September 14, 2016
Each month, our clients make awesome progress that we celebrate!
We pray for our clients in four important areas: stability, sobriety, reconnecting with God, and finding a faith home.
Join us in celebrating these:
Jobs obtained — One got a new job at El Mercado. Another at a car wash. Another at Popeye’s. One at at H2O. One client no longer on the streets has a job as a janitor at UT and is the elected labor representative. Three more additional clients are working at new places. Another client no longer on the streets has a new job at Hoodz steam cleaning restaurant vent hoods. One client no longer on the streets just passed is real estate exam and is a new broker! One client no longer on the streets has a job at a concrete company. One client was hired by the Downtown Alliance. Another is is working at a restaurant on the Drag, and one got a job at Fry’s Electronics. Finally, one has a new job at the UT Co-op Please join us in praying they can keep their jobs. It’s not easy!
Jobs maintained — One client is still working at Barlotta; Another is still working as a secretary at Centex. Job maintenance takes work!
Housing — 18 clients are celebrating new housing this month! Awesome work, folks!
Education — One client is attending GED classes, another is still in culinary school and one has started school at ACC, majoring in law enforcement. Education is such a door opener!
Family reconciliation — One client has reunited with her birth mother, another is getting back into his daughter’s life and one is returning home. Re-forming adult family relationships is hard work!
Benefits— Three clients are celebrating government benefits, and one newly pregnant client is seeking WIC support. A little help can go a long ways!
Transportation — Two clients are celebrating getting dependable cars. Getting reliable transportation frees one to work outside bus routes and schedules!
Misc. — One client is pregnant and spent the full month off the streets! Less street months means much better outcomes!
Milestones — 12 clients are celebrating sobriety milestones this month. It’s always a daily choice!
Reconnection with God
One client wants to serve Street Youth Ministry someday. One client confessed to an ongoing sin. Another client is celebrating his new belief in Jesus. Faith is such a great resource!
Finding a Faith Home
One client is actively looking for a church home, and another is attending a Bible study at his church. We are our clients’ church-on-training-wheels, and we love it when they find their own communities to call home!
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September 8, 2016
The Street Youth Ministry personality seen most often in the photographs we take is not the lead missionary, Terry Cole. It’s Rosie, Terry’s counseling dog, who seems to know exactly when to find her way into the frame before a shutter release is pushed. She provides untold comfort and companionship to clients and volunteers alike.
When Terry started the ministry, he studied a book on fundraising. There was literally a chapter in the book called “Don’t Buy a Dog.” It was about not intentionally increasing your cost of living when raising support. Lol!
About that time, Terry’s daughter chose a dog breed that would be perfect for the household. Non-allergenic, small, non-shedding, hardy, friendly. But Terry said, “No way. Now is not the time to buy a dog!”
Within a couple weeks, we found ourselves on a family vacation together and riding one of those little tourist trains. The ride owner had two dogs that loved to ride with passengers and one of them hopped into Terry’s lap. Low and behold it was the type selected by Terry’s daughter. After the ride, the whole family was musing over this “coincidence” when the ride owner came up and said, “We have puppies for sale.” The whole family was shouting, “Please, please, please!” Terry kept to his mantra, “Now is not the time to buy a dog. And who buys a dog on vacation, anyway?”
A few days later on the trip, Terry called a family meeting. He shared that if the family would chip in to pay the purchase price, Terry would raise the funds for the medical bills for shots, spaying, etc. Everyone was quickly in accord and we cut short our trip to go pick up our sweet Rosie! Here she is on her ride home from Arkansas!
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June 25, 2015
We love watching our clients succeed! They must want it and they do the work. One summed it all up the other day in prayer time: “Lord, help me to want to help myself get off the streets!”
We know we cannot fix any of their problems, but we know someone who can (Jesus)! We provide encouragement, hope, and lots of love.
In the last 30 days, here are some of our praises for goals accomplished: 38 stability goals, 10 sobriety goals, and 2 faith goals! Wow!
