• Church@thePark

COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER - October 9

10 THINGS WORTH HIGHLIGHTING THIS WEEK . . .


1.

PROUD GOODBYES


Jennifer (pictured below with Brent, a previous guest at Village of Hope) has worn a few different hats with C@P. She has done outreach and case management. This story she recently shared encapsulates some of the various ways that C@P is able to connect with unsheltered people and journey alongside them.

Here is what Jennifer wrote: This past week, we said goodbye to a guest named Brent. During Brent's stay he transitioned with me through a couple different rolls. First, was Outreach, that is when we picked up Brent downtown. While he packed his things from a cart he told Outreach that "we were saving his life.” Brent shared that he was ready to quit drinking and start

living. He talked about his health concerns and not being able to make it on the streets anymore. Brent came to stay at Village of Hope. He volunteered at C@P and called it his home. I became his case manager and we worked hard together looking for permanent housing. A couple weeks ago Brent made a tough decision to leave and go to a detox treatment facility in Portland. Before he left this morning Brent came in with tears in his eyes to thank C@P and the help we gave him.

As hard as it is to say goodbye...we are so proud to watch him leave.

 

2.

VILLAGE OF HOPE HAS MOVED!

Church@thePark Village of Hope
Staff gathering for a break in the new Village of Hope Hospitality Tent

The Village of Hope micro-shelter site is in its new location on Center Street. 40 micro-shelters, a staff trailer, a shower trailer, canopy tents, and toilets are all on site and our guests are settling in to the new location.


As you can imagine, it was a challenging process. Thanks to City of Salem staff, Hope Station, Jeff Roth, and Cozy Homes who all showed up to help our team with the move.


An extra big thank you to our 2-person maintenance team, Chuck and Matt. They did so many of the thankless tasks—big and small—to get the site ready, to move everything, and to make sure that everything was set up and ready to go for guests and staff.

Church@thePark Village of Hope
Church@thePark Village of Hope
Chuck and Matt, C@P's awesome Maintenance Team
 

3.

PEOPLE MOVING ON TO POSITIVE DESTINATIONS


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.

HUMANITY OF HOMELESSNESS : Storytelling Event


Our second Humanity of Homelessness storytelling event was on Thursday, September 29th at the Ike Box. There was a great turnout of community members. We were all encouraged and inspired by the stories shared by guests and staff. Thanks to everyone who attended the event, to all of the event sponsors, to the Ike Box for hosting us, and, most of all, to the guests who were willing to share their stories.

We look forward to doing something similar in the near future.

 

5.

HUMANITY OF HOMELESSNESS : Partner Highlight


If you’ve been at our sites, you may have noticed that we actually have a few different types of micro-shelters. Our newest shelters are built by Edomo, Inc, a builder in West Salem. Many of the shelters at our CCS family site were designed and built by Russ Monk and High Impact Technologies (Here’s a link to a great article about Russ). We have some shelters that were built by Oregon Correction Enterprises.


And then we have 40 shelters that were built by a company called Pallet, based out of Tacoma, Washington. Pallet is a Public Benefit Corporation working to end unsheltered homelessness and give people a fair chance at employment. Their transitional shelter villages help bridge the gap from living on the street to finding permanent housing.


Pallet has shelters across the country, Hawaii, Texas, all the way to Boston. They’ve got a great blog that often highlights some great stories. Here’s an excerpt from one that we thought was worth sharing.


The inside of Tim’s Pallet shelter in Aurora, CO, reflects what brings him joy. Denver Broncos and Colorado Avalanche jerseys brighten the space. A replica of a Detective Comics cover with Batman on the front is over the window. And dozens of Hot Wheels line the wall. Some are superhero-themed, while others are sleek racers inspired by real sports cars. Each is still pristine, encased in the original packaging. For Tim, they are much more than a toy marketed to kids.

Tim is originally from Buffalo, NY, but he’s lived in Colorado for years. He became homeless after a series of distressing events. First, he lost his job, then the apartment building he lived in was sold. His lease wouldn’t be renewed, leaving him with 30 days to find a new place.


Covid knocked on our door a couple of months after that, and it’s just been one speed bump after another that has culminated in where I am right now,” he shared. Tim went on to stay at a mass congregate shelter with hundreds of other people. Next, he moved to the current site known as Safe Outdoor Space (SOS), which has 56 Pallet shelters. “This is way better. You have your own key. You have four walls that you can lose yourself in or whatever, and you can ride out whatever unpredictable in your life, save up some cash and move on to your next step.”


Stabilizing in a safe, secure space positively impacted Tim’s life. He no longer must navigate what he described as the chaos of being homeless. He’s also enjoying independence.

 

6.

MYTHS



We have been addressing some of the common myths that we hear about homelessness for the past few months. We have looked at data around addiction, where people are from, bus tickets, and other topics.


We would love to hear from the community and from readers, what are some things you are hearing? Are there topics you would like to hear more about?


If so, please send us an email with your ideas or questions.

 

7.

NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION


One of our commitments at C@P is to be peacemakers and to practice the skill of non-violent communication. Below is some information, along with a short video, about the practice of non-violent communication.


 

8.

STAFF HIGHLIGHT : Andrew


Meet Andrew from our Safety Team! Our safety team helps keep each of our sites safe while building healthy relationships with our residents!


Here is what Lisette, Safety Team Assistant Manager, had to say about Andrew:


“From his start with us at The Fairgrounds Pavilion, Andrew has shown great promise as an advocate for the unsheltered. He’s always had an innate sense of heart and compassion, which he puts to use first and foremost in all of his interactions with residents and guests. Andrew loves trying to put a smile on your face with a joke or two, and it’s easy to see why the community he serves lights up whenever he’s on shift.”


Thanks to Andrew for caring well for our guests and neighbors and for working to resolve conflicts in a compassionate manner!


If you see Andrew out and about, say, “Hello!”

 

9.

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.

  • BLANKETS NEEDED. As the weather gets colder, demand for warm items such as blankets is going up. We are in need of new, or gently used blankets. Donations can be dropped off at our CCS site.

  • 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.

 

10.

LECTIONARY READING


This week’s reading is the story of the Ten Lepers, found in Luke 17. It is hard to read the story about the 10 lepers that get healed by Jesus and the one person—a Samaritan—that returns to tell Jesus, “thank you,” and not think about gratitude.


Here is what one author had to say about gratitude:


“When I acknowledge a gift received, I acknowledge a bond that binds me to the giver. . . . The one who says ‘thank you’ to another really says, ‘We belong together.’ Giver and thanksgiver belong together.”


Many of you likely already practice the act of expressing gratitude. If not, what would it look like to start each day by naming 5 things that you are thankful for? And then to repeat that before going to sleep at night?


What are you grateful for?


 

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