Celebrating 7 years of the Street Ministry!
This month we're celebrating our seventh year providing care to individuals and families who are living without permanent shelter and / or living challenged lives due to poverty. Over the years, we have had literally thousands of face to face contacts, in fact, we estimate our face to face contacts to be over 20,000!! We've given out thousands of bottles of water, food products and provided countless shoes, boots, coats and other clothing. The homeless population has grown over the years and in the last two weeks alone, on two separate night we served 55 and 64 of our friends. That's more then double the people we served from the early years of our ministry.
Our goal is always to care for the people that come to us with love, acceptance, dignity and respect. While we don't claim to "fix" any problems, we believe we are a positive resource for the people that visit with us as well as for the community. We've connected our visitors with resources in the community to find employment, benefits and housing. We've provided transportation, food, and other necessities to help our friends in need. Mostly, we've simply been available. We listen to stories, needs, wants, fears, joys and successes.
I, personally, have always been amazed that the street ministry is as successful as it is by being comprised only of volunteers and by being supported only by donations. While the street volunteers are on the front lines and in the elements, we could not do this work without your support. We, as well as the people we serve, appreciate you.
Please share in our joy of acknowledging and celebrating our seventh year of service and working together to serve those who are less fortunate.
STAFF - CVSM
Chippewa Valley Street Ministry Journal - Tuesday, June 11th, 2019
Looking across the street tonight at the homeless waiting to check into the shelter, I could not help but notice the tired looks and almost hopelessness in their faces. We are thankful for the shelter, but if truth be told, those on the street would much rather be in a place of their own. Unfortunately, many do not have that option. Housing is in short supply, evictions and convictions work against them. Yes, at the shelter they are out of the weather and hopefully, safe for the night, but it still is not easy to get a good night’s rest especially if you are not feeling well or are struggling with addictions.
One woman sits across the street by herself, preferring to go into the shelter after everyone else. We took a bag to her and listened to what is going on in her world. It does not always make sense to us, but what matters is that someone listens.
A young couple who are both working and proud of their jobs, are anxious to get off the street. Again, a shortage in housing and low income jobs keeps them at the shelter each night.
We were able to give a more comfortable pair of shoes to one woman. Walking the streets day after day cannot be easy. Sometimes filling the most basic needs can make all the difference in someone’s life and as volunteers with the Street Ministry that is what we try to do.
Please keep us all in your prayers.