- Two clients cleared legal problems. Unfortunately, even simple tickets for camping or side-walk sitting can turn into disasters once you’re working or housed.
- We had four clients finish up semesters in education at ACC and UT! We are so proud of them! We provide textbooks for clients willing to do with work of seeking financial aid, enrolling, and choosing classes. And we are willing to provide tutoring on Wednesday nights for any client student.
- We’re delighted that two clients have entered case management with organizations off the Drag. It can be so helpful to have a case manager helping to hold you accountable. We do case management “lite” for all our clients but love it when they also take up referrals to other agencies that help.
- One client got his ID. We’re so sorry that IDs are so hard to get in Texas for homeless people. We pray for a more just solution over time.
- One client has gotten transportation. So many of the jobs are not reachable by bus, so this really helps stay employed.
- One client has gotten back on medication and is keeping up the work of taking them daily. It can be such a temptation once you start feeling better to stop.
- We celebrate 14 clients obtaining jobs. A new job usually represents a tough time for clients with lots of new stresses and challenges. Often they quit due to bullying or despair. They are rarely fired.
- Ten clients have moved into housing. Housing is usually a progression from somewhat unstable solutions (couch surfing, paying a little rent for a spare room) to better solutions (a shared apartment, a lease in their name). Few of our clients go into permanent supported housing.
- We had ten clients achieve sobriety milestones. These range from 2 days to many years. We are so happy to see many people reexamining their sobriety desires and needs.
- Two clients have achieved faith goals. One is reconnecting with God, something he never expected to be interesting to him. And another has found a new faith home where he attends regularly.
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June 12, 2015
Facebook is so awesome because we can keep up with clients over time.
Here is one story, from a few years back, we received from a former client.
I wanted to let you know that I made it out alive!! I’ve been doing well for two years now. I’m beyond lucky and blessed, even on a bad day.
I’m going to school for real estate and working in property management (irony for a former street youth, right?). Anywho, tell those who remember me thank you, and thank you to you as well. Your work makes a difference.
Question (Terry): What helped you to make it finally?
Answer (Youth): It was kind of like Forest Gump….I ran and ran and ran, and then I was ready to go home. Guess I am lucky I finally realized everything on my own. I wasn’t ever down a nowhere path though. I was on my own journey of self discovery and am fortunate to have friends that really care and wanted to help me.
Just happy that places like Street Youth Ministry
are there to sustain life
with opportunity and
help to grow.
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April 5, 2015
“This is truly an amazing ministry. You are helping one of the most vulnerable groups of people in our community with such kindness, love, and humbleness.“
We want to let everyone know that this ministry isn’t ours or our idea. We believe God would do it with or without us, but it is a privilege to join in His work. The world of street-dependent young people is so interesting and beautiful.
God has long been at work in their lives, although most don’t or can’t recognize it yet. He has not forgotten, not even one of them.
We invite every church in Austin into our ministry. We invite every human being in Austin to come have your eyes opened to a group of people you probably don’t yet understand, or don’t even know exists.
- who our clients are,
- what they want from a church, and
- what they need from God.
We look forward to it!
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March 22, 2015
Amazing cigar box guitar made by a homeless young client!
We are raising funds for music supplies.
Click to give what you are able to donate.
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March 19, 2015
Here is more art created by our clients.
Donating just $5 will help us buy more art supplies so clients can continue to create art.
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March 12, 2015
I don’t really know if the ministry would be possible without Facebook. Certainly it would be different. We use it for lots of things, but the best thing is a stable way to keep in touch with clients!
Sharing a note from a recovering client we had received:
“I’m doing good. It took a while but i mended things with my family. Before then I held a job and stopped the dumb drugs. Now I’m looking forward to my daughter! I’m having the baby in one month, and I’m home with my mother–off the streets. Today is a good day! I’m doing good thanks for all you’ve done to help me when I was homeless. Now I’m doing better for myself. I hope everyone still there does the same!”
From the clients lips to God’s ears.
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