Archive for February, 2017

February 1, 2017

2016 Highlights in Review

SYM Top Ministry Moment #10

Clients Come Inside to Enjoy Showtime

This summer was quite hot, and we had a wonderful invitation from long-time partner St. Austin’s Parish Church to use an air-conditioned fellowship room to give our clients a break. Together, we watched two movies each Friday afternoon and shared snacks and dinner together. It became one of our most popular indoor events! Clients surprised us with their movie choices, such as “Homeward Bound,” “Hairspray,” and “Daddy’s Home!”

SYM Top Ministry Moment #9

LifeWorks, SYM Strategic Agreement

In October, we learned of a new opportunity for a permanent home for SYM. We forged a much-expanded alliance with Congregational Church of Austin to utilize its basement as a new Drop-In Cooperative center, where clients can get safety net services, receive guidance counseling, and learn soft life skills for jobs and apartment living. We also expanded our partnership with LifeWorks, which will provide counseling, case management and group support in our Drop-In Center. The photo shows leaders of the three organizations. 

SYM Top Ministry Moment #8
Computer Lab and Shower Time

Our clients have always wanted access to a clean and safe shower. We were blessed to receive an invitation from University Presbyterian Church to use its fellowship hall, including shower, once a week. We equipped the room with computers so waiting clients can do other things. We also provide access to piano and guitar. Nothing like hanging out after a nice, refreshing shower! In the photo, a client and a volunteer share an interest in drawing.

SYM Top Ministry Moment #7
Darvin Receives his Work Visa

Darvin Tan started with SYM as an intern in 2015, and he discerned that his calling was to stay. However, he didn’t have a visa. We applied for a religious work visa for him and, amazingly, received very rapid approval! Darvin is key to keeping our ministry working smoothly. Darvin staffed our annual Turkey Grab, something we do for clients who have recovered from the street every year so they can serve others with a homemade meal. Darvin posed at left with turkey donors from Mothers of Professional Football Players.

SYM Top Ministry Moment #6
SYM Joins 100-Day Youth Challenge

year we partnered with LifeWorks and ECHO on a 100-day challenge to
house as many street-dependent youths under age 25 as possible. Our role
was to make sure clients completed the application form and 27 of our
clients from the West Campus streets did so! Each youth in the photo and
many others were placed into apartments. If they meet the criteria and
become able to pay rent, they will be able to remain there!

SYM Top Ministry Moment #5
LifeWorks/SYM Halloween Party

year, LifeWorks, SYM and University Presbyterian Church combined forces
to throw an awesome Halloween party for our clients, complete with
costumes, face painting, treats, grilled burgers and hot dogs, and a
raffle. We were joined by UT student athletes from many sports. They
painted faces, played Jenga and other games, and drew prizes for our
raffle. In the photo, a client challenges a UT student to a game of bean
bag toss.

SYM Top Ministry Moment #4
Matt and Jared, Super Interns

were blessed to have two summer interns this year! Jared Dale and
Matthew Powell were our high school interns. They learned to interact
safely with clients, operate our many events, and master the fine art of

Read about our internships and pass the word to mature high school juniors. Our weekly stipend is not a lot, but it’s enough to keep one from needing a second job.  

SYM Top Ministry Moment #3
A Safer Arrival for Babies

above, holds one of our newest SYM clients. Her mother got off the
street quickly once she learned she was pregnant. When we became aware
of high miscarriage and infant death rates among our pregnant clients,
we focused on the problem. We raised awareness. We asked them to count
the number of months they spent on the street, and work to reduce that
number. Several of our clients moved back home, got jobs, and found
prenatal care. When their babies arrived, there was room and love for

‘Giving … an easy way to help’
financially to SYM is an easy way to help, since I am not close enough
to volunteer. They help these youths go to college with textbook
scholarships, celebrate accomplishments like staying off alcohol and
drugs. I am impressed with SYM, its volunteers and the street youth
themselves for what they are doing.”

— A donor, posted on-line at 

SYM Top Ministry Moment #2

A Christmas to Celebrate

end-of-year celebration of Christmas was fabulous. Forty-one clients
and 30 volunteers — including the happy kitchen crew above — gathered
to celebrate the coming of Jesus. We were hosted by the Daughters of the
King from All Saints Episcopal Church. We celebrated a lot of amazing
accomplishments by our clients, including moving into apartments, having
healthy babies, getting jobs, being sober, going to college and more!

‘… a labor of love and faith …’

have been involved with Street Youth Ministry for several years, making
sandwiches, and clothing donations and have been watching the
dedication that Terry Cole has for the street youth. We get regular
newsletters and emails and prayer requests that are evidence of the
great labor of love and faith that defines this organization.”

— Posted on

SYM Top Ministry Moment #1

‘Second Chance’ Prom

team up with LifeWorks to offer a Second Chance Prom each year to all
our clients. This is so inspirational for them! They get dressed up,
pose for portraits taken by a professional photographer (as above), are
treated like prom royalty, and walk taller and prouder for weeks
afterwards. Your assistance is pivotal!

‘He’s everywhere, all the time…’
don’t really find him — Terry has a way of finding you. We move
around, but no matter where we go Terry finds us and talks to us. He is
just this guy walking his dog, like you would see anyone, but then he
stops and talks to you and tells you there are ways to get off the
street. Even if you don’t believe him at first, he is everywhere, all
the time, so you can’t help but wonder what’s up.”
— Client, as told to a volunteer

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