. But survival comes first. Until people are able to know that they are relatively safe, they will find it incredibly difficult to turn off the survival part of the brain and to start thinking about long-term goals.


In our micro-shelter communities, we are providing a safe, supportive, stable, and sanitary environment where people move out of survival mode and recover from trauma.

 

6.

STAFF HIGHLIGHT


Meet Kenny, part of our reception & hospitality team.


Here is what Roy, Site Manager at our CCS site, had to say about Kenny:


“Kenny started with C@P as a part time employee, and has recently accepted a full time warming position that was given based on reliability and great performance. Kenny is an extremely valued employee and has built strong relationships with the kids residing at our family-centric location. Kenny's willingness to learn about our program and resources offered has made him a fantastic team player.”


We are thankful for Kenny and his care and concern for our guests!

 

7.

BLANKETS NEEDED


It is finally starting to feel like fall. That means colder and wetter weather. Unfortunately, we are already running low on blankets to share with people.


We are in need of new or gently used blankets. Blankets and other donations can be dropped off at the CCS site.

 

8.

INVITATIONS

  • WE NEED HELP WITH DONATION SORTING. We are looking for individuals or groups to sort through donations at our CCS site. If you or your group are interested, please contact us by using the button below.

  • 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, October 26th 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.

 

9.

LECTIONARY READING


This week’s reading is the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector.


In the parable, Jesus said, “all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” As a way of engaging with the theme of humility, below is a story and a poem.


There is a story of an Alcoholics Anonymous group where one man was deemed by his group members to be exceptionally humble. They decided to give the man a pin as an award for being so humble. The following day, the man showed up to the group wearing the pin. The group promptly asked that he return the pin.


The Peace of Wild Things, by Wendell Berry


When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

 

10.

READ THE LECTIONARY ALONG WITH US


If you are interested in receiving the weekly email that contains the Gospel passage that we are reading together as a staff at C@P, let us know. The email is sent out at the beginning of the week. Along with the passage, it frequently includes art, music, reflections, and questions.


Use the button below to let us know that you’d like to be included in that email.


 

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