Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Women's Homeless Initiative of Denver

Denver churches are stepping up to the call to care for homeless women. On an average night there are over 2,500 homeless women in Denver, many without a safe place to sleep. The Women's Homeless Initiative began 9 months ago in response to the need for safe shelter for women, and now they can find over-night shelter 7 days a week. It is encouraging to see a coalition of churches working together to care for a very tangible need. Open Door Fellowship, the CSM housing partner, is the newest church to join the Initiative.  Check out this article and read more about this exciting program. 

- Keysha Boggess, CSM Denver City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Denver!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Continued Response to Hurricane Sandy

As of today, Washington, DC, Philadelphia and Boston are all reporting little significant damage - praise the Lord!

In New York City, it's another story. Power is still out all over New Jersey, NYC and Long Island.  Literally thousands have lost homes.  I've spent quite a bit of time checking in on older folks who are stuck at home without power, people in a local shelter, delivering meals and arranging for some emergency response volunteers to help with cleaning up messes and repairing a roof or two (including my church's).  Many of our ministry partners have cleaned up their messes and the damage was minimal.  They are all very busy, however, assessing needs and recruiting resources.

Even though Hurricane Sandy hit less than two weeks ago, there have already been some amazing people stepping up to help. One group that served with CSM on the East Coast sent a check to help kids victimized by the storm get new backpacks for school. They were concerned about students getting back to normal. Another youth pastor who served in Denver asked what they could do and immediately took the challenge to take a group to Hoboken, NJ and they "mucked out" a church basement. Here in Brooklyn, four men took a day off from work and came from Massachusetts to repair our roof before the second storm hit.

Just as we felt like we were starting to get our feet under us, "round two" hit.  A Nor'easter (a storm that comes from the North and hooks back into the coast) brought big wind, heavy rain, strong storm surges and four inches of snow.  The storm surge breached already eroded barriers and the weight of the snow brought down trees that survived Sandy. 

The CSM team and I will continue assessing the needs and meeting them with all of the resources and networks we have.  Pray for our city directors and ministry partners as they begin to rebuild and as they try to make plans to best use volunteers. Pray for the stress and fatigue that comes from constant responses to crises.  

It is because your support, in both prayer and finances, that I am able to respond to the needs of this devastated city.  Everyday, I feel the strength of your prayers.  Thank you so very much!  I'll keep you updated.  If you wish to give through CSM, please do so on our website.

- Dan Reeve, CSM President

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

CSM Philadelphia Ministry Partner Honored as Everyday Hero

When it comes to caring about the community, no one does it so well as Ray, co-founder and president of the Ray of Hope Project.  Originally from North Philly, Ray came to believe in Jesus while in prison and committed to giving back to the community once he got out.  Since then he has worked tirelessly to provide much needed housing repairs to the low-income or elderly, one house at a time.  But that's not all Ray does.  Ray works closely with Block Captains in Philly, recently rated second dirtiest city in the country, to kick start block and lot clean ups.  

CSM groups have been privileged to work alongside Ray and the residents.  Ray provides the tools and groups have provided the energy to make overgrown, trashed and unsightly lots turn into beautiful corners.  He then stays connected with the communities to make sure they keep their block in top shape.  With this book, Ray is being honored for his dedication and for his unending hope for Philadelphia.  That's him in the top middle of the flyer below, and he approaches every block, every house, and every person he meets with that same, warm smile.

Ray is selling his books in Philly for a fundraiser for his project.  If you want to help out, check out his website for ways to give:

- Nicole Engelhardt, CSM Philadelphia Associate City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Philadelphia!

Friday, November 02, 2012

100,000 Homes Campaign

As part of a recent project of the 100,000 homes campaign, aimed at finding a house for 100,000 homless individuals and families across the U.S. by the end of 2013, it has now become even easier to help those less fortunate in your city, all you need is your smart phone!

Learn more...

...about how homelessness is affecting  our city and the development of this new app here in Boston.
...about the 100,000 homes campaign on their website.

- Chris Nazareth, CSM Boston City Director

Learn how YOU can serve with CSM in Boston!