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The Neighborhood 

Like a Garden Project

Dear Church,

Our Neighborhood Services Center core volunteers program is loosely patterned after some of the aspects of the Santa Cruz Garden Project. Our core volunteers are an essential part of the whole volunteer force. They work from roughly 7AM until 1PM, six days a week. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later and if there is no way around it, sometimes on Saturday (which is their only day off). After 1, they are often engaged in personal business, taking care of the things that will assist them as they gain stability in their lives.
They have recently taken on a new task as part of their development as leaders and that is providing daily leadership of our morning staff meetings. We spend this morning hour reminding ourselves about the core values of the FUMC, reminding ourselves about the importance of self-care and laughing. After we spend some time doing this, we are far better equipped to manage the issues that face us daily, if not, minute by minute in the work we do. Each volunteer has a different style and I am looking forward to their growing expressions and comfort in this task.
Another aspect


Ryan’s Weekly Tip

Dear Church,
Here is another one of Ryan Dowd’s columns. I thought it was especially helpful and insightful.
Ryan’s weekly tip for homeless, mentally ill and addicted patrons
My “day job” is Executive Director of Hesed House, the second largest homeless shelter in Illinois.  This week I want to share a letter I wrote for our next newsletter: 
Dear people of Hesed, “What do we do about people who choose to be homeless?” Maybe it is the low unemployment rate or the explosive growth of tent cities popping up around the country, but I’m being asked this question more often than ever before. My answer is simple:  Nothing. We shouldn’t do anything about people who choose to be homeless because no one chooses to be homeless.  I have met thousands of individuals while they were homeless and not a single one chose it. At Hesed House there are three “types” of homelessness: