Posts tagged ‘christian’

April 13, 2018

What does a typical day look like? – April 12


We had lunch, art group, Bible study, Peer Support Group and Movie Night.
Served about 25 people.
Lots of good discussion during lunch.
Had someone visit who was a client about 8 years ago, now doing great!
Collages and continued discussion for art group.
Prayer time seemed to focus on several who are recently unincarcerated, their gratitude and desires for their life.
Peer Support Group centered around staying sober.
Movie Night featured endless grilled cheese sandwiches and a riveting movie.
We celebrated many with jobs, one accepted into college, 3 return visitors from years ago, 1 new  client, and more.
We had a 15 year old drop by $100 donation from himself and his friends.
We had a recovered client drop by food to share.
We had one person stop by for a tour after seeing our invitation on the sidewalk.
Great volunteers. Great staff. Great day.
But not unusual at all!

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March 30, 2018

“John 3:16 — true story.”




I was leaving the drop-in after movie night when a 40-ish black man stopped me on a street corner. “I want that!” he said, pointing to my shirt. “You should give it to me.”

The words on the shirt said simply, “John 3:16 — true story.” I cracked a joke and resumed my walk. “No!” he insisted. “I really do want to talk to you.” He explained that he knew me and what I do, knew that I change lives and wanted that.

He then dropped a familiar name, a former client who had gotten sober, come to Jesus and turned his life around. “I want what he has,” he said. Of course, I told him that it was Jesus who had changed the client’s life and is responsible for anything that I ever accomplish.

He asked me to mentor him. As a first step, I asked him to find a church to worship in regularly and a Bible study to attend regularly. I cautioned him not to fall into the “fixer trap” – to attend not as a homeless man but as just another sinner seeking to find out how better to follow Jesus.

We prayed together on that street corner, asking Jesus to encourage him and to help his wife, who he told me is entangled deeply in denial and addiction.

I’ll be praying for this man and I am keeping in my heart the fact that people are always watching and we may never know who or when the spirit effects people through our actions.

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March 30, 2018

Happy Easter


A special Easter message from Street Youth Ministry!
.
Thank you
for making
this possible!
We were gathered for prayer time in what had been a slow day when Will walked in, bypassing the couches and heading straight to the kitchen. He didn’t look up or say hello.

We prayed on, inviting clients to respond to questions like “God is what? I am grateful for what? I feel closer to God when?” It’s part of how we help our spiritual — but not terribly religious — young adults begin to reconnect with God. The answers aren’t always “nice,” but they come from the heart — maybe the gut. We repeat and honor each and every one without judgment.

After the young man filled his plate, he sat a lunch table, still apart from our prayer group, still avoiding eye contact. I was leading the prayer concert, so I invited Will to answer one of our questions. He didn’t respond, but he did look up. I could see something different in his eyes — perhaps he was high, perhaps he was in trouble. Without a response, I couldn’t tell. I continued with those assembled, asking, “What do you want God to do next in your life?” Suddenly, Will blurted: “I want him to leave me alone!” Then he corrected himself: “No, I don’t really want that…”

We’ve known Will for quite a while. He’s one of those “difficult youth.” Honestly, the sight of him coming in the door in early 2016 meant my staff had to re-deploy resources to handle him. We had to ask him to leave many times because he just couldn’t behave safely. Lately, he’s been doing great — reconciled with his father, held a job for a while, begun to realize he can’t keep doing what he’s been doing.

Will began to tell his story: “I was at Church Under the Bridge Sunday. I wanted to eat. They started preaching and singing, and I just started crying. I don’t know why. I couldn’t stop. I tried, but I couldn’t. Some people noticed and they came over. They wanted to pray with me. I told them no. But I wanted it, I just didn’t want to put my stuff out there in front of everyone. So I’m here…”

Having broken the ice, Will began to participate and share answers. He walked over and joined the group. The clients shared what they want God to do in their lives, talked about friends and family, and lifted up our neighborhood and the city of Austin in prayer.

When we finished, I asked Will if this had been good. He said “Yes.” I asked if he understood what happened to him the previous Sunday. He responded without hesitation: “It was the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is moving within me. I don’t know exactly what to do, but I know that’s what it is. Something is changing.”

That’s where we left it. Will has a difficult struggle ahead. But we continue to organize our ministry life so we can be there for him, on his best days or his worst. It’s a pattern we see all the time. It takes years, but these awesome people recover their identities in God, in Christ, and in the world. It’s a privilege to behold.

Thank you for making it possible!

Terry Cole

‘I don’t make
 the bad choices
 I used to!’
John John was a very difficult client in 2015 — always getting into fights, frequently high and belligerent. We had to exclude him from service several times. He was banned or excluded from service for longer periods of time at other places.

John John left home right after high school and got involved with organized trouble immediately. Now, however, he’s sober, working and housed. “I have almost a whole paycheck saved,” he said recently. “That’s more than I’ve ever saved in my life. And now when tough things happen, I don’t make the bad choices I used to. I’m growing up and have learned to cope better. Thank you so much for sticking with me!”

We now are talking about John John’s future and what path to learning and growth he wants to take. We are proud of John John!

A bonanza of ‘swag’!
 Volunteers from the local sales staff of Salesforce.com donated “swag” left over from trade shows and events. They shipped it from California, assembled it into gift sets and delivered them to three organizations, including hundreds of backpacks and blankets to SYM!
Request manna bag instructions

via Blogger https://ift.tt/2J9yBHS

March 30, 2018

Happy Easter


A special Easter message from Street Youth Ministry!
.
Thank you
for making
this possible!
We were gathered for prayer time in what had been a slow day when Will walked in, bypassing the couches and heading straight to the kitchen. He didn’t look up or say hello.

We prayed on, inviting clients to respond to questions like “God is what? I am grateful for what? I feel closer to God when?” It’s part of how we help our spiritual — but not terribly religious — young adults begin to reconnect with God. The answers aren’t always “nice,” but they come from the heart — maybe the gut. We repeat and honor each and every one without judgment.

After the young man filled his plate, he sat a lunch table, still apart from our prayer group, still avoiding eye contact. I was leading the prayer concert, so I invited Will to answer one of our questions. He didn’t respond, but he did look up. I could see something different in his eyes — perhaps he was high, perhaps he was in trouble. Without a response, I couldn’t tell. I continued with those assembled, asking, “What do you want God to do next in your life?” Suddenly, Will blurted: “I want him to leave me alone!” Then he corrected himself: “No, I don’t really want that…”

We’ve known Will for quite a while. He’s one of those “difficult youth.” Honestly, the sight of him coming in the door in early 2016 meant my staff had to re-deploy resources to handle him. We had to ask him to leave many times because he just couldn’t behave safely. Lately, he’s been doing great — reconciled with his father, held a job for a while, begun to realize he can’t keep doing what he’s been doing.

Will began to tell his story: “I was at Church Under the Bridge Sunday. I wanted to eat. They started preaching and singing, and I just started crying. I don’t know why. I couldn’t stop. I tried, but I couldn’t. Some people noticed and they came over. They wanted to pray with me. I told them no. But I wanted it, I just didn’t want to put my stuff out there in front of everyone. So I’m here…”

Having broken the ice, Will began to participate and share answers. He walked over and joined the group. The clients shared what they want God to do in their lives, talked about friends and family, and lifted up our neighborhood and the city of Austin in prayer.

When we finished, I asked Will if this had been good. He said “Yes.” I asked if he understood what happened to him the previous Sunday. He responded without hesitation: “It was the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is moving within me. I don’t know exactly what to do, but I know that’s what it is. Something is changing.”

That’s where we left it. Will has a difficult struggle ahead. But we continue to organize our ministry life so we can be there for him, on his best days or his worst. It’s a pattern we see all the time. It takes years, but these awesome people recover their identities in God, in Christ, and in the world. It’s a privilege to behold.

Thank you for making it possible!

Terry Cole

‘I don’t make
 the bad choices
 I used to!’
John John was a very difficult client in 2015 — always getting into fights, frequently high and belligerent. We had to exclude him from service several times. He was banned or excluded from service for longer periods of time at other places.

John John left home right after high school and got involved with organized trouble immediately. Now, however, he’s sober, working and housed. “I have almost a whole paycheck saved,” he said recently. “That’s more than I’ve ever saved in my life. And now when tough things happen, I don’t make the bad choices I used to. I’m growing up and have learned to cope better. Thank you so much for sticking with me!”

We now are talking about John John’s future and what path to learning and growth he wants to take. We are proud of John John!

A bonanza of ‘swag’!
 Volunteers from the local sales staff of Salesforce.com donated “swag” left over from trade shows and events. They shipped it from California, assembled it into gift sets and delivered them to three organizations, including hundreds of backpacks and blankets to SYM!
Request manna bag instructions

via Blogger https://ift.tt/2J9yBHS

December 27, 2017

2017 Highlights in Review


2017 SYM Highlight #10

Each year we focus on end-of-year fundraising. Help us avoid having to reallocate staff time to fundraising by giving now at Donate.StreetYouthMinistry.org.

2017 SYM Highlight #9

Each year we focus on end-of-year fundraising. Help us avoid having to reallocate staff time to fundraising by giving now at Donate.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
2017 SYM Highlight #8
Each year we focus on end-of-year fundraising. Help us avoid having to reallocate staff time to fundraising by giving now at Donate.StreetYouthMinistry.org.

2017 SYM Highlight #7
Each year we focus on end-of-year fundraising. Help us avoid having to reallocate staff time to fundraising by giving now at Donate.StreetYouthMinistry.org.


2017 SYM Highlight #6
Each year we focus on end-of-year fundraising. Help us avoid having to reallocate staff time to fundraising by giving now at Donate.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
2017 SYM Highlight #5

Each year we focus on end-of-year fundraising. Help us avoid having to reallocate staff time to fundraising by giving now at Donate.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
2017 SYM Highlight #4
Each year we focus on end-of-year fundraising. Help us avoid having to reallocate staff time to fundraising by giving now at Donate.StreetYouthMinistry.org.
2017 SYM Highlight #3
Each year we focus on end-of-year fundraising. Help us avoid having to reallocate staff time to fundraising by giving now at Donate.StreetYouthMinistry.org.

2017 SYM Highlight#2
Each year we focus on end-of-year fundraising. Help us avoid having to reallocate staff time to fundraising by giving now at Donate.StreetYouthMinistry.org.

2017 SYM Highlight #1
Each year we focus on end-of-year fundraising. Help us avoid having to reallocate staff time to fundraising by giving now at Donate.StreetYouthMinistry.org.

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December 7, 2017

SALESFORCE NEWS: Welcome 28 New Salesforce MVPs!


SEP 18, 2017 BY HOLLY FIRESTONE

We’re excited to welcome 28 new Salesforce MVPs and welcome back 102 re-awarded MVPs to the MVP Ohana today! We’re also thrilled to announce 10 new inductees into the MVP Hall of Fame.
The Salesforce MVP program honors and awards those making exceptional contributions to the Salesforce Community. Salesforce MVPs are true trailblazers who dedicate their time and energy to forge a path for future learners to succeed. They bring the spirit of Ohana to life by inspiring others to learn Salesforce and connect to our thriving community.

We receive hundreds of community nominations for new MVPs during twice yearly nomination periods, so achieving this award is not an easy feat. It takes true dedication to helping others – through online answers and collaboration, leading Community Groups, blogging, sharing expertise through presentations, and countless other contributions that consistently surprise and delight our Ohana. 
We are thrilled to introduce you to the newest class of MVPs and the returning MVPs. Say hello, and congratulations! Follow them online, connect at your local Community Groups, and meet them at countless events around the world!

New Salesforce MVPs

Receiving their 1st MVP recognition

Amit Chaudhary Guillermo Pedroni
Terry Cole Bill Powell
Laura Diaz Samantha Safin
Stuart Edeal Monica Sandberg
Ines Garcia Pritam Shekhawat
Megan Himan Abhilasha Singh
Joanna Iturbe Carlos Siqueira
Misty Jones Corey Snow
Michael Kolodner Adam Spriggs
David Litton Sadahiro Suzuki
Sue Maass Christian Szandor Knapp
Kim McClure Mary Tagler
Junko Nakayama Colleen Whelan
Amy Oplinger Alba Azcona Rivas

Returning Salesforce MVPs

MVPs awarded again! You can find all of our current MVPs on Twitter here.
Abhinav Gupta Jesse Altman
Adam Olshansky Jitendra Zaa
Adam Kramer Jodie Miners
Adam Marks Johan Yu
Aiden Martin Jonathan Baltz
Alex Sutherland Joni Martin
Amber Boaz Justin Edelstein
Andrew Fawcett Kalman Sweetwine
Andy Ognenoff Karen Fitton
Angela Mahoney Kartik Viswanadha
Anup Jadhav Katie McFadden
Ashima Saigal Kelly Bentubo
Beth Breisnes Kerry McClauss (McDonough)
Bill Greenhaw Kevin O’Hara
Blakely Graham Kylee Durant
Brad Struss Kyla Longe
Brent Downey Lars Nielsen
Bryan Boroughf Launa Saunders
Calvin Smith Lori Witzel
Carolina Ruiz Medina Luke Cushanick
Cheryl Feldman Maria Belli
Chris Zullo Mark Ross
Christine Pechter Martijn Schwarzer
Clara Perez Matthew Morris
Dale Ziegler Mayank Srivastava
Dan Appleman Michael Slawnik
Daniel Ballinger Nana Gregg
Daniel Peter Nicholas Zinser
David Cheng Nik Panter
David Giller Patrick Connelly
Deepa Patel Paul Battisson
Don Robins Peter Churchill
Douglas Ayers Peter Knolle
Edward Schlicksup Phil Weinmeister
Elena Inurrategui Rachel Rogers
Elizabeth Davidson Rakesh Kumar
Eric Dreshfield Rebecca Lammers
Eric Wu Ryan Headley
Gaurav Kheterpal Ryan Ozimek
Geoff Flynn Sharif Shaalan
Geraldine Gray Sharon Klardie
Gorav Seth Shinichi Tomita
Jackie Travieso Shivanath Devinarayanan
James Loghry Shonnah Hughes
Jarrod Kingston Simon Lawrence
Jason Atwood Susan Thayer
Jean-Luc Antoine Taiki Yoshikawa
Jean-Michel Mougeolle Takahiro Yonei
Jeff May Thomas Taylor
Jen Nelson Vamsi Krishna
Jennifer Lee Vinay Chaturvedi


New Inductees to the MVP Hall of Fame

The Salesforce MVP Hall of Fame is an emeritus status that recognizes the exceptional individuals that have been awarded Salesforce MVP 5+ times. These MVPs receive this honorary title for life, and can be renominated back into the program in future rounds based on their community activity and contributions at that time.
Andrew Gross Matthew Lamb
David Pier Michael Farrington
Jared Miller Nick Hamm
Jason Paquette Scott Hemmeter
Jason Venable Will Nourse

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November 29, 2017

Report: State should form task force to tackle youth homelessness


By 

AUSTIN (KXAN) – A new report about youth homelessness in Texas highlights a need for comprehensive policies and a funding stream to address the ongoing issue.
Texas Appleseed partnered with Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS) and conducted more than 100 interviews with youth who had experienced or are experiencing homelessness in Texas. Both groups also pulled data from state agencies related to youth.
Clair Cole, 19, became homeless when she was 16. “I had a lot of struggles connecting with family especially in that time of my life,” she said. “I was going through a lot. They were going through a lot.”
Cole relied on couch surfing to find places to stay. But as time passed, it became harder. “[I was] feeling like I was a burden, a lot of just trying to sink into the background and just be there without being there,” she said.
She’s now 19, received her GED and has her own small business making jewelry. She also serves as a Lifeworks Youth Ambassador in Austin, raising awareness about what services are available under their provider program.
“I would never want anyone to experience the feeling of not feeling welcome in your own home,” she said.
Lifeworks says each evening it shelters or houses more than 140 youth. There’s also a counseling division for individuals and families who deal with abuse, trauma, anxiety or other stressors.
“If I had known there was an emergency shelter, I would’ve gone straight there,” she said.
The report by Texas Appleseed and TNOYS says each year, at least 1,000 students who have dealt with homelessness repeat a grade and 1,400 drop out. It also says youth in foster care are in high risk of becoming homeless. In 2016, a total of 1,250 youth aged out of foster care on their 18th birthday. In that same year, more than 1,000 children in Texas ran away from a foster care placement.
Gabriella McDonald, the pro bono and new projects director for Texas Appleseed, said schools are on the front lines of this issue, but too often, it’s hard to track.
“Sometimes, schools don’t find out they have youth who [are] experiencing homelessness until they have someone who is about to graduate and it’s time to pay for their cap and gown,” McDonald said.
Both organizations have recommended that Texas form a statewide task force led by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and the Department of Housing and Community Affairs. They also want lawmakers to form a dedicated funding source to support prevention and intervention services for at-risk and homeless youth.
“There’s state funding for youth, there’s state funding for homelessness, but there’s not state funding for youth who are homeless,” McDonald said.
Terry Cole runs Street Youth Ministry. The organization holds several relationship-building events, focused around art, guidance counseling and teamwork.
“We meet them where they are,” he said. He said too often youth who face homelessness are stigmatized and viewed differently.

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June 20, 2017

‘Faces of the Transient Lifestyle’


‘Faces of the Transient Lifestyle’
The black-and-white portraits of these street youth — (left to right) “Blue,” “Lauren” and “Otter Pig” — were photographed in Austin between 2014 and 2016 by Michael Joseph, who since 2011 has photographed train riders and hitchhikers he calls “a loosely knit tribe of travelers” living transient lifestyles nationwide.

A series of Joseph’s black-and-white portraits of these travelers — titled “Lost and Found” — is now on view at Daniel Cooney Fine Art in New York City. Street Youth Ministry has served some of these individuals specifically — and lots of them generally. We invite you to learn more about Joseph’s work, using the link below.

Go to the exhibition's web page

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June 20, 2017

Volunteering for SYM yields ‘a strong feeling of family’


Volunteering for SYM yields
 ‘a strong feeling of family’
[EDITOR’S NOTE: in mid-year 2016, we began to urge our donors, volunteers and other partners to share their experiences and give SYM a rating using the Greatnonprofits.org website. To date, there have been 27 entries, among them a gratifying testimony shared by volunteer Rodolfo Aguilar (at right in the photo, with SYM client Jose) and excerpted below. Thank you, Rodolfo!]
Volunteering for Street Youth Ministry of Austin has been a life-changing experience. The way this ministry deals with clients is inspiring, humbling, and motivating. Attending to these clients in a personal level have enriched and fulfilled my life in ways I didn’t expect. I realize I can do more for them, and always find myself looking forward to the next time to be of service.

Witnessing the passion Mr. Terri places in every single relationship he builds with his clients, with genuine dignifying care and respect, and incredible patience, I’ve humbled myself and widened my scope in matters of life in which most people would choose to look the other way. The welcoming ambiance has a strong feeling of family and camaraderie.

Clients spontaneously find a much needed peaceful and safe place that has been set up strategically to reach them at the stage of personal, emotional, and spiritual development they are and scaffold them to higher levels of personal growth without being pushed or coerced.

They start wanting to learn more, seeking and finding that spiritual connection that anchors their sense of being, the realization that their lives are worthy and that they can find ways to achieve their dreams. Possibilities can be in their hands.

Click here for volunteer opportunities

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May 1, 2017

ID’s Legislation in Texas Needs Help


There
are three bills pending for the 2017 Regular Legislative Session in Texas that
relate to Identification for clients of street youth. None seem terribly
objectionable but without support from the public it’s not clear they will be
reported out of committee and move forward.
Identification
has become quite difficult to obtain ever since 9/11 — for good reasons.
However, as a homeless person, it has become increasingly difficult to get
Texas Identification cards from DPS. Our clients often face a very frustrating
period of 3 or 4 months in order to get their ID, only to often turn around and
have it stolen or lost on the streets. They often face extremely frustrating
requirements such as needing ID to get their birth certificate and needing a
birth certificate to get ID. Or similarly, needing an ID to get proof of social
security ID and needing social security ID to get a photo ID. The only portion
of the process that seems easy is, ironically, proof of residency. We are able
to notarize for clients a statement testifying that they are homeless.
One
proposed legislations would make it simpler for every homeless person to obtain
ID. And two other proposed legislations would apply to youth in foster care and
homeless young people through age 21 (or possibly 24).
HB 3354 – Was referred to Homeland
Security and Public Safety Committee about a month ago – it has not gotten a
hearing yet, and if it doesn’t get a hearing in about a week it will be dead.

HB 3561 – Was voted out of committee
two days ago – there was a committee substitute, and this language is not on
the Internet yet, but should be next week.

SB2107 – Referred to Health and Human
Services Committee about a month ago, and has not gotten a hearing yet. The drop-dead
date for Senate bills is a little later than house bills.

Street
Youth Ministry strongly encourages citizens of Texas to support passage of
simpler DPS IDs for homeless and especially homeless youth. If we want our
homeless to get jobs, find housing, apply for benefits, they desperately need
IDs quickly. So much of the work in social justice focuses on attempting to
help homeless navigate the frustrating, changing, and challenging requirements
for DSP issued ID. And these IDs are prerequisite for so many programs and
opportunities that we all want our homeless to avail themselves of. It only
makes sense to take away this barrier for all homeless and especially younger
homeless. Many homeless reports giving up their plans to return to normalcy
after repeatedly experiencing frustrations and setups in obtaining IDs. 
Please
contact your representative to let them know you would like these bills to come
out of committee and be approved this year!

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